Overdue for Overtime

From the AFL-CIO

When President Donald Trump abandoned the Department of Labor’s new overtime protections, he cost working people over $1 billion in annual wages. Now we’re standing up for a fair return on our work and fighting for the Restoring Overtime Pay Act, which would extend overtime pay protection to millions of working people.

Overtime protections have eroded for over four decades, steadily covering fewer and fewer workers. This means that millions of working people are putting in more than 40 hours per week without being fairly compensated.

When Trump abandoned new overtime protections last year, he blocked a major attempt to right this wrong. Wages lost per day to Trump’s overtime rollback amount to $3,287,671.

Now we’re fighting back.

Our allies on Capitol Hill have introduced the Restoring Overtime Pay Act, dramatically raising the overtime salary threshold—the annual salary level under which salaried workers are automatically eligible for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours per week.

The bill would more than double the threshold from $23,660 to $47,476, extending critical overtime protection to more than 4 million working people.

As corporations and CEOs continue to enjoy a $1.5 trillion tax giveaway, working families are demanding that we receive the wages we’ve rightfully earned.

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Posted In: Union Matters, From AFL-CIO

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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A Friendly Reminder

A Friendly Reminder