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House Democrats introduce workers' rights bills amidst UAW strike

UAW workers went on strike in Flint Monday.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A group of Democrats in the Michigan House of Representatives announced a package of legislation aimed at protecting Michigan’s workers Monday.

The bills include a bill of rights for temporary workers, a fair scheduling act for workers in industries like retail and hospitality, and a credit for families caring for children or elder parents.

Democratic Representative Christine Greig is the Democratic leader of the House. She says it’s time for the state to be active in protecting workers.

“It’s absolutely time in this state and in this country that workers continue to organize and to stand up for their rights," she said. "But, they need a legislature that has their back. And we need to have these protections in law for our workers.”

The package of bills is being introduced during the United Auto Workers strike against General Motors.

Brian Elder is a Democratic representative and co-founder of the House Labor caucus. He says Michigan’s heritage as a strong labor state has been called into question in the last couple of years and it’s time for that to stop.

“Whether you’re on or off the clock. Whether or not you belong to a union, the people elected to serve you should have your back,” Elder said.

Kara Hope is a Democrat who represents Holt and South Lansing. She says it was a timely coincidence that the temporary workers bill of rights was included while UAW workers are striking against GM.

“Considering that one of the main sticking points with our union brothers and sisters down the street here is that temporary workers are not offered permanent positions when they become available.”

The package of bills is being introduced after the state has rolled back historic worker protections over the years like prevailing wage, and introduced measures like Right to Work.

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