The VA is Not for Profit

From the AFL-CIO

Members of the Union Veterans Council are calling on Congress to stop a scheme to privatize and dismantle major portions of the Department of Veterans Affairs, a long held goal of Wall Street investors seeking to profit on the backs of our veterans.

America’s labor unions demand that our lawmakers fully fund the VA and stop the plan to close VA clinics and hospitals and privatize services, because America must keep its promise to our brave service members.

Billionaire-backed groups want to privatize all federal services so Wall Street investors can reap massive profits from our tax dollars, and the newest effort to tear up the Department of Veterans Affairs is a key example.

America’s veterans count on the specialized care provided by the VA.

Independent studies from the Rand Corporation and others have shown that VA facilities consistently have provided better health outcomes for patients, when compared to private-sector health care institutions.

Veterans themselves overwhelmingly reject the privatization of the VA and prefer to receive care at VA hospitals and clinics.

2.3%: That’s how few private health care providers in New York meet the criteria for effectively serving veterans, which underscores the danger of privatizing the VA.

America’s labor unions have a clear message: It’s time for Congress to look at the facts, listen to veterans, stop the rush to privatize and enact a plan to fully fund the VA.


Posted In: 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!

Make Father's Day Union Made!