An Agenda for Working People

From the AFL-CIO

Working people are fighting every day for the freedom to have a voice on the job, share in the wealth we help create and live better lives. We are united around an agenda to secure our economic future, including:

  • A good job for everyone in America who wants to work, which means—the freedom to negotiate together with your employer, a $15 minimum wage and economic policies that support full employment.
  • Health care as a right—starting with ending the attacks on working people’s health plans and expanding Medicare to cover everyone 55 and older.
  • Retirement security for all—beginning with expanding Social Security.
  • Investing in a future of good jobs with a multitrillion infrastructure program with labor standards and Buy America.
  • A fair tax system—starting with ending all tax breaks for offshoring jobs.
  • Trade that works for working people—starting with ending special corporate courts and making labor rights enforceable.

An end to terrorizing immigrant workers—restoring Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals protections and comprehensive reform with a path to citizenship.

***

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. 

More ...

Make Father's Day Union Made!

Make Father's Day Union Made!