While Trump Trade Fights Gain Steam, Manufacturing Still Gaining Jobs

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

President Trump’s trade fight with China continues on multiple fronts. This dispute the president is prosecuting against Beijing is a big deal that is regularly overtaken by other events in the news cycle, and it isn’t helped that the president himself is, ummm, an imperfect messenger to make sense of it all. Lord knows what he’s tweeting about today.

In spite of whatever faults one may find in the presidential rhetoric, though, manufacturing jobs have been on the uptick under this administration.  And stories of metals consuming businesses, in spite of tariffs on steel and aluminum, still pop up. Like this one out of Hillsborough County, Florida:

Posted In: Allied Approaches

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!