October 30, 2012

Protect Michigan’s Working Families, Vote Yes on Proposal 2 on November 6th

MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916

Environment Leaders, Local Workers Stand Up for Collective Bargaining Rights and Clean, Safe Workplaces
GRAND RAPIDS, MI --Joining a broad coalition of supporters who are backing better wages and safer working conditions, environmental leaders and local workers today spoke out in support of Proposal 2 in Michigan. On the ballot this November 6th, Proposal 2 ensures that future generations benefit from basic rights that give workers a say when it comes to protecting their health, as well as negotiating and enforcing agreements between themselves and their employers.

“Collective bargaining means safer workers, safer communities and better jobs for all of us. Workers who can collectively bargain not only protect themselves, they also safeguard our neighborhoods, our communities and our environment, and raise up the wages and benefits for all of us,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club.

“It’s important that we pull together to build on that progress and give working families the opportunity to provide better lives for their children, and Prop 2 does just that,” Brune added. 
Proposal 2 protects collective bargaining rights and prevents attempts to weaken these protections in the future.

“Everyone who values clean environments and safe, secure and prosperous communities should support this critical ballot initiative,” said Anne Woiwode, State Director for the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. “The rights secured by Proposal 2 are essential for strengthening and protecting the hardworking, middle-class families who are the backbone of Michigan communities.”
Event participants spoke specifically to the protections that make the middle class strong by ensuring workers have a voice in their workplace and in the nation’s policies, advocating more equitable wages, humane work conditions, and improved benefits.

“Some Michigan lawmakers are doing everything they can to abolish workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain,” said Mark Schauer, National Co-Chair of the BlueGreen Alliance’s Jobs21! initiative. “But, giving Michigan’s working families a voice to negotiate for fair wages, benefits and working conditions that are good for them and safe for our communities and our environment is as important today as it ever has been.”

“We can and we must protect the rights of working people in Michigan,” said Kevin Riley, a meat cutter at Meijer in Grand Rapids. “Putting these rights in our constitution is something the politicians and corporations cannot take away, and it will benefit future generations of Michiganders, both economically and environmentally. We must stand together to protect the right to negotiate for good jobs with cleaner, safer and healthier workplaces.” 

“We cannot afford to go back to a time when corporations could make up the rules as they go along, regarding working conditions, workplace safety, environmental protection and worker pay,” said Ben Scheid, an AT&T worker. “Michigan’s workers and families can’t afford it, that’s why I support Proposal 2.”

The supporters said that without collective bargaining rights our environment is endangered and workers face more risks on the job.
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Paid for by the BlueGreen Alliance for Michigan Jobs and Energy.
The BlueGreen Alliance is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy. Launched in 2006, the strategic partnership now brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites more than 15 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a green economy. Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.