Tag Archives: unions

Unions offer tools to battle earnings inequality

Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017|2 a.m.

Editor’s note: As he does every August, Brian Greenspun is spending some time off and is turning over his Where I Stand column to others. Today’s guest columnist is D. Taylor, president of UNITE HERE, the North American union that represents over 270,000 workers and over a million of their family members in the hospitality, culinary, food service, and transportation sectors.

I believe in America, in equality and in the women and men who strive and play by the rules to provide a better life for themselves and their household.

So with summer ending and Labor Day simply around the corner, it appears the correct time to take a look at the state of arranged labor and the distinction having a union can make in the life of normal Nevadans and Americans. When employees organize, they take their fate into their collective hands and seize the best opportunity of achieving the American imagine success and justice.

Because its high-water mark in the 1950s, subscription in unions has actually slowly declined as income injustice grew and laws were passed limiting the liberty of Americans to organize for a voice at work. Today, with the cards stacked against them, far fewer workers are arranged, and financial oppression runs deep through our nation– a sensation numerous have actually of being left behind or getting involved meaninglessly in a system rigged versus them. The truth is, the catastrophic boost in economic injustice in this nation is a direct outcome of the attack on the rights of workers to have a say in their wages, hours and working conditions. By organizing a worker union at their location of work, workers start to straight affect and fight income inequality.

I’m proud that my union, JOIN HERE, is growing, not passing away: In fact, UNITE HERE is the single fastest-growing economic sector union in the AFL-CIO. And as we grow, we are changing lives and closing the income inequality space.

Only 8 months into 2017, we’ve already set a record for the largest growth of our membership in our union’s history. It defies traditional knowledge that the employee motion is not needed or cannot win: We’re organizing workers in every area of the hospitality world, from right here in Nevada to the Deep South in states like Mississippi, to Silicon Valley consisting of winning the union at Facebook this summer season. At Facebook, among the most lucrative businesses on the planet, cafeteria workers were so inadequately paid that many were homeless and sleeping in their cars prior to they chose to unionize. Now, those employees are our members and they have a seat at the table to choose their pay and benefits. We’re winning unions in airports, hotels and casinos throughout America, and we’re raising the requirements and increasing earnings for all workers in cities where we’re organizing.

Whenever employees vote to form a union, they are raising the standards of pay and working conditions for all workers in that city. Organizing together means taking the power back from corporations and leveling the playing field. That’s why with a national housekeeper median pay of barely over $9 an hour, UNIFY HERE housemaids throughout the nation make up to $22 an hour plus advantages in numerous cities.

Why are we being so effective, swimming against the tide of attacks on employee rights? I think it is because we have actually struck a chord that average Americans throughout all industries deeply feel: that getting a larger slice of the pie is achieved by salaries and advantages, and it’s also in quality of life, affordable health care and strong political representation.

Workers feel the difference our union is making in their lives.

JOIN HERE both in Nevada and throughout the country is putting power back in the hands of the employees by resolving all points of injustice in a revolutionarily wholesale method: opening advanced, full service health centers from Las Vegas to New York City with night and weekend hours, where you can see a dental professional, get a prescription filled and get new glasses all in a single stop. In Chicago and Seattle, we are winning brand-new policies securing our primarily female house cleaners from sexual attacks at work. In Orlando, we’re helping qualified workers end up being complete American people. Here in Las Vegas, UNITE HERE affiliate Cooking 226 mobilized thousands of hotel and casino employees to talk to their neighbors about the 2016 elections — winning Democratic control of the state legislature and sending the first Latina to the U.S Senate, and later the first-in-the-nation insulin rates expense signed this year. To attain true equality, our union is engaging with our members and their neighborhoods in all areas of life to repair and remove the hurdles that truly hold us back.

A union needs to provide for its members, due to the fact that enabled the option, employers put revenues for investors before fairness for employees. In earnings, in health care, in human self-respect on the job, in political power, UNITE HERE provides. It takes the full toolkit available in our fantastic nation to equip our members to not just survive, however thrive. No full-time American worker needs to live in poverty or be not able to afford his or her standard survival, and the very best opportunity to achieve employee justice is through taking the future into your collective hands. That is the American method. That is exactly what we are defending. I believe this Labor Day, we ought to all celebrate the hard work of all working people– immigrant or native born– we all look for to live the American Dream.

As our union has actually demonstrated, Labor Day is every day and we aim to continue to grow, flourish and continue to make America the land of chance and economic improvement.

