labor unions http://michiganradio.org en Non-union builders challenge local wage floors http://michiganradio.org/post/non-union-builders-challenge-local-wage-floors <p>An association of non-union construction companies has asked the state Supreme Court to strike down local prevailing wage laws. The Associated Builders and Contractors says a state law preempts the ordinances.</p><p></p><p>Nearly two dozen Michigan communities have their own prevailing wage ordinances. They’re supposed to ensure that workers on city-financed projects are paid something close to union wages.</p><p></p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:40:39 +0000 Rick Pluta 18389 at http://michiganradio.org Non-union builders challenge local wage floors Workers Memorial Day honors those killed and injured on the job http://michiganradio.org/post/workers-memorial-day-honors-those-killed-and-injured-job <p>April 28&nbsp;was International Workers Memorial Day, the day that honors those killed or injured on the job in the past year.</p><p>Labor advocates in Detroit and cities worldwide held vigils to remember those workers Monday.</p><p>The annual event also marks the day that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was founded in 1970.</p><p>That federal agency enforces workplace safety rules in the U.S., and tracks employment-related injuries and fatalities.</p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 17:21:23 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17399 at http://michiganradio.org Workers Memorial Day honors those killed and injured on the job United Auto Workers membership grows slightly http://michiganradio.org/post/united-auto-workers-membership-grows-slightly <div>NEW YORK (AP) - A filing with the U.S. Department of Labor shows <a href="http://uaw.org/">the United Auto Workers</a>' membership grew by nearly 9,000 people last year.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">UAW's membership in 2013 was 391,415, compared to 382,513 in 2012. The union has been steadily adding members since 2009, when General Motors and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy.</span></p> Sat, 29 Mar 2014 20:21:57 +0000 Associated Press 17031 at http://michiganradio.org United Auto Workers membership grows slightly MSU could lose $500k for offering labor courses http://michiganradio.org/post/msu-could-lose-500k-offering-labor-courses <p>Michigan State University could risk losing $500,000 if it does not stop offering courses that allegedly promote unionization.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A state Senate panel approved a measure Thursday banning courses at public universities that promote or discourage organizing efforts. It’s a reaction to </span>MSU’s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> recent decision to take over some programs from the National Labor College.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Republicans say those courses violate the proposed rule.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“I believe in academic freedom, and you’re going to have difficult subjects that you’re going to cover at any university,” said state Rep. Al </span>Pscholka<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, </span>R-Stevensville<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, who chairs the panel that directs higher education funding in the House.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“But this is a case where I think we’re almost encouraging labor disputes, and I don’t think that’s appropriate.”</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The only Democrat that sits on the Senate panel that approved the penalty says it’s unusual for lawmakers to scrutinize university programs this intensely.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Why just this program?” asked state Sen. Morris Hood III, D-Detroit. “And I would guess to believe that this is a hot topic item and it ruffles a lot of feathers.”</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">An </span>MSU<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> official says the university’s curriculum is balanced. He says it also offers classes that educate businesses on labor issues.</span></p><p>Pscholka<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> says lawmakers will probably decide whether to move forward with the $500,000 penalty when they return from a three-week break in April.</span></p><p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:23:13 +0000 Jake Neher 17012 at http://michiganradio.org MSU could lose $500k for offering labor courses UAW tries to unionize VW workers at Tennessee plant http://michiganradio.org/post/uaw-tries-unionize-vw-workers-tennessee-plant <div><p>It's Thursday – time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.&nbsp;</p></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>He's picking through the rubble of the UAW's bid to unionize workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>We know that VW workers said "no thanks" to the UAW by a vote of 712-626, but w<span style="line-height: 1.5;">hat are the deeper implications of that "no" vote?</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Daniel Howes joined us today.</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></div><p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 22:23:36 +0000 Stateside Staff 16529 at http://michiganradio.org UAW tries to unionize VW workers at Tennessee plant Flint school employees to take 19% compensation cut http://michiganradio.org/post/flint-school-employees-take-19-compensation-cut <p>Flint school district employees are facing a deep cut in pay and benefits.</p><p></p><p>Interim school superintendent Larry Watkins announced today that the district and its unions have reached a deal that calls for a 19% cut in compensation.