The state of labor on Labor Day, unions face uncertain times - New York News

The state of labor on Labor Day, unions face uncertain times

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

Thousands of union members took part in Detroit's annual Labor Day parade. But amid the celebration, Michigan union members face uncertain times.

Click on the video player to watch Robin Schwartz's report.

You've seen the protests in recent months - fast food workers walking off the job here and across the country, demanding $15/hour, more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour. Workers are also seeking the right to unionize. A bill to boost Michigan's minimum wage to $10/hour by 2016 has not been embraced by the Republican-controlled legislature or Gov. Rick Snyder.

"The big question is whether or not we're going to see a whole lot of minimum wage workers that are still at the poverty level even though they're working 40-hours-a-week and people sliding downward or whether we're going to see opportunity and a ladder for everybody to move up," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) Michigan. She spent part of her Labor Day meeting with AFL-CIO union members in Detroit where they're well aware Michigan is the second worst state when it comes to wage growth over the last 30-years.

"As organized labor's membership numbers have been declining we've seen wage growth in Michigan decline with it," says Chris Michalakis, president of Metro Detroit AFL-CIO.

He says his union is regrouping and redoubling its efforts now that Michigan is a right-to-work state. A court battle over whether the much-debated law applies to state workers is currently underway. With Detroit's bankruptcy filing, there's another battle in Federal Court. Workers are waiting to see what happens with their pensions in a city that doesn't have the money to pay.

"Retirees and the working folks that work for the city, they're the heart-blood, they're the life-blood of the city," says Michalakis.

"They are not the people who made the decisions that got Detroit to this point," added Stabenow. "I do not think people should lose their pensions. When you look at somebody earning on average $19,000 a year that's not where the city or the state should start in order to balance the books."

There are plenty of major issues on the table but union leaders say they're ready to fight in court and on the picket lines.

 

 

==

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo

    New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo

    The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the iconic Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs.
    The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the iconic Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs.
  • Suspect arrested in dismembered Brooklyn woman murder case

    Suspect arrested in dismembered Brooklyn woman murder case

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:08 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:08:03 GMT
    Police say they arrested and charged a suspect in connection with the murder of a Brooklyn woman whose body parts were discovered in Bay Shore. Suffolk County homicide squad and the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Leah Cuevas, 42, on Wednesday night. Cuevas lived on 346 Sumpter Ave. in Brooklyn, the same address as the victim, Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne, 27. Cuevas was charged with second-degree murder and held overnight at Suffolk's Fourth Precinct.
    Police say they arrested and charged a suspect in connection with the murder of a Brooklyn woman whose body parts were discovered in Bay Shore. Suffolk County homicide squad and the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Leah Cuevas, 42, on Wednesday night. Cuevas lived on 346 Sumpter Ave. in Brooklyn, the same address as the victim, Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne, 27. Cuevas was charged with second-degree murder and held overnight at Suffolk's Fourth Precinct.
  • Bratton: 'not happy'

    NYPD identify suspects in raising of white flags at Brooklyn Bridge

    NYPD identify suspects in raising of white flags at Brooklyn Bridge

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:48:41 GMT
    The NYPD says they have identified the suspects for the major security breach that had white flags replace the American flags at the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City, according to the New York Post. Police say they only know the suspects by nicknames, not their legitimate names. They are working on getting their names in order to bring the suspects in for questioning. The Post says nearly three dozen detectives were on the case. 
    The NYPD says they have identified the suspects for the major security breach that had white flags replace the American flags at the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City, according to the New York Post. Police say they only know the suspects by nicknames, not their legitimate names. They are working on getting their names in order to bring the suspects in for questioning. The Post says nearly three dozen detectives were on the case. 
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices