Lawmakers Join Labor and Environmental Activists Fighting for the Community
DEARBORN — State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) and state Sens. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) and Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) joined with local leaders from labor and environmental justice groups to discuss the operation of AK Steel’s production facility in Dearborn during a press conference yesterday.
“Michigan tax dollars should not be used to employ out-of-state, non-union workers,” said Hammoud. “We are calling on AK Steel and other businesses operating in our community to take both the physical and economic health of everyday Michigan residents seriously. I’m proud to stand with my colleagues to support our brothers and sisters in labor and our allies in the fight for environmental and economic justice.”
The event discussed AK Steel’s use of non-union, out-of-state workers for building improvements, as well as the location’s numerous air quality concerns impacting public health.
“Despite their claim of being a ‘community partner,’ AK Steel doesn’t want to improve their facility with the work of members from this community who live, pray and spend their hard-earned money here,” said IBEW Local 58 member Russ Rader. “Instead, AK Steel receives tax credits from our state only to pursue workers from other states like Ohio and Tennessee. We must ensure that businesses receiving Michigan tax credits are using Michigan’s highly qualified union workforce to complete their projects.”
The press conference was held in advance of a community conversation event hosted by AK Steel later that evening. Representatives from the local chapters of the UAW, IBEW, Boilermakers, SEIU, Pipefitters, LiUNA, Sierra Club and Michigan League of Conservation Voters joined the Legislative Democrats in addressing the audience. After these events, AK Steel committed to meet with local leaders within the next 30 days to discuss Union jobs for upcoming projects.