Invite at the White House: Some labor unions over others

Sunday, May 7, 2017|4 p.m.

WASHINGTON– President Donald Trump says labor unions have an open door to his White Home, but so far, he’s holding the door a little more ajar for some organizations than others.

Trump has actually put out the welcome mat for the country’s construction trades, with whom he’s had relationships throughout decades of building workplace towers and hotels. Also welcomed in have actually been automobile, steel and coal workers who backed him during the 2016 election.

However there’s been no White House invite for other unions representing the sprawling but diminishing swimming pool of 14.6 million employees who collectively haggle with employers in the labor motion.

“You can tell Congress that America’s structure trades and its president are quite joined,” Trump informed North America’s Structure Trade Unions, even as he vowed in the exact same speech, “America’s labor leaders will always find an open door with Donald Trump.”

However he has actually not courted all union leaders or advocated for all labor top priorities. For example, he protests a $15-an-hour minimum wage and has actually let remain a rule expanding overtime pay. Just like President Ronald Reagan did, Trump is not a lot pursuing a labor program but one that attract those who share his “Buy American, Employ American” priorities and take place to be union members.

“Trump is clearly working to be the blue collar president,” stated F. Vincent Vernuccio, director of labor policy at the center-right not-for-profit Mackinac Center for Public law in Michigan. “He’s attempting to restore the Reagan labor coalition and get the Blue Canine Democrats back.”

The White Home says the president is “open up to consulting with various individuals and groups on how to improve the lives of all Americans.”

But even among unions with most-favored status, there’s some skepticism about whether he’s for employees or simply the executives who hire them.

Trump got some boos and hisses throughout his address to the building trades union. And Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, with whom Trump feuded, raises an eyebrow at the talk originating from the White Home.

“I do not think from our viewpoint, he’s a pal of the working class person,” Jones said, keeping in mind that Trump’s tax strategy would benefit the president himself, which Trump campaigned on “getting rid” of an enduring open market deal with Canada and Mexico. “Trump constantly had some sort of relationship with the building trades. But for routine manufacturing? This is not a great time for working people.”

The 2016 election suggests labor is fertile political ground for Trump. Exit surveys showed he pulled within 8 percentage points of Democrat Hillary Clinton amongst union members– a larger margin than any GOP candidate since Reagan in 1984.

Throughout his first 100 days, Trump has attempted to interest those irritated by seeing U.S. jobs go overseas. For instance, he scrapped U.S. strategies to participate in an Asia-Pacific trade pact and belittled the North American Free Trade Arrangement, although he retreated from a project promise to withdraw from it.

He’s taken to Twitter to slam American business with plans to move some operations to other countries and threatened to tax any products they tried to sell in the U.S. He’s pressed a hesitant Republican-controlled Congress to pay for a $1 trillion rebuilding of the country’s roadways and bridges, and he’s green-lighted the Keystone XL pipeline.

But while some unions have gotten the red carpet treatment, others have actually been largely neglected at the White Home.

Take instructors unions, traditional allies of Democrats. While Education Secretary Betsy DeVos signed up with Trump for White House sessions with instructors and other teachers, neither of the 2 big teachers unions– the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers– was invited. DeVos did accept an invitation from AFT President Randi Weingarten to tour a school in Ohio.

“Trump in New York was never ever associated with education. He was a blank slate on education,” Weingarten stated.

“The big test for him even on infrastructure is: Is he going to stop the Republicans in Congress from attempting to get the securities for prevailing wage,” she stated. “Is he really going to have adequate cash in there for projects?”

Trump is deciding on among labor unions at a vulnerable time for the motion in American politics. Union membership decreased 240,000 in one year to 10.7 percent of the labor force in 2016, about half as much as when the Census Bureau started gathering such data in 1983.

“There are some unions that, in fact, he has actually pursued. Educators come to mind. Government employees enter your mind,” stated the AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka, describing the president’s promises to close or slash costs for the Department of Education and efforts to shrink the federal workforce.

Trump is starting with exactly what he understands, and where labor is concerned, that means structure trades go to the top of the list.

“Did you ever believe you ‘d see a president who knows just how much concrete and rebar you can set in a single day?” he said at their conference last month. “We’re a nation of contractors, and it was about time we had a builder in the White House.”

This president, stated Gary N. Chaison, a labor historian at Clark University, “knows extremely well from his old days operating in the hotel market in Manhattan that it is necessary to obtain along with the building and construction unions.”