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Celebrate Working People This Earth Day

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 15:12:22 +0000

Celebrate Working People This Earth Day

Earth Day is an annual event that celebrates our planet’s natural beauty and calls for the protection of our natural treasures and mitigation of the damage human activity can inflict on our planet. Across the country, working people are a key part of those efforts. Here are some key examples of how working people are making our world a cleaner, safer place every day.

  • AFGE represents workers at the Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service and the Department of the Interior.
  • Transport Workers (TWU) represents members at various observatories and zoos.

  • At NASA, Machinists (IAM) members build and launch the satellites and rockets that explore Earth from above. The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) represents the scientists and engineers at NASA.

  • A large percentage of U.S. Forest Service workers are represented by IAM-NFFE.

  • AFSCME represents water quality workers, solid waste and sewage treatment plant processors who keep the Earth clean. Also represented by AFSCME are parks and recreation employees throughout the country, as well as city/county/state parks workers, including those who monitor fishing and game licenses, animal control, watershed rangers, vehicle emissions testers, public transportation and port workers.

  • Communications Workers of America (CWA) represents working people at state and municipal parks who maintain our natural treasures and make sure they are accessible to the public.

  • Transit and other workers who are part of the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) provide cheaper and more planet-friendly travel options to millions of Americans.

  • Members of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) are farm workers throughout the country who harvest our food and get it to our tables.

  • Among the working people represented by the Utility Workers (UWUA) are those who clean the water in St. Louis for Mid-American Water, city recycling workers, arborists who save trees and parks employees.

  • International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) members not only produce the energy-efficient air and heating systems that keep homes and business healthy and comfortable, they manufacture electric buses and team up with various groups to make buildings more environmentally friendly.

  • Electrical Workers (IBEW) are at the forefront of the clean energy revolution, particularly in the growth of wind and solar energy and managing the electrical grid to accommodate more clean energy production.

  • UAW members produce electric cars, lithium battery packs, fuel cells and autonomous vehicles. Members also work at places such as Sierra Club headquarters and Lansing, Michigan’s Forestry Division and Potter Park Zoo.

  • Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) union members install wind turbines and solar panels, and operate the best training programs for renewables installation.

  • Heat and Frost Insulators improve energy efficiency in thousands of buildings large and small.

  • Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA) members install high efficiency HVAC systems that reduce emissions, and assembled 400 volunteers to change water lines and faucets in Flint, Michigan.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to working people working at jobs that are friendly to our planet. Did we miss something? Email us at website@aflcio.org and we’ll add to this list!

Kenneth Quinnell Sat, 04/21/2018 - 11:12

From a Whisper to a Roar: The Working People Weekly List

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 17:08:36 +0000

From a Whisper to a Roar: The Working People Weekly List

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s this week’s Working People Weekly List.

 

Andrew Pallotta: A National Lesson in Unionism: “You can hear it building: A movement growing from a quiet whisper to a full roar. In West Virginia and Oklahoma—and in Kentucky and Arizona—teachers are finding their voices. They are standing with their unions to use that collective voice to improve their lives and their communities.”

Arizona Teachers Vote to Strike, Sparking First-Ever Statewide Walkout: “Teachers in Arizona held a strike vote on Thursday that launched a first-ever statewide walkout and turned down a proposed pay raise—instead demanding increased school funding. The Arizona Education Association and the grassroots group the Arizona Educators United announced that teachers will walk off the job April 26.”

Trump’s SEC Proposes Obama-Era Broker Conflict Rules Rewrite: “And on Twitter, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka panned the SEC’s action, calling it ‘insufficient to hold Wall Street accountable.’ ‘We won’t stop fighting,’ Trumka wrote.”

I’m an Undocumented Immigrant. I Pay My Taxes Every Year: “As a young boy, I remember accompanying my parents to visit their accountant and seeing them turn over large folders, neatly organized, with all of their tax forms and corresponding documents. My mother would tell me her priority was to show the government our family was contributing, so that when it came time to become legal permanent residents, and later U.S. citizens, there would be no questions about our contributions to the country.”

