S.O.U.L of MI & MPC Organize

Soul of MU & MPC - Logo

A famous immigrant labor activist once said, “there is power in a union.” These words ring more true than ever before. The world has entered a new Gilded Age fueled by late-stage capitalist policies that have come at the cost of our planet, health, and future. However, we can still amend these injustices. It is time for workers across the nation and abroad to join the labor movement by unionizing to win the justice we deserve and require to survive. 

That is why we, the workers of Michigan United and Michigan People’s Campaign, have chosen to unionize. We are the Statewide Organized United Labor of Michigan United and Michigan People’s Campaign (SOUL of MU & MPC). This workers’ syndicate rests within The Newspaper Guild of Detroit, TNG-CWA 34022.

Collectively, we have spent nearly a decade working to build a movement that puts people and the planet before profits. Now, we plan to bring these same advocacy efforts back home to win the justice and dignity that we, the workers, deserve. Then, just as we do not believe in savior political candidates, we do not believe in savior organizational leadership. We believe in the power of a union. That is why we demand long-term workplace policies that establish transparency at all levels of the organization including wage and benefits; policies that address the roots of workplace grievances; and a say in the decision-making process of both organizations that reflects the needs and voices of every worker.

We seek these legally binding negotiations through our collective bargaining on behalf of all employees. We look forward to the fruits of these negotiations and our newly established workplace solidarity so we can better continue our fight for an even more progressive society.

Ferndale Library Workers File Petition with MERC

Update: The Board of the Ferndale Area District Library voted to decline granting voluntary recognition. The Guild has filed a petition for election with MERC. 

FERNDALE LIBRARY WORKERS (1)

We, the workers of the Ferndale Area District Library (FADL) are joining metro Detroit’s proud tradition of labor organizing and unionization by uniting to join the Newspaper Guild of Detroit, TNG-CWA 34022. As library workers, we understand how crucial libraries are to a democratic society, and it is time for our workplace to reflect the participatory citizenship that our institution supports. Establishing a union will give us a place at the decision-making table, regularize our work duties and conditions through a formal contract, and allow us to advocate for the changes that will make our library a fairer workplace and an even stronger resource for Ferndale and its surrounding communities.

FADL is in many ways already an excellent work environment, and protecting what we already have is one of our main motivations for unionizing. In today’s uncertain political climate, we want the security of knowing we can rely on a contract and that we will have a role in its negotiation. No library director or board member, however fair-minded, stays in their role forever, and the volatile state of library governance nationwide poses a real concern. Our unionization is not only for ourselves, but for the future workers of FADL. We want to ensure that they continue to enjoy the benefits and protections that we do have, not through the potentially retractable beneficence of individuals, but through collective bargaining power.

We are also organizing to solve issues that are impeding our ability to serve our patrons and are eroding workplace morale. This includes fair pay, disparities in the PTO system, inconsistent enforcement of current workers’ rights such as regular breaks, and lack of commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and the actions required to uphold those principles. These concerns are not trivial, and if they are not addressed the library may find that it loses talented workers. The workers who do stay may grow increasingly alienated from their work, which will undermine the vision of the library to be “a leader in building and sustaining Ferndale as a creative city that attracts and nurtures talent, mobilizes ideas, stimulates innovation, and encourages diversity.”

As workers of the Ferndale Area District Library, we feel passionately about our work. It is precisely this passion that has led us to form our union: to secure what is wonderful about our jobs now, and to advocate for the rights and conditions that will make our jobs, and the jobs of the people who come after us, the very best that they can be. When we are secure and respected in our work, we become a stronger institution that is more responsive to the needs of our community. It is as both workers and as members of the democratic society the library upholds that we organize. 

Rising Voices Workers Receive Voluntary Recognition

Update: The workers of Rising Voices received voluntary recognition and we are excited to begin the process of collective bargaining. 

Rising Voices Union

We, the workers of Rising Voices, a Project of the Center for Empowered Politics, are joining the long-established tradition of the working class communities we organize alongside by uniting to form a union with The Newspaper Guild of Detroit, TNG-CWA 34022. 

As Asian American community organizers and movement builders, we advocate for working-class, multiracial communities across Michigan—and it is time we advocate for ourselves as workers. 

Establishing a union will allow us to have a seat at the decision-making table, formalizing the work conditions that brought and keep us working here through a fair contract, while also advocating for the changes necessary to help our organization achieve the social change that we fight for every day. Some of our values include: radical, collective liberation, and collaborative culture. By establishing the Rising Workers Union, we are striving to live and work by those values. 

We are optimistic for our leadership to act alongside Rising Voices’ stated liberatory values by voluntarily recognizing our unit.

 
      You may not recognize the faces of the journalists at the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News. Look close and you’ll see they are a lot like you. And every day, they work hard to find the truth and report it. They do it so you — their families, friends and neighbors — can make informed decisions about your health, your safety, your money and your government. It’s a responsibility they take seriously.
 
     The Detroit Newspaper Guild, the union representing those journalists, is working to negotiate a new labor contract with the companies that own the Free Press and The News. It seeks to get the newspapers’ workers the same things you want from your employer: fair pay and affordable health care. To that end, the Guild asks you to support those journalists and defend our democratic way of life.
 
Special Thanks to Brian Kaufman for his wonderful work.