News from We Are the People and Progress Michigan
CONTACT: Zack Pohl, 517-980-6190
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 22, 2012
Legislators push nearly 90 bills to weaken or end collective bargaining rights
LANSING – Citizens groups today launched an online petition calling on Lansing politicians to stop the attacks on Michigan workers. Legislators have introduced nearly 90 bills to weaken or end collective bargaining, including legislation passed in the Senate today to ban those rights for graduate student research assistants over the objections of University of Michigan Board of Regents.
“Michigan workers have to protect our voices now, before they are taken away from us altogether,” said Felicia Kieme, a registered nurse who lives in Ann Arbor. “Collective bargaining simply allows residents to negotiate for what everyone who works hard for a living deserves: fair wages and benefits, basic security and a safe workplace. We have to stop Lansing politicians from destroying our basic rights just so they can score points with their corporate friends and increase the salaries of CEOs.”
The online petition calls on Lansing legislators to reject the divisive, unnecessary assault on collective bargaining and workers’ rights. The website, protectourjobs.com, includes a list of the nearly 90 anti-worker bills introduced so far this legislative session.
“This Legislature is trying to destroy virtually every protection that the average worker has against being taken advantage of by their employer,” said David Holtz, Progress Michigan Executive Director. “While an attack on collective bargaining comes as no surprise given lawmakers’ penchant for favoring corporate interests, this systematic campaign to throw our workers to the wolves is unprecedented in Michigan. If collective bargaining rights are destroyed, there is nothing to stop employers from paying lower wages, outsourcing jobs and finishing off what’s left of the middle class. A future without collective bargaining may please the CEOs and the politicians in their pockets, but it’s not what the rest of us want for ourselves, our neighbors and our state.”
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