Senate Bill to Curtail Labor Rights on Tribal Land Falls Short: “The AFL-CIO said passage of the measure, the subject of several years of tribal lobbying, would have amounted to the most aggressive erosion of labor protections since 1940s. A package of bills containing the measure fell five votes short of the 60 needed to break a filibuster.”

Paid Summer Breaks and Other Common Myths About Teachers: “As teachers in several states across the United States protest for higher pay and more funding for public education, lawmakers and onlookers are debating whether teachers deserve more money. But many of the arguments against teachers’ demands are based on misconceptions about the teaching profession and how they’re compensated.”

Increase Wages, But Also Restore Rights: “As the United States, Mexico and Canada renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, there is a lot of room for improvement. No improvement is more needed, however, than a new labor system in Mexico that secures for all workers the freedom to form and join free and independent unions, so that working people can act democratically and responsibly together to improve their wages and working conditions.”

New Rule on Investment Advice Leaves Working People Vulnerable: “Workers depend on investments in the financial markets to finance our retirements and grow our other long-term savings. That means we need sound investment advice, provided by experts who are looking out for our best interests. While it seems obvious that the people whom we rely on to provide this advice should be required to act in our best interest and not line their own pockets, that is not always the case under current rules. Research shows that, as a result, many working people lose more than one-fourth of their potential retirement paychecks to corrupt financial advice.”

Ten Years Later: Worker Wins: “Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with a victory 10 years in the making and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life.”

JetBlue In-Flight Crew Members Overwhelmingly Vote to Join TWU: “In-flight crew members at JetBlue overwhelmingly voted to join the Transport Workers (TWU). With more than 86% of eligible employees participating in the vote, more than two-thirds voted in favor of joining TWU.”

12 Things We’ve Learned About the GOP Tax Bill: “President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans rushed to pass the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, leaving very little time for public scrutiny or debate. Here are a few things we have learned since the GOP tax bill passed.”

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 04/20/2018 - 13:08

Increase Wages, But Also Restore Rights

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 17:01:37 +0000

Increase Wages, But Also Restore Rights

As the United States, Mexico and Canada renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, there is a lot of room for improvement. No improvement is more needed, however, than a new labor system in Mexico that secures for all workers the freedom to form and join free and independent unions, so that working people can act democratically and responsibly together to improve their wages and working conditions.

If Mexico’s corrupt labor system does not change, the rest of the NAFTA renegotiation won’t be worth much. Mexico will continue to be a haven for worker exploitation and abuse, and a popular outsourcing destination for greedy CEOs who seek to increase their bottom lines while their employees live in dire conditions. In this, Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, president of Mexico’s Mineworkers Union, compellingly argues that North America’s working families have a shared interest in Mexico’s labor rights regime (translated from Spanish):

There has been a lot of talk about the possibility of using the NAFTA renegotiation as an impulse to increase wages in Mexico, since the increase in Mexican workers’ income would eliminate the pretext mentioned by Donald Trump to complicate the treaty, arguing that low wages favor Mexican companies to the detriment of those of the United States and Canada....

But the increases are not so valuable when they are granted without accompanying democratic rights with which workers can defend their gains. In recent years, the Mineworkers Union has achieved an average increase in salaries and benefits above 12%, that is, two or three times higher than those obtained by employer-dominated unions. This success is mainly due to the willingness and ability of our members to mobilize together with their communities, to democratically and responsibly exercise the right to strike to make the union grow with new investment projects, and to organize new members.

It would be a mistake to think that the increases by themselves could solve the deficit of democratic rights that persists in the Mexican labor world. As many experts have observed, Mexican wages in large industries are lower compared with those in other countries, not because of lack of productivity, but because of a diabolical pact between politicians, businessmen and employer-dominated unions to use the legal structure to systematically rob the workers, dividing the booty among themselves.

