Derek Dobies is the Chief of Staff of the Michigan AFL-CIO, the largest federation of trade unions in Michigan. He also serves as Secretary-Treasurer to its three subsidiary nonprofit organizations, including the Michigan AFL-CIO Workforce Development Institute where he has been instrumental in securing over $12 million dollars in state funding to support apprenticeship readiness training.
Dobies is the former mayor of the City of Jackson, birthplace of the Republican Party, serving from 2017 through 2021. Prior to his election he served six years as a City Councilman and four years as the city’s Vice Mayor. He’s been a strong advocate for the policies, programs and projects necessary to support working families and advance a pro-labor agenda. In 2021, while leading the city through the pandemic, he created Workers Memorial Park as a tribute to frontline heroes and others who have lost their lives to workplace hazards.
In 2017, Dobies earned the Changemaker of the Year award from Equality Michigan, the state’s leading LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, for his work in spearheading the adoption of the city’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance, providing protections from discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. In 2021, he earned the Legislator of the Year award from the Michigan AFL-CIO for his work on several policies that supported working families, including a Responsible Contractor Ordinance and a Living Wage Ordinance.
Dobies previously served as Campaigns Director of the Michigan AFL-CIO and as District Administrator for Congressman John D. Dingell. He has held positions working for both Democrats and Republicans in the Michigan State Senate and Michigan State House of Representatives, respectively.
Derek is an Eagle Scout, and a Partner with the Truman National Security Project. He earned a degree in Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy from James Madison College at Michigan State University.
Derek is a proud union member of LiUNA Local 499.