Expand Health Care Coverage; Don’t Shrink It

Once again, Senate Republican leaders are pushing their incredibly unpopular and destructive plan to take health care from millions of Americans to line the pockets of corporate CEOs. Working people will continue to oppose transferring wealth from workers to Wall Street under the guise of health care.

Republican leaders in the Senate should stop trying to find ways to make health care worse.

The latest plan is yet another attempt to deny health care to people who need it to give tax breaks to those who don’t.

Insurance premiums and other out-of-pocket costs will spike, public health emergencies like the opioid epidemic will get worse, rural health care will suffer and older Americans will get kicked out of nursing homes.

Working families want better health care, and that’s what Congress should be focused on.

62%: That’s the growing portion of the American public who want a universal health care option, like Medicare for all.  


Posted In: Union Matters, From AFL-CIO

Union Matters

Freight can’t wait

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

A freight train hauling lumber and nylon manufacturing chemicals derailed, caught fire and caused a 108-year-old bridge to collapse in Tempe, Ariz., this week, in the second accident on the same bridge within a month.

The bridge was damaged after the first incident, according to Union Pacific railroad that owns the rail bridge, and re-opened two days later. 

The official cause of the derailments is still under investigation, but it remains clear that the failure to modernize and maintain America’s railroad infrastructure is dangerous. 

In 2019, 499 trains that derailed were found to have defective or broken track, roadbed or structures, according to the Federal Railroad Administration’s database of safety analysis.

While railroad workers’ unions have called for increased safety improvements, rail companies have also used technology and automation as an excuse to downsize their work forces.

For example, rail companies have implemented a cost-saving measure known as Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR), which has resulted in mass layoffs and shoddy safety protocols. 

Though privately-owned railroads have spent significantly to upgrade large, Class I trains, regional Class II trains and local, short-line Class III trains that carry important goods for farmers and businesses still rely on state and local funds for improvements. 

But cash-strapped states struggle to adequately inspect new technologies and fund safety improvements, and repairing or replacing the aging track and rail bridges will require significant public investment.

A true infrastructure commitment will not only strengthen the country’s railroad networks and increase U.S. global economic competitiveness. It will also create millions of family-sustaining jobs needed to inspect, repair and manufacture new parts for mass transit systems, all while helping to prevent future disasters.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work