AFL-CIO

Call Today To Save American Jobs

5 days 11 hours ago
Call Today To Save American Jobs Wikimedia Commons

There’s a lot of talk in the news about the GOP’s proposed tax bill. The people pushing it want working people to believe this plan will benefit working people. That’s just not true.

The fact is, the Republican tax plan is a job killer that will give 50% of its tax breaks to the wealthiest 1%, while 25% of taxpayers ultimately will pay more in taxes. We need your help to stop Congress from making working people pay the price for huge tax giveaways to millionaires and big corporations.

Incredibly, the Republican bill would give huge breaks to companies that outsource jobs. Instead of creating good jobs here at home, this bill only will encourage corporations to relocate good jobs overseas.

This bill also slashes deductions for state and local taxes. That means it will be harder for individual states to fund things like high-quality education and infrastructure projects. This will cost millions of jobs and chip away at the services we need to improve our quality of life.

Need another reason to call? The GOP budget includes $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. It will increase the tax burden of people with high medical bills. The Republican budget allows for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that will not be paid for during the first decade of implementation. So, we can expect the GOP to demand more cuts in the future that will hurt working people.

Working families should not get stuck with the tab to fund a giveaway for Wall Street, corporations and millionaires. The Republican tax bill will be up for congressional vote soon, and it’s important we make our voices heard now.

Click here to be connected with your representative and urge them to reject any tax plan that gives tax breaks to millionaires and big corporations—and sticks working families with the bill.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 11/13/2017 - 14:07
Kenneth Quinnell

'Wall of Fame-Wall of Shame' Might Be Coming To A Union Hall Near You

5 days 12 hours ago
'Wall of Fame-Wall of Shame' Might Be Coming To A Union Hall Near You Kentucky AFL-CIO

Unique United Steelworkers of America-made "Wall of Fame-Wall of Shame" banners are hitting the road in the Bluegrass State.

"We’ve now got another one you can take to as many union meetings as you want to," Kentucky State AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan told delegates at the federation's recent biennial state convention in Lexington.

"We need to get the word out there to union halls and inform our members of who stands with us and who stands against us as we go into 2018. This is absolutely critical."

The two banners show how Kentucky lawmakers voted last January on "right to work," prevailing wage repeal, and a paycheck deception measure.

The GOP-majority legislature quickly approved all three union-busting bills, though unions were able to soften the paycheck deception legislation. Printed on both banners are the names of all 38 state senators and 100 state representatives and how they voted.

Before the legislature adjourned, Billy Thompson, USW District 8 director, got the idea for a "Wall of Fame-Wall of Shame" banner. He had the second one ready for the convention.

He's ready to loan banners to members of any union who are "willing to accept responsibility for returning them to the district office. We are delighted to assist with the display around the state."

Thompson said District 8 is going to order two more loaner banners. Londrigan said if the banners aren't "a road map going into 2018, I don’t know what is."

Every Democratic senator and representative voted against the legislation, except one House member who voted for prevailing wage repeal. A few Republicans sided with the Democrats on the three measures.

Legislators who turned thumbs down on the bills are on the "Wall of Fame" side of the banners. Backers are on the "Wall of Shame."

After the Republicans flipped the Senate in 2000, the Democratic House became organized labor’s last firewall in Frankfort, the state capital. (The legislature can override a governor's veto with a simple majority.)

Last November’s Trump tsunami turned a 53-47 Democratic House majority to a 64-36 Republican bulge. The GOP kept its 27-11 Senate edge.

When the Democrats held the lower chamber, Senate approved anti-union legislation died in House committees. "Therefore, there were very few people actually voting on 'right to work,' repealing prevailing wage and other anti-union bills," Londrigan said.

As a result, he added, "we weren’t able to get every one of them on the record. So they could strut around a little bit and say, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m against right to work.’ They didn’t have to vote on it. But guess what, they all voted on it now."

Delegate Rick Lewis, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 181 district representative, stepped forward at the convention to carry a rolled up banner to his union meeting. Londrigan expects more takers.

"We’ve got the data here now," he said. "We’ve got a road map in front of us."

Union officials in other states interested in making similar "maps" may call Thompson for more information about the banners. His office phone number is 502-875-3332.