</p><p></p><p>Specific details about cuts to wages and benefits are still being negotiated between the district and its unions. The cuts will take effect in July.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Watkins says the cuts are a key component of the district’s deficit reduction plan that’s being submitted to the state next week.</p><p></p> Thu, 09 Jan 2014 20:52:56 +0000 Steve Carmody 15962 at http://michiganradio.org Flint school employees to take 19% compensation cut Blast at US Steel plant near Detroit kills worker http://michiganradio.org/post/blast-us-steel-plant-near-detroit-kills-worker <p>ECORSE, Mich. (AP) -<a href="http://www.ussteel.com/uss/portal/home">United States Steel Corp.</a> says an explosion at a plant near Detroit has killed one worker, and operations have halted while an investigation begins.&nbsp;</p><p></p> Sun, 15 Dec 2013 20:19:47 +0000 Associated Press 15698 at http://michiganradio.org Blast at US Steel plant near Detroit kills worker Michigan fast-food workers demand $15 dollars an hour http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-fast-food-workers-demand-15-dollars-hour <p><a href="http://detroit15.org/">Fast-food workers </a>in Flint, Detroit, Pontiac, Lansing and other Michigan cities hit the picket lines today.</p><p>They are demanding a big increase in the minimum wage.</p><p>In Lansing, a small group of protesters chanted and waved signs outside a Pizza Hut. &nbsp;</p><p>Tina Ervin has worked at the pizza joint for the past year. She says she’s having a hard time supporting herself and her three children on $7.40 an hour. Ervin is hopeful the national campaign to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour will succeed.</p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 17:56:10 +0000 Steve Carmody 15553 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan fast-food workers demand $15 dollars an hour Protesters target Walmart in suburban Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/protesters-target-walmart-suburban-detroit <p>Protesters called for higher wages and better working conditions for Walmart employees at <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/29/news/economy/walmart-black-friday/">stores around the country Friday</a>, including one store in suburban Detroit.</p><p>Store managers and security met the protesters as they marched to the entrance to the Sterling Heights Walmart.</p><p>They were blocked from going in—but did hand over petitions protesting Walmart’s treatment of its workers. Police also arrived, but the protesters left peacefully.</p> Sat, 30 Nov 2013 02:02:52 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 15490 at http://michiganradio.org Protesters target Walmart in suburban Detroit Labor leaders set to join rally at Michigan Wal-Mart http://michiganradio.org/post/labor-leaders-set-join-rally-michigan-wal-mart <p>STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) - Several labor leaders are expected to rally at a suburban Detroit Wal-Mart store on the day traditionally viewed as the official start to the holiday buying season.<br /><br />MLive.com reports the Friday event in Sterling Heights is one of hundreds of planned demonstrations and walkouts around the country. The Michigan Black Friday protest is expected to draw leaders from the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union.<br /> Fri, 29 Nov 2013 11:19:09 +0000 The Associated Press 15470 at http://michiganradio.org Labor leaders set to join rally at Michigan Wal-Mart City of Lansing finalizes new contract with UAW employees http://michiganradio.org/post/city-lansing-finalizes-new-contract-uaw-employees <p>Some Lansing city workers have a new three year contract.</p><p>The Lansing city council gave the final OK to the contract with the city’s UAW employees last night. &nbsp;</p><p>Under the contract, the city’s UAW employees will pay more toward their retirement benefits.&nbsp;&nbsp; Also, the families of new city employees will not be eligible for health benefits after the employee retires.&nbsp;&nbsp; The contract also includes a slight pay increase.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 15:37:40 +0000 Steve Carmody 14940 at http://michiganradio.org City of Lansing finalizes new contract with UAW employees 8 teachers named in complaint filed against the Michigan Education Association http://michiganradio.org/post/8-teachers-named-complaint-filed-against-michigan-education-association <p>Michigan’s largest teachers’ union is being accused of trying to intimidate teachers who wanted to leave the union.</p><p>Earlier this month, the <a href="http://www.mea.org/">Michigan Education Association </a>announced 99% of its members decided to stay in the union, despite Michigan’s new <a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/right-work">Right-To-Work law.</a></p> Mon, 21 Oct 2013 19:16:31 +0000 Steve Carmody 14930 at http://michiganradio.org 8 teachers named in complaint filed against the Michigan Education Association Detroit cancels bus runs Monday, cites `sick out' http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-cancels-bus-runs-monday-cites-sick-out <p>Operators of Detroit's public buses say riders may have to find another way to get around Monday because of what officials say is a threatened "sick-out" protest by unionized drivers.</p><p></p> Sun, 20 Oct 2013 23:15:30 +0000 Associated Press 14916 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit cancels bus runs Monday, cites `sick out' Unions blast House panel for advancing mass picketing, strike bills http://michiganradio.org/post/unions-blast-house-panel-advancing-mass-picketing-strike-bills <p>Union officials say a set of bills in Lansing are an attack on employees’ ability to strike and protest.</p><p>The state House Oversight Committee approved the legislation Tuesday. It now goes to the full state House.