We Can Win Better Trade

From the AFL-CIO

Key labor issues are getting worse, not better, because Mexico is moving backward on its labor laws, while the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement continues. And so American negotiators should not jump to sign an agreement on principles anytime soon, as some in the administration of President Donald Trump have indicated.

It’s time to hold Mexico’s feet to the fire to win meaningful labor reforms, so the new trade agreement can lift up working families and our communities throughout North America.

For 25 years, the North American Free Trade Agreement has tilted the economic playing field sharply in favor of powerful corporations by lowering pay, degrading our environment and killing jobs.

The murders of three striking miners in Mexico at the Media Luna mine, which is owned by a Canadian mining company called Torex Gold Resources Inc., put the labor issue into stark human terms: Workers and family members mourned and protested, while the police did nothing.

Before the company formerly known as Delphi Automotive, now renamed as Aptiv, moved from Warren, Ohio, it paid workers $30 an hour. After it moved to Juarez, Mexico, where workers are glad for the jobs yet have no hopes of better pay or a brighter future, the pay declined to $1 an hour.  

International trade agreements can be written to protect good jobs and the environment and to lift up our lives and communities, but that’s not where this process is headed if negotiators prepare now to sign an agreement in principle.

America’s working families are united in pursuit of better trade deals. Negotiators shouldn’t rush forward just to get a deal. We’ve waited too long. It’s time to get NAFTA right. We can win better trade.

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Posted In: From AFL-CIO, Union Matters

Union Matters

Home Health Care Workers Under Attack

By Bethany Swanson
USW Intern

Home health care workers have important but difficult jobs that require them to work long hours and chaotic schedules to care for the country’s rapidly growing elder population.

Instead of protecting these workers, the vast majority of whom are women and people of color, the current administration plans to make it harder for them to belong to unions, stifling their best chance for improving working conditions and wages.

The anti-union measure would roll back an Obama-era rule that allows home care workers, whose services are paid for through Medicaid, to choose to have their union dues deducted directly from their paychecks.

The goal of the rule, like the recent Janus decision and other anti-union campaigns, is to starve unions out of existence, so they can no longer protect their members.

Home health care workers bathe, dress, feed and monitor the health of the sick and elderly, but they often cannot afford to provide for their own families.

On average, they make little more than $10 an hour and more than half rely on some sort of public assistance. Most receive few or no benefits, even though home care workers and other direct care workers have some of the highest injury rates of any occupation.

That’s why many home care workers have turned to labor unions.

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The Dirty Truth about Janus

The Dirty Truth about Janus