The most recent example of this alliance is the legislation to implement constitutional reforms in labor matters, which is to be debated in the Senate this week. As many lawyers, academics and trade union leaders have warned, the bill aims to consolidate control of the institutions of labor justice by corrupt unions, complicit officials and companies associated with them, closing off all spaces for workers to attempt to organize in democratic unions and thus negotiate collective agreements that guarantee good salaries, workplace health and safety, the profit sharing to which they are legally and fairly entitled, and the possibility of a dignified retirement....

The only effective strategy to revert the control of large companies and their corrupt union lackeys is to defeat this false bill and approve one that faithfully implements constitutional norms and international agreements signed by Mexico that protect the rights of workers.

This has been the main demand of the international trade unions of Canada, Europe and the United States in their letters addressed to the senators of Mexico. It is another cruel irony that they worry more about the rights of Mexican workers than our own government and, of course, the corrupt trade unionists.

Read the full text of the op-ed (in Spanish).

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 04/20/2018 - 13:01

Your Union-Made Snack Guide!

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 16:49:29 +0000

Your Union-Made Snack Guide!

Union-Made Snacks
AFL-CIO

You like snacks, right? Everybody does! Did you know that your snack choices can reflect your values and show support for working people? That's right, when you choose these snacks made by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), you not only have fun, you use the power of your wallet to make the world a better place. Here's a handy guide to let you know which snacks are union-made!

Chips and Pretzels: You have lots of options here (all made by BCTGM), including: Rold Gold pretzels made in Canton, Ohio (Local 19); UTZ pretzels made in Reading, Pennsylvania (Local 6); Frito-Lay products made in Topeka, Kansas (Local 218) and Vancouver, Washington (Local 364); Pirate's Booty and Keystone Foods products made in Easton, Pennsylvania (Local 6); Mikesell’s potato chips made in Dayton, Ohio (Local 57); Happy’s potato chips made in St. Paul, Minnesota (Local 22); and Bugles made in West Chicago, Illinois (Local 316G).

Ice Cream Toppings: If you love ice cream and want some special toppings, get those made by BCTGM at the Masterson Company of Milwaukee (Local 244).

Sweet Goods: Prefer your desserts baked? Try out Safeway's bakery goods made by BCTGM Local 114 (Portland, Oregon), Local 118 (Washington, D.C.), Local 68 (Baltimore) or Hostess Brands, including Ding Dongs, Twinkies, SnoBalls, made from either the Indianapolis (Local 1) or Columbus, Georgia (Local 42) bakeries. 

Bread and Rolls: The following products are made by various BCTGM locals: Bimbo, SB Thomas, Sara Lee, Nature’s Harvest, Earthgrains, Freihofer, Colonial, Metz, Arnold, Brownberry, Oroweat, Entenmann’s, Ball Park, Marinela, Maier’s, Beefsteak, D’Italiano, J.J. Nissen, Boboli, Mrs. Baird’s, Heiner’s, Tia Rosa tortillas and Stroehmann.

Candy: If you want candy, your options are mind-expandingly plentiful. Here are some of the companies where BCTGM members make the candy you need:

  • Annabelle Candy Company: Rocky Road, Abba-Zaba, Look, Big Hunk and U-No made by Local 125 in Oakland, California.
  • Boyer Candy: Mallo Cups, Peanut Butter Cups, Smoothie Cups, Triple Twist Pretzels and Dark Chocolate Mallo Cups made by Local 19 in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Brown & Haley: Almond Roca, Cashew Roca and Mocha Roca made by Local 9 in Seattle.
  • Concord Confections/Tootsie Roll Industries: All Tootise Roll brand products (made by BCTGM Local 1 in Chicago) and Double Bubble Bubble Gum (made by Local 264 in Toronto).
  • Frankford Candy & Chocolate: Gums, jellies, hard candy, molded filled, hollow and solid chocolate (made by Local 6 in Philadelphia).
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate: Pumpkin Spice Caramel Squares, Solid Milk, Milk & Caramel, Solid 60% Cacao Dark and Dark & Sea Salt Caramel and all varieties of chocolates (made by Local 125 in Oakland, California).
  • Hershey: Hershey Milk Chocolate Bars, Hershey Milk Chocolate with Almond Bars, Cookies 'N’ Creme Bars (snack, extra-large and giant sizes only), Hershey Kisses (Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate with Almonds, Special Dark, Cookies 'N’ Creme), Rolo and Hershey Nuggets (made by Local 464 in Hershey, Pennsylvania). 
  • Jelly Belly: Candy Corn, Jelly Belly Disney Villains bags, Harry Potter Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, Harry Potter Jelly Slugs, Jelly Belly BeanBoozled, Gummi Rats, Gummi Tarantulas and other jelly beans (made by Local 125 in Oakland, California).
  • Nestlé Chocolate: Laffy Taffy, Rope Taffy, Tangy Taffy, Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, BB's, Pearson's Nips, Nestlé, Peanut Butter Cups and Minis, Nestlé Crunch Bars, Skinny Cow Candy and Sno Caps (made by Local 342 in Bloomington, Illinois, and Local 1 in Chicago).
  • New England Confectionery Company (NECCO): Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses, Mary Jane Original, Clark Jr., Skybar Zombie Food, Bat Wings, Mummy Hearts, NECCO Jr. Wafers (made by Local 348 in Framingham, Massachusetts).
  • Pearson’s Candy Company: Tins, bagged and chocolate mints, including The Nut Goodie Bar, Salted Nut Roll and Pearson's Mint Patties (made by Local 22 in Twin Cities, Minnesota).
  • Sconza Candy Company: Chocolate Jordanetts, Boston Baked Beans, Yogurt Raisins, Lemoncello Almonds, Chocolate/Yogurt Fruit & Raisins and other products (made by Local 125 in San Leandro, California).
  • See's Candies: Chocolates, nuts and chews, truffles, lollipops, brittles and toffees (made by Local 125 in San Leandro).
Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 04/20/2018 - 12:49

Macy’s Workers Unite Across the Country

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 15:04:36 +0000

Macy’s Workers Unite Across the Country

Rally for Macy's Workers
DC Jobs With Justice

Macy’s workers and their supporters held three rallies on Thursday, one as far away as Seattle, as United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) locals 400 and 21 gear up to negotiate their next union contracts with the company.

Workers want “better pay, better hours, better schedules, better everything,” UFCW 400 member Bianca Morris said on Thursday’s “Your Rights at Work” show on WPFW.

“Negotiations are slow going, but we’ve made it very clear to Macy’s that our goal is to take the time to get the deal that our members have earned,” said UFCW 400 mobilization director Alan Hanson, who joined Morris on the show.

UFCW 400 coordinated with Seattle sister local 21, which also represents hundreds of Macy’s associates, to hold simultaneous rallies Thursday. “We are really excited to be joining forces with our sisters and brothers in the Pacific Northwest,” Hanson said. “We have made a commitment to negotiate together to win the contract we deserve.”

This post originally appeared at Metro Washington (D.C.) Council AFL-CIO.

 

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 04/20/2018 - 11:04

New Rule on Investment Advice Leaves Working People Vulnerable

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:59:26 +0000

New Rule on Investment Advice Leaves Working People Vulnerable

Workers depend on investments in the financial markets to finance our retirements and grow our other long-term savings. That means we need sound investment advice, provided by experts who are looking out for our best interests. While it seems obvious that the people whom we rely on to provide this advice should be required to act in our best interest and not line their own pockets, that is not always the case under current rules. Research shows that, as a result, many working people lose more than one-fourth of their potential retirement paychecks to corrupt financial advice.

Investor advocates have been fighting for decades to close this egregious loophole. On Wednesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a rule called Regulation Best Interest. And while any movement in this area could be viewed as a positive sign, the proposal as is appears to be inadequate.

