Detroit Unions Protest Privatization

DETROIT-On June 12, Detroit Public School employees and their supporters gathered outside of the Schools Center Building on Woodward Avenue to protest the loss of jobs through privatization.

Styling their demonstration along the lines of a New Orleans funeral service, complete with musical accompaniment by the Marcus Belgrave Band, protesters read letters of support from U.S. Rep. David Bonior and state Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township. Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm gave in-person support.

Outsourcing has been an issue in Detroit schools since David Adamany, the previous interim schools chief, announced he would be seeking bids for non-instructional services in order to focus more of the city's education budget on the classroom.

Workers, however, protested for fear of losing their jobs. Although private companies taking over such duties commonly hire many of the workers employed by the public entity, union representative Diann Woodard claimed 3,000 jobs could be lost due to privatization.