Advance Notice: Briefs

Michigan AFL-CIO re-elects president, treasurer in Detroit

By: - May 24, 2019 5:57 pm

Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber | Michigan AFL-CIO photo

The Michigan American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) announced Friday that its members re-elected its president and treasurer at the group’s convention this month in Detroit.

Michigan AFL-CIO Treasurer Daryl Newman | Michigan AFL-CIO photo

President Ron Bieber and Treasurer Daryl Newman were elected to their second and third terms, respectively, at a convention that featured remarks  from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, as well as national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

Bieber resolved to strengthen labor in Michigan after years of Republican rule in which its negotiating power was significantly diminished, expressing his gratitude that “we have more people represented by unions than when the so-called ‘right-to-work’ law was passed, we held our ground against needless attacks during the recent Lame Duck session, and we elected a more labor-friendly legislature and executive branch.”

Bieber expressed similar sentiments in an Advance guest column in January.

“Fight for our Families” anti-Lame Duck protest, Dec. 12, 2018 | Ken Coleman

Last year’s Lame Duck session saw numerous pieces of Republican-sponsored legislation aimed at weakening labor unions, including one aimed at teachers’ unions at a time when the wage gap between teachers and their college-educated peers is increasing dramatically.

As Bieber noted, none of them passed during the session.

This week, Whitmer wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor urging it to reconsider a rollback of proposed former President Obama-era overtime rules, with Bieber praising the move as “speaking out on behalf of the working people of Michigan and the rest of the country.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer | Michigan AFL-CIO photo

At this month’s convention the union also recognized state Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield), state Rep. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) and Detroit City Council Member Janeé Ayers for their pro-labor efforts.

In a statement, Newman said that he appreciates “the trust my brothers and sisters have placed in me. Sound stewardship is critical to our ability to build the labor movement.”

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Derek Robertson
Derek Robertson

Derek Robertson is a former reporter for the Advance. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.