The devil is in the details, which will take some time to fully understand. The standard of conduct required of brokers appears to fall short of a clear and unambiguous requirement that brokers recommend the best available investment options.

Democratic SEC Commissioner Kara Stein said:

Does this proposal require financial professionals to put their customers’ interests first, and fully and fairly disclose any conflicting interests? No. Does this proposal require all financial professionals who make investment recommendations related to retail customers to do so as fiduciaries? No. Does this proposal require financial professionals to provide retail customers with the best available options? No. 

Could we have proposed a best-interest standard? Yes, we could have proposed such a standard. Unfortunately, we did not.

Commissioner Robert J. Jackson Jr., also a Democratic SEC commissioner, said:

The standard set forth in Regulation Best Interest is far too ambiguous about a question on which there should be no confusion: the duty that investors are owed by those who are entrusted with ordinary families’ economic futures. Americans deserve a clear best-interest rule that places the client’s needs ahead of the broker’s. Period.

The commissioners’ statements say it all. The SEC should have proposed a rule that would stop people who provide investment advice from skimming our savings. The proposal does not do that.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:59

Ten Years Later: Worker Wins

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 17:38:02 +0000

Ten Years Later: Worker Wins

OPEIU Protest
OPEIU Local 459

Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with a victory 10 years in the making and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life.

OPEIU Workers Win Historic 10-Year Fight at American Red Cross: After a decade-long battle, workig people at American Red Cross in Michigan have won a new contract. They also came to resolution of an unfair labor practice charge that will repay workers more than $1.6 million in lost benefits.

A Growing Wave of Campaigns Are Organizing: In advance of the 2018 midterm elections, nine Democratic campaigns have come together in union. Additionally, Revolution Messaging, a digital communications firm, also has unionized. The newly organized campaign workers are represented by The Campaign Workers Guild, which is assisting in negotiations with dozens of other campaigns. The nine campaigns that have organized so far are: for the U.S. House of Representatives—Randy Bryce (Wis.), Brian Flynn (N.Y.), Dan Haberman (Mich.), Jess King (Pa.), Marie Newman (Ill.), Andy Thorburn (Calif.); attorney general—Renato Mariotti (Ill.); governor—Erin Murphy (Minn.); and County Council—Chris Wilhelm (Montgomery County, Md.).

Restaurant Workers Win Protection for Their Tips: Restaurant workers across the country won big with legislation that codifies protections for tipped workers against employers taking any portion of their tips. "Today represents a historic victory for restaurant workers. The National Restaurant Association wanted to steal workers’ tips, but the workers said no—and they won. The fact that hundreds of thousands of workers stood up and said no to employers taking their tips, and that congressional leadership listened and acted, is a testament to the power of workers standing up together," said Saru Jayaraman, president of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.

California Nurses Want New Safety Rules Made National: The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) pushed for and got new safety regulations, as the rate of nonfatal violence against nurses is three times higher than against other industries. Now the nurses are pushing for the same rules to be established nationally. "What works for health care facilities should be extended to all workplaces. Our patients and their families are then also at risk because violence impacts everyone in the vicinity. We know that the frequency and severity of these violent attacks can be drastically reduced through workplace violence prevention plans that are specific to the needs of each facility and unit and are created with the expertise and input of nurses and other workers," said NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo.

Onion Staff Request Formal Recognition of Union: The overwhelming majority of staff at satirical website The Onion have signed cards expressing their desire to be represented by the Writers Guild of America, East, (WGAE) and asked management to voluntarily recognize the union. The unit would represent all of the creative staff at The Onion and related websites.

Aviation Workers at FAA Join PASS: Working people at the Federal Aviation Administration's Eastern, Central and Western Service Centers voted by an overwhelming majority of 89% to be represented by the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS). "This is a big win for PASS, of course," said PASS National President Mike Perrone, "but more importantly, it’s a big win for these dedicated federal employees. They will soon be able to enjoy the workplace benefits of a collective bargaining agreement."

