Activists call for minimum wage increase and paid sick leave amid pandemic
Aqeela Muntaqim knows that times are tough for many Michiganders — and the COVID-19 pandemic have only made matters worse. “I’m a mother and I have to sacrifice paying for bills, paying for food and being able to care for my children,” the deputy director of Mothering Justice, a Michigan-based nonprofit advocacy group, said Thursday […]
Biden calls for paid time off for vaccinations as U.S. hits 200M goal
WASHINGTON — Federal and state officials now face trying to reach Americans unable or unwilling to get the COVID-19 vaccine, after meeting President Joe Biden’s goal of administering 200 million doses within his first 100 days in office. To aid in that push, Biden on Wednesday called on employers to give their workers time off […]
Column: Here’s what lawmakers have done — and must keep doing — to help people amid the pandemic
On March 13, 2020, almost one year ago today, I wrote a column for the Michigan Advance outlining some public policy solutions to reduce COVID-19’s impact on workers and families with lower incomes. A year later, I thought I’d take a look at how well policymakers have responded to the pandemic-related needs of Michigan families. […]
Oxfam: Michigan is the 13th best state for workers during COVID-19
Updated, 7:18 a.m. 9/17/20, with information from LEO A new study from Oxfam America shows that Michigan isn’t in the top 10 states for workers during the pandemic — but it’s close. The Boston-based nonprofit ranked all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, on worker protections, health care and unemployment policies […]
Agricultural workers would get PPE, hazard pay under Dem plan
Four state House Democrats on Monday rolled out a bill package that aims to allocate hazard pay, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other protections to at-risk agricultural workers in Michigan. Their five bills, dubbed the Food Security Protection Plan, extend protections to seasonal and migrant farm workers who continue to plant, cultivate, harvest and package […]
Rick Haglund: COVID-19 shows how our economy depends on low-wage workers — and how they’re hit hardest
As Michigan clawed back from the ravages of the Great Recession, in no small part due to the President Obama administration’s 2009 bailout of Chrysler and General Motors, other elected officials grabbed the credit. Former Gov. Rick Snyder regularly touted Michigan as “the comeback state,” citing his deft management of the state budget, business tax […]
Michigan has almost 3K COVID-19 cases, 60 deaths
Sixty people have now died of COVID-19 in Michigan. There were 43 deaths on Wednesday. A statewide coronavirus hotline is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1-888-535-6136. Information can be found on the DHHS website or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention website. There are now […]
Column: Workers left out of govt., business response to COVID-19
As the coronavirus crisis unfolds, workers and families around the country are finding out how weak the U.S. social safety net is. Almost three-quarters of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. About 30% of the workforce lacks employer-paid health insurance. One-third of workers lack paid sick leave. Most of those working in the self-employed economy as independent […]
Michigan almost had robust sick leave in 2018. Republicans killed it.
As the number of COVID-19 cases in Michigan continues to rise, thousands of Michiganders are being sent home from their jobs in an attempt to stop the spread. And with all K-12 schools shutting down Monday, many parents have no choice but to stay home with their children. Roughly 1.7 million Michiganders, or 55% of […]
Column: Here’s what lawmakers must do to help people amid the coronavirus pandemic
Now that it has officially landed in Michigan, COVID-19 is a potential threat to all residents. Unfortunately, both the risks of the disease itself and its economic repercussions will adversely affect Michigan residents with lower incomes — the very people my colleagues and I at the nonpartisan Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) are charged […]
Congress is talking about paid family leave. Will lawmakers do anything?
WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans in Congress seem to agree on expanding access to paid family leave. But they disagree on how to do it. U.S. House lawmakers debated three bills on Capitol Hill last week that would take dramatically different approaches to expanding access to paid leave, with Democrats and Republicans deeply divided on […]
Michigan minimum-wage workers got a raise on Jan. 1. But they won’t see $12/hour until 2030.
Michigan started the new year by joining 21 states in raising the minimum wage But workers saw a smaller increase than they would have if a 2018 citizen-led ballot initiative was still on the books. As of Jan. 1, minimum wage workers in Michigan will make $9.65 an hour, which is a 20-cent pay increase […]