The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

State of Michigan Workers Informational Picket

Oct 2, 2023

State caseworkers who help low-income working families and the disabled apply for Medicaid health insurance and other important services have had enough management threats. They are on the informational picket line in Michigan, telling their story.

On Wednesday, September 27, a spirited lunchtime “informational picket” was joined by roughly 70 people. At the Connor Health and Human Services Office in Detroit, workers are demanding more help and expressing outrage that essentially the whole office is facing discipline.

"There’s no way I can answer the phones, conduct an interview, process an [application] and address the people the way they really need to be addressed," said a longtime caseworker.

In Michigan, nearly 30% of the state’s population—three million people—came to be enrolled in Medicaid health insurance during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).

Now that the pandemic is declared over, federal officials came up with a ridiculous plan: require millions of people to re-apply for their health coverage during a tiny window of time.

Talk about dumb ideas! As any ordinary worker could have predicted, state workers cannot keep up with the paperwork, phone calls, and in-person visits that keep pouring in.

Picketing UAW members informed the public that instead of hiring more people, management expects the remaining workers to spend only six minutes on the phone with each client, attempting to push quantity over quality.

A top management structure that believes six minutes is enough time to help people in crisis must set a stopwatch and tap their foot when helping their own family members!