FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 8, 2023
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Landmark Just Transition, Labor Standards Legislation Heads to Governor’s Desk
Legislation approved by the state Legislature will ensure just transition for workers and create some of the strongest labor standards in the country.
LANSING, Mich. – Today, the Michigan state Legislature finalized legislation protecting good-paying union jobs as the state sets new clean energy goals. Related bills also set new labor standards for state-regulated clean energy projects that will be among the strongest in the country. The bills now head to Governor Whitmer, who is expected to sign them into law.
“Michigan’s union workers will be on the front lines in the fight to combat climate change,” said Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron BIEBER, “and our Democratic majorities in the legislature are making sure that the transition away from fossil fuels doesn’t leave union workers and their communities behind. These bills are the result of months and months of hard work to ensure that the clean energy economy of the future we’ll be built by the best workers anywhere – Michigan union members.”
Senate Bill 519 creates the Community and Worker Economic Transition Office dedicated to assisting workers and communities affected by the transition to clean energy, including auto and auto supply chain workers, fossil fuel energy workers, building and construction trades, and transition-impacted communities. The legislation is the first of its kind in the nation to include internal combustion engine vehicle workers.
Additional clean energy bills on their way to Governor Whitmer’s desk include strong labor standards for construction and maintenance of clean and green energy projects that include paying prevailing wage and the use of U.S. Department of Labor certified apprenticeship programs. These standards are essential to ensuring that investments by the state in clean and green energy projects result in strong, family-sustaining wages for high-skilled union workers.
The Michigan AFL-CIO, Michigan’s largest labor organization, is a federation representing forty different labor organizations, eighteen different central labor councils, and eight constituency groups representing over 1 million union members and their families.