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Potentially Impacted Michigan Workers and Businesses Offered Support Amid Auto Industry Strike
September 15, 2023
The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity gathers agency resources to assist affected Michiganders and businesses as negotiations continue.
Lansing, MI – In recognition of the potential impacts of the UAW strike, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) is offering agency resources to assist strike-affected workers and businesses.
“Michigan workers and businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we understand the impacts that this auto strike can have on families and communities across the state. We are committed to providing vital economic support to those impacted by this strike to help overcome the challenges they stand to incur as negotiations continue,” said LEO Director Susan Corbin. “Our department is working hard to ensure that every possible resource is made available to support Michigan’s working families and businesses and we will continue to provide updates on these resources until an agreement is reached.”
RESOURCES FOR WORKERS
Workers who may be briefly unemployed due to the strike may be eligible to apply for temporary financial assistance through the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). Over the past year, UIA has put in place significant modernization reforms that positions the agency to be ready to help any workers affected by an auto industry-related work stoppage including:
- The Claimant Roadmap: An easy-to-follow, six-step guide to applying for and understanding unemployment benefits.
- First-time filer coaching sessions: Online, web-based guidance from UIA staff who walk users through the steps needed to complete an application and qualify for payments.
- UIA Community Connect: This program partners with local groups to provide guidance for workers from underserved groups who have faced barriers when filing for jobless benefits and for employers facing a decision about laying off workers.
- Assistance with resetting account passwords: Workers must create a MiLogin account before setting up a MiWAM account. Follow instructions to set up your account, reset your password, or request your User ID. If you are locked out of either MiLogin or MiWAM, call UIA Customer Service at 866-500-0017.
For additional assistance, workers can schedule appointments at Michigan.gov/UIA or call Customer Service at 866-500-0017.
In partnership with LEO’s Office of Employment and Training, Michigan Works! agencies are also available to assist workers who have been laid off or had their hours reduced due to the strike. Individuals may be eligible to receive services through one or more federally funded workforce development programs. Workers should contact their local Michigan Works! service center for information about programs and services that may be available to assist them with finding another job, upgrading their skills, or embarking on a new career path.
Services offered through Michigan Works! include:
Basic Career Services, which are available to all workers seeking services.
- Program information and basic assessment
- Individual job development and employment planning
- Advanced screened referrals
- Group activities
- Job search
Individualized Career Services, which are designed for workers who are unable to obtain employment through basic career services alone.
- Comprehensive specialized assessment
- Short-term pre-vocational skills
- Case management
- Literacy activities
- Out-of-area job search
- Relocation assistance
- Internship and work experience
Training Services, which are necessary to equip workers with the skills needed to obtain and retain employment.
- Occupational skills
- On-the-job training (OJT)
- Workplace training with related instruction
- Registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship
- Incumbent worker
- Skill upgrading and retraining
- Entrepreneurial training
- Adult education/literacy activities in combination with any other training service
To connect with your local Michigan Works! service center, call 800-285-WORKS (9675) or visit Michigan.gov/MichiganWorks.
Helpful sites for workers:
Pure Michigan Talent Connect jobs portal
Learn More, Earn More – Adult Education Services in Michigan
RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES
UIA also provides resources to support employers who may experience an interruption to their business as a result of the strike, including:
- Work Share: Provides an option to reduce employee hours while still keeping your skilled workforce intact. Employees can collect partial unemployment benefits to make up for some of the pay they would lose if their hours were reduced.
- Registration and Seeking Work Waiver: During a short-term layoff, this program waives the requirement that workers must register and search for work while receiving unemployment benefits. This assures employers that their trained and skilled workforce is available to return to work when the temporary layoff ends.
- Employer Filed Claims: Employers can submit to the UIA unemployment claims information on behalf of laid off full-time workers. This fast and secure method assures the accuracy of information provided to the UIA and reduces the potential for fraud.
Businesses with questions about these and other programs can call the Office of Employer Ombudsman at 855-484-2636.
Employers whose businesses have been negatively impacted by the strike to the extent that closures and/or mass layoffs are necessary should submit a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) to the State of Michigan.
The WARN Act requires employers to provide written notice for covered closures and workforce reductions. Submitting a WARN assures that assistance can be provided to impacted workers, their families, and the community through the Rapid Response team which includes representatives from LEO Workforce Development’s Rapid Response Section, UIA, and local Michigan Works! agencies.
Upon receipt of a WARN, the Rapid Response team coordinates with the employer to provide information to the workers and employer about services that are available through the workforce system.
There are four ways employers may submit a WARN to the State of Michigan.
- Submit electronically via the WARN PORTAL (https://app.wda.state.mi.us/WARN/)
- Submit via email at LEO-RapidResponseCommunications@Michigan.gov
- Submit via fax at 517-241-9862
- Submit via postal mail to:
Jimelle Howard, Manager
Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity
P.O. Box 30805
Lansing, Michigan 48909
Additionally, information regarding closures and/or layoffs that do not require WARN submission, may be submitted via the WARN Portal with an indication of sub-WARN status.
Employers who have questions or who need assistance should email LEO-RapidResponseCommunications@Michigan.gov. Be sure to include your name, contact information and a brief description of the issue you are experiencing.
In the event of an extended strike, the likelihood of downstream impacts to suppliers will also become more likely. Through existing forums, technical assistance providers, and business retention efforts, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will continue to monitor and provide timely information and resources that can be utilized to help businesses prepare for a strike. For these suppliers, it’s important they speak to their banks immediately, understand their cash flow position, and discuss possible options to weather the uncertainty, such as a period of forbearance, interest-only payments, increase to a line of credit or re-structuring debt.
Helpful sites for businesses:
Michigan WARN Portal
U.S. Department of Labor WARN Act Information
U.S. Department of Labor WARN Notice Employer’s Guide
Notices of Layoffs and Closures — Searchable database of WARNs in Michigan