</p><p>House Bill 4643 would increase penalties for protesters who violate current picketing laws. It would also allow business owners to get a court order banning a demonstration without first having to prove picketers were doing something wrong.</p><p>Rep. Jim Townsend (D-Royal Oak) is the top Democrat on the panel. He called that language unconstitutional.</p> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 01:15:46 +0000 Jake Neher 14573 at http://michiganradio.org Unions blast House panel for advancing mass picketing, strike bills Crucial mediation process starts in Detroit bankruptcy case http://michiganradio.org/post/crucial-mediation-process-starts-detroit-bankruptcy-case <p>Detroit officials and some of the city’s creditors will <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20130816/NEWS01/308160073/Steven-Rhodes-Gerald-Rosen-Detroit-bankruptcy-mediation">sit down for their first official mediation session</a> Tuesday.</p><p>The mediation was ordered by Judge Steven Rhodes, who’s in charge of Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy case. Rhodes has appointed chief federal district court judge Gerald Rosen as mediator.</p> Mon, 16 Sep 2013 23:11:03 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 14448 at http://michiganradio.org Crucial mediation process starts in Detroit bankruptcy case Victory for the UAW at a Volkswagen auto plant? http://michiganradio.org/post/victory-uaw-volkswagen-auto-plant <div style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;"><p>In what could be a victory for the Detroit-based United Auto Workers, a union official in Tennessee says a majority of workers at Volkswagen's assembly plant in the state have signed cards favoring the UAW’s representation in creating a German-style works council at the plant.</p><p><span style="font-size: 13px;">The official told the Associated Press that the cards are as legally binding as an election by the workers.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13px;">More from the AP:</span></p> Wed, 11 Sep 2013 18:36:13 +0000 Mike Perini 14385 at http://michiganradio.org Victory for the UAW at a Volkswagen auto plant? Court declares Indiana's right-to-work law unconstitutional http://michiganradio.org/post/court-declares-indianas-right-work-law-unconstitutional <div><p>A judge in Indiana has ruled that that state’s right-to-work law violates a provision in the Indiana constitution -- a provision that bars the delivery of services “without just compensation.”</p></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The judge found that the law wrongly requires unions to represent workers who do not pay dues.</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Indiana became the 23rd state – and the first in the Midwest – to ban the collection of mandatory fees for representation from unions.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Rick Pluta, Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio network, joined us today. He's been covering Michigan’s right-to-work law – which, of course, was passed in December.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Listen to the audio above.</em></div><p> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 20:17:55 +0000 Stateside Staff 14362 at http://michiganradio.org Court declares Indiana's right-to-work law unconstitutional Michigan Supreme Court says it won't rule on right-to-work law early http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-says-it-wont-rule-right-work-law-early <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court has unanimously decided not to step in early to decide the legality of the state's right-to-work law.<br><br>The court on Friday said it wasn't persuaded that ruling now would be an "appropriate exercise" of its discretion.<br><br>Republican Gov. Rick Snyder in January asked for an advisory opinion on the law that lets workers stop paying union dues or fees.<br> Fri, 05 Jul 2013 15:52:30 +0000 The Associated Press 13390 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Supreme Court says it won't rule on right-to-work law early Orr puts Detroit unions on notice http://michiganradio.org/post/orr-puts-detroit-unions-notice <p>Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has reminded two of the city’s biggest unions that their contracts are expiring soon.</p><p>In letters sent this week, Orr emphasized that he’s not required to conduct collective bargaining sessions.</p><p>Under the state’s emergency manager law, he could impose new terms on the unions.</p><p>Mark Young is President of the Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association, which along with AFSCME&nbsp;Council 25 is one of the affected unions.</p><p>He says the officers should get a new collective bargaining agreement.</p> Thu, 27 Jun 2013 22:23:47 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 13289 at http://michiganradio.org Orr puts Detroit unions on notice Supreme Court to hear case which directly affects Panera Bread workers in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/supreme-court-hear-case-which-directly-affects-panera-bread-workers-michigan <p>The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a dispute between President Obama and congressional Republicans which is directly affecting the lives of Michigan workers.</p><p>At issue is the president’s authority to make "recess" appointments.</p><p>Recess appointments are made when the president fills a governmental position while the Congress is in recess.</p><p>In this case, President Obama filled three vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board without getting his appointees confirmed by Congress.</p> Mon, 24 Jun 2013 16:00:12 +0000 Steve Carmody 13205 at http://michiganradio.org Supreme Court to hear case which directly affects Panera Bread workers in Michigan