This post originally appeared at Kentucky AFL-CIO.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 11/13/2017 - 13:02
Kenneth Quinnell

Workforce Intermediaries Advance Equity and Diversity Through Apprenticeship

1 week 2 days ago
Workforce Intermediaries Advance Equity and Diversity Through Apprenticeship

As we kick off National Apprenticeship Week, it is more important than ever to shine a light on the ways government agencies, employers and joint labor-management programs can focus their resources on fostering greater equity, diversity and inclusion in the American workforce. Registered apprenticeship programs are a big part of the answer. Workforce intermediary partnerships that promote and operate apprenticeship programs are powerful vehicles for delivering career opportunities.

A new report by the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute and the Jobs with Justice Education Fund profiles a number of workforce intermediaries that reach into disadvantaged communities and mobilize joint funds and industry expertise to help women and people of color advance in their careers and improve diversity in aerospace, health care, hotel and hospitality, steel, transportation and advanced manufacturing.

Workforce intermediary partnerships bring together the needs and resources of multiple employers in a region or industry, and provide essential input from workers and unions to customize the skills training, apprenticeship and educational services required for employers to meet their workforce needs and workers to access career ladders. The Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee, for example, works with hundreds of employers in Washington State to develop curriculum and customize apprenticeship programs. This year, AJAC helped place formerly incarcerated individuals in good-paying aerospace jobs. An AJAC pre-apprenticeship program for high school students has graduated more than 300 young people over five years. Some 20% of the graduates were women and 53% were people of color.

The story of Grace Rutha highlights the power of apprenticeship implemented by intermediaries. A former reporter in Kenya, forced out of her country by an oppressive regime, she came to Philadelphia to seek a better life, but became unemployed and ended up living in a homeless shelter. While volunteering for a community organization, she discovered a community health worker apprenticeship program co-sponsored by a university and the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund. After a few months on the job, with the help and guidance of a mentor, she gained the experience to intercede with HIV patients and protect their health without continually going to the emergency room. Now Rutha earns enough to have her own apartment and she serves as a co-instructor in an educational program of Philadelphia FIGHT. She and others are profiled in the Advancing Equity report.

The report lists 18 best practices in workforce diversity as identified by the JWJ Education Fund in its work with North America’s Building Trades Unions. "Hire watchdogs and grant them authority," the organizations advise, for example, while keeping up the "push for consistent public pressure from community groups."

Expanding apprenticeship in manufacturing and the hotel and hospitality industries is a prime activity of the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute, which has a five-year contract with the U.S. Department of Labor to operate the Multiple Industry Intermediary (MII) Project.

For us, every week is National Apprenticeship Week. We will continue to use our education and training programs to create opportunity and upward mobility for workers of all backgrounds. Please join us in supporting this important work.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 11/09/2017 - 11:25
Kenneth Quinnell

Republicans Defeat the ‘Stop Outsourcing of American Jobs’ Amendment

1 week 3 days ago
Republicans Defeat the ‘Stop Outsourcing of American Jobs’ Amendment

When the House Ways and Means Committee debated the GOP tax bill yesterday, Republicans voted down the “Stop Outsourcing of American Jobs” amendment offered by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas).

The “Stop Outsourcing of American Jobs” amendment would require that multinational corporations looking to invest offshore pay the same tax rate as small businesses or domestic companies investing here in America. The amendment was defeated on a party-line vote, with 16 Democrats voting in favor and 23 Republicans voting against.

This is what Rep. Doggett had to say in support of his amendment:

“President Trump has made stopping the outsourcing of American jobs a central element of his promise to the American people. Unfortunately, like his promise to have Mexico pay for his unnecessary wall, it’s very much a broken promise. 

“It is flat wrong that the corner pharmacy should have to pay a rate that is substantially higher on its operations than Pfizer on its operations. My amendment ensures that both are treated the same way—that we tax profits earned abroad the same way that they are taxed here at home.

“All my amendment does is treat people who earn profits abroad the same way as those who earn profits at home. We’re not against profits; we’re not against maximizing profits; just pay your fair share. When you set up a system, as has been done in this bill, that creates one rate abroad that could be zero and at home it is 20 percent, guess where this money is going to flow? It will flow out of America, just like the jobs will flow out of America.

“If you believe in keeping our jobs at home, and believe we have lost too many already, don’t create a system that the only jobs that it will add are more tax lawyers and more CPAs to find ways to dodge taxes. They have dodged enough. They have dodged $100 billion a year.”

Under the Republican tax bill, a small business that creates jobs on Main Street USA would pay U.S. taxes on its profits at a rate of 20%, while a big corporation that outsources those same jobs to Ireland or Switzerland would pay NO U.S. TAXES on the profits it earns from outsourcing. The Doggett amendment would apply the same U.S. tax rate to profits from outsourced operations and domestic operations.

Reducing the U.S. tax rate on offshore profits to 0%—which is basically a subsidy to companies that outsource jobs—would cost $205 billion over 10 years. Even worse, the GOP tax bill would encourage foreign countries that want to attract offshore investment to lower their corporate tax rate or to create tax-free export processing zones. The more other countries lower their corporate tax rates to attract offshore investment, the bigger the tax subsidy for offshoring this bill will provide. The GOP tax bill creates a powerful incentive for big companies to outsource jobs, and it is an incentive that will grow over time.

Tim Schlittner Wed, 11/08/2017 - 14:59
Tim Schlittner

Labor-Backed Candidates Win Big in Tuesday’s Elections

1 week 3 days ago
Labor-Backed Candidates Win Big in Tuesday’s Elections

It was a big night for labor’s agenda as pro-worker candidates won election from coast to coast Tuesday. 

NJ AFL-CIOUnion members and labor leaders prepare to get out the vote in New Jersey.

In Virginia, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam handily defeated Ed Gillespie as AFL-CIO-endorsed candidates won throughout the commonwealth. Virginia AFL-CIO President Doris Crouse-Mays hailed the victories: 

“Today, Virginia’s voters turned out in record numbers to stand with working people and reject the hateful, divisive rhetoric that has taken over the airwaves throughout the campaign. Virginia voters have spoken—we must work toward a commonwealth that puts working families first and prioritizes real issues that impact our lives each and every day. All students must have quality public education and job-training opportunities. All workers must be guaranteed fair wages, safe working conditions and the freedom to join in union. And all Virginians must have access to quality, affordable health care no matter where they live.

“We are proud to stand with you all and elect Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, Mark Herring and a host of delegates in districts from Blacksburg to Hampton and so many places in between. Voters came together to enact real change in our commonwealth by flipping control in at least 15 house districts despite our heavily gerrymandered lines."

In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy defeated Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, one of several key victories for labor in the state. New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charlie Wowkanech said union solidarity made it possible:

“The results of New Jersey’s critical gubernatorial election are in, and the election of Phil Murphy as governor and Sheila Oliver as lieutenant governor speaks to the unmatched mobilization efforts of organized labor and the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s political program that is unparalleled by any other in our state or nation.

“Let’s be clear: what made the difference tonight was our unified labor voice, comprised of support from thousands of union volunteers, national, state and local affiliates, central labor councils and Building Trades councils. We had an opportunity to show strength and solidarity and we did. We joined together every Saturday for labor walks, made calls at evening phone banks and delivered thousands of mail pieces around the state. There is no question that our 1-million-member-strong state labor movement determined the outcome of this election.

“Working people needed a victory and organized labor delivered. The results of this election make clear that the New Jersey labor movement will lead the way forward for the rest of the nation, securing needed reforms that promote job creation, quality education, skills training, modernized infrastructure, affordable health care, equitable taxation, and a sustainable and secure retirement future for all New Jersey families."

Other highlights include: 

43 rank-and-file union members were elected to public office in New Jersey

Labor leader Teresa Mosqueda was elected to the Seattle City Council

Labor-endorsed candidates win election across North Carolina 

From protests to politics: Braxton Winston wins Charlotte City Council at-large bid

Maine OKs Medicaid expansion in first-of-its-kind referendum

New York Voters Reject a Constitutional Convention

 

Tim Schlittner Wed, 11/08/2017 - 09:26
Tim Schlittner

UNITE HERE Women Reflect on International Assembly

1 week 4 days ago
UNITE HERE Women Reflect on International Assembly UNITE HERE

In October 2017, members of UNITE HERE Local 1 served as delegates to the 3rd International Trade Union Confederation World Women’s Conference/Women’s Organizing Assembly in San Jose, Costa Rica.

UNITE HERE Local 1 was invited to share about the "Hands Off Pants On" campaign and recent legislative victory in Chicago. Local 1’s delegation included Tina Graham, Ofelia Martinez and Kasey Nalls, rank-and-file members who helped survey nearly 500 women working in Chicagoland hotels and casinos about sexual harassment, the results of which gave rise to the "Hands Off Pants On" campaign. The final day of the conference included a screening of the video featuring President Jorge Ramirez of the Chicago Federation of Labor and other male union leaders speaking out about sexual harassment. Also in attendance was award-winning playwright Eve Ensler, who interviewed the UNITE HERE Local 1 team for a new project about workplace sexual violence.

Get the inside scoop from the UNITE HERE Local 1 team members! Read their reflections about the ITUC Women’s Organizing Assembly:  

Tina Graham:

I felt proud to represent UNITE HERE Local 1 at the ITUC Women’s Organizing Assembly and share our "Hands Off Pants On" campaign with women from around the world. It was incredible to feel the love and support from them as we talked about what we accomplished here in Chicago. In fact, the first day of the conference was the day we officially won a new city law to protect hotel workers from sexual harassment and assault! Another highlight was when we were interviewed by the playwright, Eve Ensler. I shared about my experiences working as a room attendant in a Chicago hotel and about our "Hands Off Pants On" campaign to end sexual violence in the hospitality industry. I know our "Hands Off Pants On" campaign will change the lives of women in hospitality for the better. And now our work is helping push something bigger—a global movement to make work safe and fair for all working women. I’m so proud to be a part of it.

Ofelia Martinez:

At the Women’s Organizing Assembly of the ITUC, I learned how important it is for us to continue to organize and bring a message of hope and strength to working women around the world. Wherever we find sexual violence, we will assert our rights and will not keep quiet. The conference reminded me that when we unite, we are a force that can change the world.

Kasey Nalls:

My favorite part of the conference was meeting people from all over the world and learning how much we have in common [regarding] the struggles we go through as women. The strength and power of all the women as one in that room was phenomenal. I felt very proud that women union leaders from many different countries were interested in understanding our "Hands Off Pants On" campaign, the steps we took, and the different approaches that were used to bring awareness to the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. It was amazing to talk with Eve Ensler during the conference. I am proud that my union sisters and I are a part of her new project about gender violence at work, where our stories will be brought to life. I am forever grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to take part in such an event.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:50

Tags: ITUC

Kenneth Quinnell

A Giant Tax Cut for Corporations That Outsource Jobs

1 week 4 days ago
A Giant Tax Cut for Corporations That Outsource Jobs

The Republican tax bill would give a giant tax cut to big corporations that outsource jobs.

Under the bill, a business that creates jobs on Main Street USA would pay U.S. taxes on its profits at a rate of 20%, while a big corporation that outsources those same jobs to Ireland or Switzerland would pay NO U.S. TAXES on the profits it earns from outsourcing.

Why is this so?

Currently, the United States taxes all profits of U.S. corporations, whether earned in the United States or in a foreign country, at the same rate of 35%. However, a corporation that earns profits in a foreign country does not have to pay U.S. taxes on those earnings until it repatriates them to the United States.

The GOP tax bill changes this system so a U.S. corporation that earns ordinary profits in a foreign country never pays any U.S. income taxes on those profits. By "ordinary," I mean earnings from active operations in foreign countries, not domestic profits earned in the United States that the company disguises as foreign profits through the use of accounting gimmicks.

Reducing the U.S. tax rate on offshore profits from 35% to 0%—basically a subsidy to companies that outsource jobs—would cost $205 billion over 10 years.

Even worse, the bill would encourage foreign countries that want to attract offshore investment to lower their corporate tax rates or to create tax-free export processing zones. The more that other countries lower their corporate tax rates to attract offshore investment, the bigger the tax subsidy for offshoring this bill will provide. This also would render the decision to lower the U.S. domestic corporate tax rate to 20% meaningless for "competitiveness" purposes.

The GOP tax bill creates a powerful incentive for big companies to outsource jobs, and it is an incentive that will grow over time. The bill also would put small businesses that cannot move jobs or profits outside the United States at a competitive disadvantage.

That's why the GOP tax bill is a job killer and a gift to outsourcers.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:02

Tags: Tax Fairness

Kenneth Quinnell

The Faces and Stories of TPS Workers

1 week 5 days ago
The Faces and Stories of TPS Workers AFL-CIO

Hundreds of thousands of people have been living and working in our country legally for many years through the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.  Now they are at risk of having their status and work permits cruelly stripped away.

These are people we work with every day. Read their stories and watch them speak at last week's AFL-CIO national convention.

Marvin Monge: "I was born in El Salvador. I've been working in the United States for 20 years, and I am an organizer for the International Union of Bricklayers under TPS. I am a proud member of the Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, but I may lose my work authorization. I'm not going forward. I'm going backward. I could become undocumented again, and I don't know how to go back to the shadows. There are people out there who appreciate what our unions are doing."

Francis Garcia: "I was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. I've been working in the United States for 22 years as a guest room attendance under TPS, and I'm a proud member of UNITE HERE. Very proud! I have three kids who were born here in Arizona, and I'm a little bit nervous."

Marie Parfait: "I was born in Haiti. I've been working in the United States for 15 years as a dishwasher under TPS, and I'm a proud member of UNITE HERE, Local 355, Miami. I have five kids and 12 grandchildren. Without your help, I may lose authorization to work next year."

Ericka Lopez: "I was born in El Salvador. I've been working in the United States for 17 years. I worked in laundries, but now I am a union organizer under TPS, and I'm a proud member of UNITE HERE! When I listen to this government, I feel worried and scared for me and my family because I don't want to live in the shadows."  

Watch these working people tell their stories as part of AFL-CIO's convention program:

 

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 11/06/2017 - 14:03
Kenneth Quinnell

The Republican Tax Bill is a Job Killer

2 weeks 1 day ago
The Republican Tax Bill is a Job Killer AFL-CIO

My name is Michael J. Smith. I am here to tell you why the tax bill is a JOB KILLER.

Up until March of 2016, I was employed at the Nabisco bakery in Chicago.

I had worked there nearly five years and am unemployed today because Nabisco/Mondelēz sent my job and the jobs of over 500 others at the bakery to Mexico.

That happened because our trade and tax laws make it easy and profitable for companies to outsource our jobs. During last year’s election, I heard a lot of politicians say it was time to change the rules to bring jobs home.

But now I see this tax bill and here’s what it says: It says that from now on, Mondelēz, a U.S. company, will pay no taxes in the United States on its profits from its Mexican plant where my job went. But it will pay taxes on the profits from its plants here in the U.S.—a 20% tax. What do you think will happen to my brothers and sisters still working in the U.S. under those rules?

Literally, this tax bill wants to pay companies like Mondelēz to move jobs like mine out of the United States. I can't believe it.

So let me say to the people who wrote this tax bill—you must think I am nothing more than a chance to make some more money. And so is the next worker like me whose life will be destroyed if this bill passes, and corporations move more jobs and profits offshore in pursuit of the tax breaks in this bill for outsourcers.

My name is Michael J. Smith and I am not a mere statistic. I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. I pay taxes and I demand Congress not reward companies like the one that outsourced my job with billions of dollars in tax breaks.

Let me say this one more time—this tax bill is a JOB KILLER. Someone said it is CUT CUT CUT.  What it cuts is jobs.

We deserve better.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 11/03/2017 - 13:09

Tags: Tax Fairness

Kenneth Quinnell

The Economy Gains 261,000 Jobs in October, and Unemployment Was Little Changed at 4.1%

2 weeks 1 day ago
The Economy Gains 261,000 Jobs in October, and Unemployment Was Little Changed at 4.1%

The U.S. economy gained 261,000 jobs in October, and unemployment was little changed at 4.1%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This continues the recovery of the labor market at a tempered rate, which means the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee should continue to let the economy grow and not raise interest rates.

In response to the October jobs numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:

#jobsreport wages fell, September to October, over the year only rose 2.4%, with 3.0% boost in productivity no reason for Fed to raise rate

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

 

#jobsreport a big part of the October increase was the 89,000 job bounce-back for food establishments closed by Harvey and Irma @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

 

#jobsreport on the good news side, part-time wanting full-time, long term unemployed numbers fall, job quitters up @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

 

#jobsreport Over the year, unemployment rates fall for all major occupation groups, especially construction and production workers @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/sIk6PbHBIN

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

 

#jobsreport labor force participation rates continues downward trend--no surprise that supply won't increase without wages @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/yruVxmWnBj

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

 

#jobsreport broadest measure of unemployment (including involuntary part-time, discouraged workers) falls to level near pre-2008 @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/VX3ZWhbiWP

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

#jobsreport uncertainty from attacks on Medicaid, payrolls at nursing care facility down 12.2K from last year, but edges up in Oct. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

 

Why 45's tax plan is bad: @AFSCME state and local employment edge up only 4,000, but with drops in state education and local non-education,

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

 

Why 45's tax plan is wrong: corporations with record profits and massive cash balances have not used them to raise pay so far @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/vnQFHT6aK0

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

Last month's biggest job gains were in food services and drinking places (89,000), professional and business services (50,000), manufacturing (24,000) and health care (22,000). Employment in other major industries, including mining, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities and government, changed little in October.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (3.6%) and whites (3.5%) declined in October. The jobless rates for teenagers (13.7%), blacks (7.5%), Hispanics (4.8%), adult men (3.8%) and Asians (3.1%) showed little change.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in October, and accounted for 24.8% of the unemployed.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:30
Kenneth Quinnell
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