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Where We’ve Been


The Michigan AFL-CIO’s history is not singular, but shared. Our roots are based in a labor movement built by millions of working people over multiple generations. Since our founding in 1958, we have aspired to achieve an America that celebrates the contributions of working people to our society, and we’ve dedicated ourselves to fighting for social justice, shared economic prosperity, and the recognition of the dignity of work for all people.

It wasn’t just Michigan that put the world on wheels — it was Michigan workers. When the auto industry took hold of Detroit in the early 20th century, workers took to the assembly line and helped revolutionize American manufacturing. But in the face of dangerous working conditions, long hours, and low wages, thousands of workers decided to stand together to demand a higher quality of life for themselves and their fellow workers, kicking-off the modern American labor movement.

Working Michiganders have had a particularly powerful impact on organized labor in the United States, and we honor that legacy today by continuing to fight for working people. Today, we’re building and expanding America’s labor movement by advocating for working families politically, socially, and economically — fighting to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to thrive in the state of Michigan.

The symbol, inspired by the Labor Legacy Monument in Detroit

Who We Are:
Michigan’s Unions

To struggling families, the Michigan AFL-CIO is a diverse, compassionate, and powerful movement that improves the lives of working people by bringing economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state.

The Michigan AFL-CIO is a growing federation of more than forty unions representing one million working people. We know that it’s never just a job. It’s a livelihood, a high standard of living, and a ticket into America’s middle class. Because of this, we’re committed to building coalitions with those who share our values, and working together to put power firmly in the hands of working people.