A Dark Corporate Web

From the AFL-CIO

Corporate CEOs and the wealthy elite hope a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, will bleed America’s labor unions of precious resources that help fight for working people.

A bad decision that limits or eliminates fair share fees will further stack the deck in favor of the wealthy few, but America’s working people aren’t waiting on any politician or judge to decide our fate. We’re building a movement to write new economic rules to create broadly shared prosperity.

The Supreme Court will soon issue a decision in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, which is part of a multipronged attack on the freedoms of working people by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, a front group funded by corporate billionaires.

On paper, the case was brought by Mark Janus, an Illinois state employee, against his union, which empowers him and his co-workers to negotiate for higher wages and better benefits and is legally required to represent him if he is mistreated by his employer.

But in reality, Janus has been driven entirely by a dark web of corporations and wealthy donors who want to destroy unions and silence working people.

IIn anticipation of a ruling from the Supreme Court that undermines working people, the billionaire Koch brothers and the owners of Walmart have dumped at least $80 million into an outreach plan to persuade teachers and other public union members to stop paying fair share fees. t’s a cynical, targeted and sophisticated campaign.

America’s working people are on the rise, and the Supreme Court can’t stop us. We will continue to build power to win a new set of economic rules so all of us can get ahead.

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Posted In: From AFL-CIO, Union Matters

Union Matters

Uber Drivers Deserve Legal Rights and Protections

By Kathleen Mackey
USW Intern

In an advisory memo released May 14, the U.S. labor board general counsel’s office stated that Uber drivers are not employees for the purposes of federal labor laws.

Their stance holds that workers for companies like Uber are not included in federal protections for workplace organizing activities, which means the labor board is effectively denying Uber drivers the benefits of forming or joining unions.

Simply stating that Uber drivers are just gig workers does not suddenly undo the unjust working conditions that all workers potentially face, such as wage theft, dangerous working conditions and  job insecurity. These challenges are ever-present, only now Uber drivers are facing them without the protection or resources they deserve. 

The labor board’s May statement even seems to contradict an Obama-era National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling that couriers for Postmates, a job very similar to Uber drivers’, are legal employees.

However, the Department of Labor has now stated that such gig workers are simply independent contractors, meaning that they are not entitled to minimum wages or overtime pay.

While being unable to unionize limits these workers’ ability to fight for improved pay and working conditions, independent contractors can still make strides forward by organizing, explained executive director of New York Taxi Workers Alliance Bhairavi Desai.

“We can’t depend solely on the law or the courts to stop worker exploitation. We can only rely on the steadfast militancy of workers who are rising up everywhere,” Desai said in a statement. 

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Make Father's Day Union Made!