Trump Joins Attack on Worker Freedoms

From the AFL-CIO

President Donald Trump has once again broken his word by siding with powerful corporations over regular working people. The Trump administration is seeking to abandon decades of settled law in order to take away the basic freedom of millions of working people to have a voice on the job. The U.S. Supreme Court case, Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, could undermine the ability of nurses, teachers and other public workers to negotiate over pay, benefits and workplace safety.

America’s labor movement urges Trump to stop backing powerful corporations and start supporting working people.

The Janus case is a well-funded and blatantly political plot to use the highest court in the land to further rig the economic rules against everyday working people.

The billionaire CEOs and corporate interests behind this case, and the politicians who do their bidding, have teamed up to strike at our freedom to come together in strong unions.

The people behind this case simply do not believe we should have the same freedoms they do: to negotiate a fair return on our work.

This is terrible for our families and our communities because:

  • Working people are the solution, not the problem. All across our country, we need to raise our voices for better pay and benefits and quality public services, not find ourselves gagged by billionaires.
  • Our communities need rising pay, not inequality. Inequality in America is at a record high. Taking away our freedoms to speak and assemble will only make it harder for us to win broadly shared prosperity.

“Arguing against our freedoms at work is not what working people expect of our government. Actions speak louder than words, Mr. President, and these actions do not support working families as you so often claim,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

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Posted In: Union Matters

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