FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Media Contact: Aaron Pelo, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michigan AFL-CIO, Labor Allies Call for the Passage of Laws Restoring Local Control
LANSING, Mich. – Today, the Michigan AFL-CIO brought over 50 workers to the state Capitol to lobby for the restoration of local control — SBs 170 and 171 (McCann), and HBs 4231 (Hill) and 4237 (Andrews). These bills restore the ability of local governments to pass labor and workforce policies that are best for their communities and give power back to local elected officials and the residents they serve.
“The Snyder Administration’s ‘Death Star’ law is a weapon of worker suppression that took power away from local communities and their workers,” said Michigan AFL-CIO Chief of Staff Derek DOBIES. “Working people in communities across the state, and the local leaders they elected, want to put forward policies they know will grow their workforce and boost economic prosperity. These bills give them the tools to do so.”
“I have to work three jobs to be able to support my family,” said Porcha PERRY, SEIU Local 1 member leader and Detroit arena worker. “Across our state, too many people are working extra jobs, unable to take care of our own health or spend time with our families. We shouldn’t have to live like this. Local communities should have the power to decide what’s best for us and the local leaders we elect should be able to help raise wages and improve conditions for working people. It’s time to end preemption and restore local control.”
“Every Michigander should have access to quality, good paying jobs in their communities,” said Sam INGLOT, Executive Director for Progress Michigan. “The Michigan Legislature should quickly repeal the so-called ‘Death Star’ law and give local communities the ability to provide a living wage, benefits and protections, and an overall ability to thrive for their residents. This law was nothing but an attempt by former Gov. Rick Snyder and his Republican colleagues to attack local communities trying to do right by their residents on behalf of their corporate lobbying and big business allies.”
HB 4237, sponsored by Representative Joey Andrews (D-St. Joseph), repeals PA 105 of 2015, also known as the “Death Star” bill. Backed by corporate lobbyists, the law took away local elected leaders’ ability to pass measures over workforce issues like job quality, wages, benefits, hours, and scheduling, all in the name of making it easier for corporations to keep wages low and make a bigger profit for themselves.
“I ran for office so I could empower communities like mine to better address the issues facing working families,” said State Representative Joey ANDREWS (D-St. Joseph). “I sponsored this legislation because workers across the state — including those I represent — deserve good jobs with livable wages so they can support their families, take care of their health, and plan for their futures. There’s no reason for the state to get in the way of that.”
“These preemption laws disproportionately impact minority and low-income communities,” said Berrien County Commissioner Chokwe PITCHFORD. “Abusive preemption laws like these took away the ability of local elected officials to pass laws that meaningfully improve our constituents’ lives.”
HB 4231, sponsored by Representative Jenn Hill (D-Marquette), repeals PA 98 of 2011 which banned municipalities from entering into Project Labor Agreements (PLAs), collective bargaining agreements made between unions and contractors to ensure workers on taxpayer-funded construction projects are getting fair wages and benefits. PLAs protect taxpayers’ investments by eliminating costly delays due to labor conflicts or shortages of skilled workers, and ensure the highest quality work for critical public projects.
“Members of the public want to see local projects completed safely, on time, and on budget — and my bill will give local governments an option to help with that,” said State Representative Jenn HILL (D-Marquette). “As a former Marquette City Commissioner, I recognize the importance of setting local construction projects up for success. We need to let local officials make decisions and opt-in on Project Labor Agreements where they see fit.”
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.
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