Daniel Boothe

As demolition begins on the BC Cobb Power Plant in Muskegon, Union laborers are protesting  North-Carolina based company Forsite Development outsourcing the demolition and reconstruction of the plant to out of state workers.

“With Muskegon as we know, there is a lot of skilled labor of men and women here, that could perform this work,” Bill Kenney, the President of the Michigan Building Trades and Construction West Michigan chapter said. “So it’s important to us that with the medium income in Muskegon County being only $27,000, there are people that need work.”

Gretchen Whitmer

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer has secured the endorsement of a 14,000-member labor union days after U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee decided not to run for governor in 2018.

The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights backed Whitmer Thursday - a positive sign for her campaign as it seeks to coalesce support.

Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mike Jackson calls Whitmer, a former legislative leader from East Lansing, a "proven fighter" who "has been in the trenches on the side of skilled trades workers countless times."

Cursive on a classroom chalkboard
Pixabay | CC BY 3.0 / pixabay.com

The Michigan appeals court says teachers and other school employees can quit a union at any time, not just one month a year.

In a 3-0 decision, the court says it's following Michigan's right-to-work law, which says workers can't be forced to support a union to keep their job.

The court says restricting union resignations to August clashes with the Legislature's goal of giving employees more choices.

The union representing Detroit teachers says its members have ratified a new deal with the city's new school district. The Detroit Federation of Teachers announced vote results late Wednesday.

The union says the contract isn't perfect, but includes pay increases - mostly in the form of bonuses, including a 3 percent bonus for instructors at the top of the salary scale.

Elementary school teachers also get an added period for preparation. The contract includes creating a committee to address teachers' health and safety concerns.

Grand Rapids city logo

A Tuesday Grand Rapids City Commission meeting ended in an abrupt and unusual fashion after a group in local union shirts during public comment staged a 'lie-in' and chant. 

They continued as the meeting was called to a close, and officials and attendees began to filter out the doors.

Lindsey Disler is a senior at Grand Valley and an organizer with the school’s United Students Against Sweatshops chapter, which coordinated the action. Students and union membership were both in attendance.

Michigan Supreme Court
Subterranean via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

The Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments for and against local laws that require contractors on public projects to pay union-scale wages.

The challenge to Lansing’s ordinance was filed by non-union contractors.

They say local governments aren’t allowed to adopt local wage laws.

Kraig Schutter argue for the Associated Builders & Contractors.

He says local governments can decide what to pay their employees, but not those of private companies that make agreements to do work for counties, cities, or townships.