Statement from UAW President Gary Jones Opening Bargaining for Local 6000 State of Michigan Employees


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It is truly an honor to be here today. I am so pleased to be part of the official handshake to open up bargaining, but more importantly, I am here to support the UAW Local 6000 bargaining team and President Ed Mitchell.

I know state workers’ jobs are on the line — every day. Threats of outsourcing and misguided for-profit privatization policies have drained resources, not only in Michigan, but all over the country on the direct services that UAW members provide to Michigan ’s most vulnerable citizens.

Everyone around this table has the tremendous responsibility of bargaining for nearly 14,000 UAW members who work for the State of Michigan.

We are so acutely aware of how important the right to bargain is for the UAW ’s non-partisan workforce. It takes politics out of how we serve our citizens. Whether it is in how we help the most underserved in our state through foster care and basic human services, or making sure our citizens have potable water, clean air and the things that make Michigan such a great and efficient state – these are the reasons we established a non-political system so many decades ago.

Local 6000 members wake up each and every day to do the work that makes the State of Michigan run and our actions affect every single household in our state. We work tirelessly day in and day out, often even with our own time and resources, because we care about those Michiganders we serve.

I want to address Ed Mitchell and the Local 6000 bargaining team and tell you that I realize that even though we are sitting at the table with representatives of the State of Michigan and we are going to bargain the best contract we can to help all Local 6000 members, we do know that the Civil Service Commission has the final word. But we at the UAW have faith in the power of Collective Bargaining and how it will achieve a truly fair contract.

Let me say to the State that we believe this collective bargaining process is in the best interest of all Michiganders, our state’s resources and our UAW members.

We believe that through the power of a collectively bargained contract the Civil Service Commission will no doubt recognize that this bargaining process has achieved the most fair, equitable and non-partisan contract in the best interests of residents of the State of Michigan.

So, as we shake hands today, let us do it with the understanding of how hardworking and caring our UAW  women and men are in carrying out their duties in this state.  Our state depends on us every day to provide critical services and give all Michiganders a brighter future.

Let’s commit ourselves through this handshake to negotiate in good faith; in a fair and equitable manner; and in the best interests of all citizens of Michigan. Let us shake hands and bargain in the best interest of the non-partisan workforce. And let us shake hands and bargain in an equitable, fair and transparent manner.

Thank you.


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