Features, Law and Politics, National

Michigan County Clerk Faces Contempt Charges for Union-Busting

December 2, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich.—A county clerk in the Detroit suburbs is facing contempt-of-court charges after she put an AFSCME Local 411 shop steward on indefinite “administrative leave” for threatening to file a grievance. The union contends that Macomb County clerk and register of deeds Karen Spranger was violating an order by county Circuit Judge Richard Caretti not to harass union workers. County labor-relations director Karen Bathanti told a hearing Nov. 29 that Spranger had denied the steward, clerk-typist Kristanne Feliciano, a promotion that she was qualified to receive under Local 411’s contract. Bathanti added that AFSCME and the United Auto Workers have filed about 40 grievances since the clerk took office in January. Spranger, a political gadfly elected last November on Donald Trump’s coattails, complained that she had to manage 80 union workers, and wished that she had “the right to terminate.” She is also facing a lawsuit from Macomb County charging that she was not eligible to run for public office because the residence she claimed was an abandoned house. On Nov. 27, another judge ordered Spranger to let four county employees she’d fired return to work until their cases are decided.

Read more: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/macomb/2017/11/29/karen-spranger-contempt-of-court-hearing/906872001/

December 2, 2017

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