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Stop SB362 in Georgia - Another anti-union labor law bill.
Governor Kemp is pushing legislation in Georgia, SB 362, that will take away our contractually bargained right to join a union through card check. Card check allows workers to form their union if the majority of workers sign cards saying they want to join. This is how AT&T wireless members, AT&T wire techs, and former DirecTV members joined CWA due to our contract language. This legislation would also stop AT&T from receiving state tax incentives or state funds for economic development unless the company refuses to allow any new workers to use card check to join our union. This would mean less work for CWA members to build out high-speed internet across our state. Click here to contact your representative.
Social Security Benefits at Risk
Last week, as part of the government funding debate, the House of Representatives voted on a bill to create a commission to fast-track legislation to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.This proposal is a way for anti-worker members of Congress to attack our hard-earned retirement benefits while trying to avoid blame by passing the buck to a commission.Your member of Congress, Representative Rick Allen, voted for the bill to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.Take action now by sending them a message demanding they stop threatening our benefits. It’s important that we make it clear to our elected leaders that we will not stand for cuts to our hard-earned benefits.
Millions of Americans count on Social Security and Medicare for steady retirement income and medical care. We pay into these systems knowing that when we retire, these programs will provide us with basic economic security. But, for decades, extremist politicians have prioritized cutting these programs to line the pockets of wealthy corporations and their billionaire donors at any possible opportunity.
CWA Director of Government Affairs
Florida legislature proposes dangerous rollback of child labor protections
At least 16 states have introduced bills putting children at risk
Last week, Florida became at least the 16th state to introduce legislation rolling back child labor protections in the past two years, and the 13th state to introduce such legislation in 2023. Florida’s bill proposes eliminating all guidelines on hours employers can schedule youth ages 16 or 17 to work, allowing employers to schedule teens to work unlimited hours per day or per week—including overnight shifts on school days. The bill bears similarity to child labor legislation heavily backed in other states by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA)—a right-wing dark money group based in Florida—and its lobbying arm Opportunity Solutions Project.
At a time when violations of child labor laws are on the rise nationally—and amid reports of serious violations in Florida—lawmakers must act to strengthen standards, not erode existing minimal standards designed to keep youth safe at work and guarantee all children equal access to education.
Florida proposal threatens a century of progress on improving health, education, and economic outcomes for youth
Florida’s child labor bill proposes rolling back longstanding state standards adopted more than a century ago in response to widespread exploitation of children. Prior to the law’s passage in 1913, Florida children as young as five and six years old were employed in dangerous work in agriculture, seafood processing, canning, and the cigar industry. While Florida’s first child labor law contained many loopholes, was underenforced due to staffing constraints, and imposed only limited penalties, it established critical initial protections against employer exploitation of children. Specifically, it barred factories from hiring children younger than 14, limited work hours for youth under 16, and prohibited all employers from scheduling minors for night shifts.
Read more at http://epi.org/blog/florida-legislature-proposes-dangerous-roll-back-of-child-labor-protections-at-least-16-states-have-introduced-bills-putting-children-at-risk
“Right-to-Work” States Still Have Lower Wages
Under federal law, no one can be forced to join a union as a condition of employment, and the Supreme Court has made clear that workers cannot be forced to pay dues used for political purposes. So-called right-to-work (RTW) legislation goes one step further and entitles employees to the benefits of a union contract—including the right to have the union take up their grievance if their employer abuses them—without paying any of the cost.
This means that if an employer mistreats a worker who does not pay a union representation fee, the union must prosecute that worker’s grievance just as it would a dues-paying member’s, even if it costs tens of thousands of dollars. Non-dues-paying workers would also receive the higher wages and benefits their dues-paying coworkers enjoy. RTW laws have nothing to do with whether people can be forced to join a union or contribute to a political cause they do not support; that is already illegal. Nor do RTW laws have anything to do with the right to have a job or be provided employment.
At their core, RTW laws seek to hamstring unions’ ability to help employees bargain with their employers for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Given that unionization raises wages both for individual union members as well as for nonunion workers in unionized sectors, it is not surprising that research shows that both union and nonunion workers in RTW states have lower wages and fewer benefits, on average, than comparable workers in other states
Read more at http://epi.org/publication/right-to-work=states-lower-wages
The Southern economic development model has failed to provide economic security for workers and families
A new Economic Policy Institute report examines key economic trends in the South to refute proponents’ arguments that the Southern economic development model creates jobs and overall prosperity. In fact, the South lags other regions of the country on most indicators of economic health.
The Southern economic development model is characterized by low wages, low taxes, few regulations on businesses, few labor protections, a weak safety net, and vicious opposition to unions. This long history of anti-worker policies in the South—rooted in a racist agenda—has had devastating consequences for its residents. Specifically, the report finds:
- Job growth across the South has failed to keep up with population growth. The share of prime-age workers (ages 25–54) who have a job is lower than the national average in most Southern states.
- Workers in Southern states tend to have lower earnings. Median earnings in nine Southern states are among the lowest in the nation, even after adjusting for lower cost of living in the South.
- Poverty rates are above the national average in most Southern states. Louisiana and Mississippi have the highest poverty rates in the nation, with nearly 1 in 5 residents living in poverty.
- Child poverty is highest in the South compared with any other region. At 20.9%, child poverty rates in the South are 3.7 percentage points higher than the region with the next-highest child poverty rate—the Midwest (17.2%).
- Southern states are among the lowest-GDP states. Nine of the 15 states with the lowest per capita GDP are in the South.
“Southern politicians claim that ‘business-friendly’ policies lead to an abundance of jobs and economic prosperity for all Southerners. The data actually show a grim economic reality. While this economic model has garnered vast amounts of riches for the wealthiest people across the region, it is leaving most Southerners with low wages, underfunded public services, a weak safety net in times of economic downturns, deep racial divisions, and high rates of poverty,” said report author Chandra Childers, who is a senior policy and economic analyst for EPI’s Economic Analysis and Research Network.
More at http://epi.org/press/the-southern-economic-development-model-has-failed-to-provide-economic-security-for-workers-and-families/