Southeast Michigan’s labor unions say YES for regional transit

For Immediate Release: Friday, Oct. 7, 2016

Contacts: Shaun Wilson, Truscott Rossman

313-530-7860 (c), 313-393-1300 (o)

UAW, Michigan Nurses and many others join regional transit campaign

Detroit – The UAW and more than a dozen other labor organizations representing more than a quarter million members across the automobile, construction trades, education, health care, and public safety sectors have endorsed the Vote YES for regional transit ballot initiative this November.

“We’re honored to receive the endorsement of the UAW and so many of the region’s labor organizations and the hardworking men and women they represent,” said Shaun Wilson, spokesperson for Citizens for Connecting our Communities, the official ballot committee committed to making regional transit a reality. “Labor unions understand the connection between transportation and good-paying jobs. Reliable regional transit is a must to effectively connect our communities across Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties – and get our workers to available jobs and opportunities. A YES vote for regional transit is a YES to support workers and their families who live and work in the region.”

The Regional Master Transit Plan will help connect people to nearly 2 million existing jobs, as well as create almost 68,000 new jobs and support short and long-term construction, maintenance and operation jobs in all four counties.

For the Michigan Nurses Association, and its more than 11,000 members, support for regional transit is critical to helping ensure access to health care. “Not only do our dedicated nurses and fellow health care workers benefit from reliable public transit, it’s essential for the patients we care for, especially vulnerable children, seniors and people with disabilities, to be able to get to their medical appointments, treatments and services,” said John Armelagos, president of the Michigan Nurses Association. “Their health and wellbeing are riding on it.”

These labor organizations from across the four-county region have also joined the call for a YES vote for regional transit in Southeast Michigan:

  • American Association of University Professors (AAUP-Wayne State)
  • American Federation of Government Employees – Local 3907
  • American Federation of Teachers-Michigan
  • American Postal Workers Union – 480-481 Area Local
  • Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association
  • Huron Valley Area Labor Federation
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324
  • Michigan Laborers District Council
    • Local 499
    • Local 1076
    • Local 1191
  • Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millrights
  • SEIU Local 1
  • Teamsters Joint Council 43
  • UniteHere! Local 24

“Labor organizations and leaders of all industries and sectors rallying together demonstrates just how critical reliable regional transit is to getting people to work, helping working families and increasing independence for our seniors and people with disabilities, which all lend to building stronger, livable communities, and boosting our economy,” Wilson said.

“When 92 percent of jobs in Southeast Michigan aren’t reachable within 60 minutes of existing transit, workers and families – and ultimately communities, businesses and the economy – needlessly suffer, he added. “We can and must do better.”

If approved by voters this fall, the Regional Master Transit Plan will connect more than 2,600 miles, four million residents and nearly two million existing jobs across Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, ensuring frequent, seamless service on major regional corridors and key connectors instead of today’s fragmented and limited options. It will also increase paratransit services by at least 33 percent to help provide greater independence for seniors and people with disabilities. The 20-year plan will see most new service completed within the first five years.

To view the growing list of coalition members and learn more, please visit: