Organized Labor Partnership

The mission of the West Michigan United Labor Committee is to increase the capacity of organized labor to impact the community through recruitment and training, deploying a prepared group of union volunteers where needed. The committee is a gatekeeper for union activists to assess and forecast community needs.

AFL-CIO and United Way Partnership
Since 1946, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and United Way Worldwide (formerly United Way of America) have enjoyed a cooperative relationship through which they and state and local United Ways provide services to members of organized labor, their families and their communities. Organized labor is also part of the decision-making process at United Way Worldwide, with AFL-CIO representatives serving on the Board of Trustees.

To learn more about the partnership in West Michigan, please visit the new West Michigan United Labor Website at

Community Services
AFL-CIO unions and our members are committed partners in our communities, which leads many to volunteering in a range of community services—from charitable giving to running programs that help families in economic or personal crises. The AFL-CIO has an extensive Community Services Network with more than 160 full-time liaisons who link their state and local labor councils with the United Way and Red Cross chapters in communities across the country. The liaisons coordinate services for those suffering from natural disasters, financial hardship, illness, joblessness, mortgage foreclosure and other difficulties.

Join Working America Union Community Activist Network (UCAN) to start your role in community services by contacting Jana Routt at (231) 638-2741, and get your chance to win one of multiple $1000.00 scholarships to attend Black Lake Schooling.

Labor Leads
United Way recognized organized labor by employing union staff to ensure our members have access to local community services. United Way also asks labor unions to provide members for the decision making process on how the dollars raised will be distributed.

The Labor Leads directory is a good way for union members and union leaders to be recognized for their contribution to their communities and their commitment to improving the quality of life in each and every community in Michigan.

Michigan AFL-CIO
A hallmark of unionism is solidarity. When we are united, we are strong. These are the binding words of the Michigan State AFL-CIO. The Michigan State AFL-CIO was formed in 1958 with the merger of two organizations: the state American Federation of Labor and the Michigan Congress of Industrial Organizations. Click here to learn more.


Chair - Walter Christophersen, IBEW Local 275
Co-Chair - Tim Smith, MEA

Chair - Paul Watson, UAW Local 1243
Co-Chair - Brian Beeman, UAW Local 1279

Chair - Ryan Bennett, UA Plumbers and Fitters Local 174
Co-Chair -
Walter Christopherson, IBEW Local 275
Brenda Robinson, SEIU
Brandon Popps, Operating Engineers Local 324
Susan Lloyd, Teamsters Local 214
Bruce Beckman, MEA
Tim Smith, MEA
Steve Keglovitz, Retiree Rep, PACE 1015
Jason Finch, Plumbers, Pipe Fitters and Service Trades Local 174