Facebook Cafeteria Workers Win Major Improvements: Food service workers at Facebook's offices in Menlo Park, California, ratified their first union contract. "We’re glad to have negotiated this first contract; it’s a big step forward for cafeteria workers in Silicon Valley. We still have work to do, and we’re not going to stop until all the food service jobs have the job standards and security that people need to live a decent life," said Enrique Fernandez of UNITE HERE Local 19.

New Republic Employees Continue Trend of Editorial Organizing: Editorial staff at The New Republic, which has been published for more than 100 years, have joined The NewsGuild of New York, joining a growing trend of editorial organizing, which includes publications like the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and Mic.com. "We all work for TNR because we love it here, but all workers need the protection of a union. We believe that unionizing is the best way to strengthen our workplace, not just for ourselves but for future generations of journalists. By organizing, we're simply affirming our commitment to The New Republic's progressive values. We're also affirming our commitment to each other," said Sarah Jones, staff writer.

California Virtual Educators Agree to First Union Contract: Teachers who work for California Virtual Academies, one of the largest online public charter schools, reached an agreement on their first union contract. "Organizing teachers in a workplace—where we don’t see our peers and where the bargaining unit stretches across a state as large as California—isn’t easy, and it also isn’t easy establishing a precedent-setting agreement. We are so proud of the hard work and commitment our teachers made in ensuring that our core values on work status, caseloads and workload were recognized....Our schools here in California and other online schools have had very little input from the teachers on the front line. This agreement will change that and allow those who work most closely with students a greater say in shaping the curriculum and school policies."

NLRB Regional Director Certifies Green Valley Ranch Employees' Election to Join Culinary Workers: Despite a history of telling employees that it would respect the results of their union election, Station Casinos challenged the election where a super majority of 78% of Green Valley Ranch's working people voted in favor of the union. The NLRB regional director rejected the challenge and certified the election, finding no objectionable conduct by union organizers.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 04/18/2018 - 13:38

Ending a Rigged System: In the States Roundup

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 16:51:15 +0000

Ending a Rigged System: In the States Roundup

It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states. Click on any of the links to follow the state federations and central labor councils on Twitter.

Alaska AFL-CIO:

Arkansas AFL-CIO:

California Labor Federation:

Colorado AFL-CIO:

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

Florida AFL-CIO:

Georgia AFL-CIO:

Idaho State AFL-CIO:

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Kansas State AFL-CIO:

Kentucky State AFL-CIO:

Maine AFL-CIO:

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Metro Washington (D.C.) Council AFL-CIO:

Michigan AFL-CIO:

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Montana AFL-CIO:

Nevada State AFL-CIO:

New Hampshire AFL-CIO:

New Jersey State AFL-CIO:

New Mexico AFL-CIO:

New York State AFL-CIO:

North Carolina AFL-CIO:

Ohio AFL-CIO:

Oklahoma State AFL-CIO:

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

South Carolina AFL-CIO:

Texas AFL-CIO:

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Washington AFL-CIO:

West Virginia AFL-CIO:

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 04/18/2018 - 12:51

JetBlue In-Flight Crew Members Overwhelmingly Vote to Join TWU

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 14:14:07 +0000

JetBlue In-Flight Crew Members Overwhelmingly Vote to Join TWU

Victory at JetBlue
TWU

In-flight crew members at JetBlue overwhelmingly voted to join the Transport Workers (TWU). With more than 86% of eligible employees participating in the vote, more than two-thirds voted in favor of joining TWU.

TWU President John Samuelsen said:

This historic victory is yet another example of the tide turning in America as workers continue to lock arms and fight back to defend their livelihoods. The TWU intends to immediately commence contract bargaining with JetBlue. It is our sincerest wish that the company comes to the table and bargains a fair and just contract with the workers they employ....If JetBlue refuses to bargain in good faith, this union is prepared to engage in a fightback campaign that will continue until a contract is secured and the in-flight crew members are protected.

