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Detroit proposes ordinance designed to help workers in city

Workers in Detroit rally for better pay. (file photo)

Detroit could be on its way to setting up industry standards boards for workers in the city.

The nine-member boards would be split between workers, employers, and political appointees. They would be able to issue recommendations setting industry standards for wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Charles Sloan is a certified nursing assistant in Detroit, and union representative for the Service Employees International Union.

He says this could be an opportunity for real change if people come to the table with good intentions.

“Because for so long, there’s been a cry or a need for people to be heard, for things to change, so that working standards actually measure up to what we need it to be,” Sloan said.

The idea is currently a proposed ordinance before the Detroit City Council.

If approved, the ordinance would allow the Detroit City Council to set up an industry standards board if 50 workers from a particular industry petition for it. Sloan says the boards would put workers on equal footing to set industry standards.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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