UAW Set to Open Contract Talks with State

LANSING—UAW President Bob King and UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada will join State of Michigan officials at a news conference July 31 for the official handshake signifying the start of 2013 labor negotiations.

State of Michigan workers represented by UAW Local 6000 are employed in various sectors of state service in the human services and administrative support bargaining units.

The UAW represents 17,000 State of Michigan employees and Local 6000 is the UAW's largest local union. The labor agreement with the State is the union's fourth largest agreement after the Detroit automakers' contracts.

The contract for 17,000 members of Local 6000 expires on Dec. 31.

"These contract talks are as critically important to our members and to Michigan's economy and taxpayers as our negotiations with Chrysler, Ford and GM," said King.

The UAW and Local 6000 have been preparing for bargaining to counter the anti-worker agenda of Michigan's majority Republicans, one that has seen a right wing determined to destroy public sector employee compensation and collective bargaining rights through so-called right to work legislation and other politically driven measures.

"Michigan's hardworking public service employees deserve respect and a contract that allows them to deliver the quality service taxpayers deserve. A contract that cripples critical state services hurts our economy and insults everyone. We need solutions that protect good middle-class jobs without robbing Michiganders of the vital services they pay for and deserve," said Estrada, who directs the union's Public Sector and Health Care Servicing Department, which will lead negotiations on behalf of Local 6000.

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