JetBlue said it respects the outcome of the election. Once the National Mediation Board authorizes TWU as the representative for the in-flight crew members, contract negotiations will begin.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka applauded the victory:

New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said:

On behalf of the 2.5 million members of the New York State AFL-CIO, I congratulate the Transport Workers Union and their president, John Samuelsen, on today’s overwhelming vote to unionize JetBlue flight attendants. We are a stronger movement today as we continue to fight back against those who seek to diminish organized labor. Working people understand that by standing shoulder to shoulder and speaking with one voice, we raise the standard of living and quality of life for all working men and women.

Larry I. Willis, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, said:

At a time when our economy favors the rich and powerful, today’s victory by JetBlue’s in-flight crew members to join the Transport Workers Union demonstrates the power working people have when they come together. JetBlue’s 5,000 in-flight crew members want nothing more than a share in the profits they make possible, a say in workplace policies and procedures, and a seat at the table. Having a powerful union voice evens the playing field and ensures these hardworking, dedicated employees receive the dignity and respect they deserve. I congratulate JetBlue’s in-flight crew members on their hard-earned victory and welcome them to the transportation labor family.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 04/18/2018 - 10:14

12 Things We've Learned About the GOP Tax Bill

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 14:26:36 +0000

12 Things We've Learned About the GOP Tax Bill

President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans rushed to pass the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, leaving very little time for public scrutiny or debate. Here are a few things we have learned since the GOP tax bill passed.

1. It Will Encourage Outsourcing: An April 2018 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office confirms that two "provisions [of the GOP tax bill] may increase corporations’ incentive to locate tangible assets abroad."

2. It Has Not Boosted Corporate Investment: The rate of investment growth has stayed pretty much the same as before the GOP tax bill passed.

3. Few Workers Are Benefiting: Only 4.3% of workers are getting a one-time bonus or wage increase this year, according to Americans for Tax Fairness.

4. Corporations Are Keeping the Windfall: Americans for Tax Fairness calculates that corporations are receiving nine times as much in tax cuts as they are giving to workers in one-time bonuses and wage increases.

5. Corporations Are Using the Windfall to Buy Back Stocks: Corporations are spending 37 times as much on stock buybacks, which overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy, as on one-time bonuses and wage increases for workers, according to Americans for Tax Fairness.

6. Corporations Are Laying Off Workers: Americans for Tax Fairness calculates that 183 private-sector businesses have announced 94,296 layoffs since Congress passed the tax bill.

7. It Costs More Than We Thought: The GOP tax bill will eventually cost $1.9 trillion by 2028, according to an April 2018 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. And we know some Republicans will call for cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to pay for it.

8. We’ve Fallen Behind When It Comes to Corporate Tax Revenue: Thanks to the GOP tax bill, corporate tax revenue (as a share of the economy) will be lower in the United States than in any other developed country, according to an April 2018 report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

9. Extending the Individual Tax Cuts Would Benefit the Wealthy: The GOP tax bill’s temporary tax cuts for individuals expires by 2025, and some Republicans are now proposing to extend them.  An April 2018 report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows that 61% of the benefit from these extending individual tax cuts would go to the richest one-fifth of taxpayers.

10. It Is Shoddy Work: In March 2018, a leading tax expert concluded that the GOP tax bill’s new rules for pass-through businesses "achieved a rare and unenviable trifecta, by making the tax system less efficient, less fair and more complicated. It lacked any coherent (or even clearly articulated) underlying principle, was shoddily executed and ought to be promptly repealed."

11. It Is Still Unpopular: The GOP tax bill polls poorly, with a clear majority disapproving.

12. The Outsourcing Incentives Can Be Fixed: In February 2018, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) introduced the No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act, which would eliminate the GOP tax bill’s incentives for outsourcing by equalizing tax rates on domestic profits and foreign profits.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 04/16/2018 - 10:26

   
  

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