Trump’s Empty Words

From the AFL-CIO

“Last night, President Trump painted an everything-being-great picture of America that while optimistic, is not the reality for most working families. That may be how his friends are living, but the working men and women we represent aren’t seeing the same America; and his policies are making it worse. The truth is many of the things he says are undermined by the actual policies he supports,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

While President Donald Trump rightly acknowledged problems in trade, America’s working people are still victim to corporate-designed deals, and last night he offered no solutions to make the North American Free Trade Agreement benefit working people.

While Trump recognizes the crisis of outsourcing jobs, his tax bill actually encourages corporations to do it. More than 93,000 jobs were outsourced under President Trump in 2017, a significant increase over previous years, despite his claims to oppose sending jobs overseas.

While Trump promises to put America back to work building infrastructure, he actually wants to spend more on a border wall than investing in all of America’s infrastructure for an entire year. And he is using hardworking Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status recipients as a bargaining chip to do it.

And slashing regulations, one of his biggest applause lines, really means working people are denied wages and workplaces are less safe.

But, here's the truth: No matter who's sitting in the White House or what they're saying on TV or what they're tweeting, working people are moving forward. We are united around an agenda to secure our economic future—fighting for the freedom to have a voice on the job, share in the wealth we help create and live better lives.

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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!