Here Come the Cuts

From the AFL-CIO

House Republican leaders released a new budget blueprint to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to pay for their massive tax giveaway to corporations and the richest CEOs, another step in a long plan to completely rig the system against regular working people.

It’s time to expand Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, so more people can live in dignity, which is why we’re building a broad independent movement of workers. We won’t stop until we win.

President Donald Trump claimed his tax cut would result in an average pay raise of $4,000 for every working family. In fact, hourly wages have dropped since the bill was signed into law.

The law slashed the corporate tax rate by more than 40% and handed multinational corporations a $400 billion discount on their offshore profits, costing us $2 trillion.

Now the House GOP wants to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to make up the difference, despite Trump’s promises never to do so.

Worse, right-wing politicians have begun talking about “round two” of tax cuts, which would again give even more money to the rich.

Working people believe we should end all tax incentives and loopholes that encourage outsourcing, require wealthy individuals to pay their fair share and use that money to invest in America.

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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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