Gretchen Whitmer to Mark Labor Day by Meeting Detroit-Area Service Workers Calling for $15, Union Rights for All

Democratic Gov. Candidate to Address Service Workers Fighting for Unions on the Job Following Eight Years of Attacks by Michigan GOP

DETROIT – Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gretchen Whitmer will mark Labor Day Monday by meeting with caregivers who are among the 45,000 home care workers and 35,000 child care workers stripped of their union rights by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2012.

In addition to meeting with Detroit-area caregivers, Whitmer will speak with local residents who work in fast-food, healthcare, airports and other service industries who are calling on the next governor to do whatever it takes to grow unions in Michigan and make it easier for workers to come together on the job.

Who: Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gretchen Whitmer, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, Detroit-area service workers in home care, child care, janitorial, fast food, airports and other industries

WhereLafayette Park, 1500 E Lafayette between Rivard and Orleans

When: 12:30p ET

Background

Stronger unions and higher wages are emerging as top issues for Michigan voters ahead of the election this November.

After vowing to strike, roughly 1,700 janitors who clean buildings in some of the most prominent downtown Detroit buildings won a path to a $15 an hour wage floor in July through their new union contract. Many Detroit janitors were previously paid just $9.45 an hour.

In June, hundreds of workers in the Fight for $15 from the Detroit metro area organized a town hallwith Michigan’s entire Democratic delegation to the U.S. House urging lawmakers to make it easier for working people to join together in unions in order to raise wages and create thriving communities.

The town hall followed a forum in April where hundreds of fast-food workers, janitors, healthcare workers and state and county employees pressed all four leading Democratic Michigan gubernatorial candidates on how they would grow unions in the state and raise wages if elected in November. The April candidate forum marked the culmination of a four-week blitz where Gretchen Whitmer, Shri Thanedar and Abdul El-Sayed spent a day shadowing union and nonunion workers in service jobs across the state.

In January, as Snyder delivered his annual State of the State address, hundreds of janitors, hospital workers and fast-food cooks protested outside his office in Detroit delivering a “Workers’ State of the State” decrying the governor’s record of blocking minimum wage increases and gutting union rights. In February, a mass of workers drowned out Snyder’s annual budget speech at the state capitol as they outlined how the governor’s policies and the economic revitalization he is touting have failed working people throughout the state.

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