Thursday, March 15, 2007

Metrocom to Produce Next Michigan at Risk Focusing on History and Current State of Organized Labor

ANN ARBOR, MI— Metrocom International owner and producer Christopher Cook will produce the upcoming Michigan at Risk, the EMMY award-winning public television series that focuses on social and political issues affecting the Great Lakes state.

The series is produced by for Michigan PBS-affiliates by WKAR-TV in East Lansing.  Currently in production, episode #1802 in the series examines the history of organized labor, including the rise of labor unions in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, to the decline of unions' political clout over the past two decades. 

The program, working-titled "Whatever Happened To Organized Labor?" is especially pertinent in a time when Michigan's labor market recently marked its sixth straight annual decline in 2006.  And although Michigan is hailed as the birthplace of the organized automobile labor movement, the United Auto Workers (UAW) also has seen a steady decline in membership over the past 40 years, with current membership at an all-time low. 

To some, what is happening to organized labor is further aggravating Michigan's economic recession.  The unionized workforce, particularly in Michigan's auto industry, remains highly paid and potentially unattractive to companies considering staying here or relocating to Michigan. 
But, are union wages and benefits the main cause of companies relocating to non-unionized states and abroad? Do unions discourage other companies from developing in Michigan? 

To answer these and other questions, Michigan at Risk's examines the history of labor, and look at unions that are still succeeding where others are stumbling. Ultimately, the program asks: What is the future of labor?

The program will air on local PBS-affiliates on Labor Day weekend.

CONTACT:  Christopher Cook, President, Metrocom International, 734.327.1910

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