Six Days

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: Six Days
January 17, 2018

Six Days

Oregon’s January Special Election is only 6 days away and we need your help getting ballots in!

Voting YES on Measure 101 protects healthcare for vulnerable Oregonians, including seniors, people with disabilities, and children. The Oregon AFL-CIO and unions across our state support voting YES on Measure 101 because cuts to healthcare are unacceptable.  Opponents of Measure 101 are working hard to spread misinformation, and volunteers are desperately needed every day from now until January 23 to make sure our supporters turn out and VOTE!

RSVP NOW!   Volunteers are needed the following days:

  • Friday, 1/19
  • Saturday 1/20
  • Sunday 1/21
  • Monday 1/22
  • Election Day, Tuesday 1/23

There are still thousands of voters we need to talk to in order to win this election. Click here to RSVP for a volunteer shift.  Need help finding a drop box for your ballot? Click here to find one.

Job Growth: Behind the Numbers

A recent report from Quartz looks behind job growth numbers since 2005 and arrives at a startling conclusion: Full-time jobs are disappearing. A majority of the 10 million jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were not traditional forty-hour-per-week jobs, and the number of jobs classified as independent contractors grew 8.4% in ten years. That could be a big problem for working people.

As we have seen with companies like Uber, misclassifying workers as independent contractors is another way to rig the rules of the economy against working people.   Independent contractors are not technically employees, and therefore companies do not have to worry about benefits, workers compensation or entering into collective bargaining agreements. Furthermore, the increase of independent contractors is significantly higher amongst women, according to the report from Quartz: “Women experienced an unusually large increase in the share of alternative work. They were three percentage points less likely than men to engage in alternative work in 2005, but two percentage points more likely in 2015.”

With breadwinning mothers becoming the norm in America, the potential of women to be exploited by profit hungry companies in the so-called “gig economy” is growing as more and more women take on non-traditional jobs to make ends meet in an increasingly expensive economy. That brings forward a question we should all be asking: When we talk about job growth numbers, are we talking about growing the right kinds of jobs? Are we protecting working people from exploitation, or are we celebrating corporate America’s deliberate misclassification of workers to put profits over people?

Protect DREAMers and TPS

It’s time for Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act and a permanent fix for people with Temporary Protected Status, without escalated enforcement to terrorize immigrants in the workplace. It hurts all of us when immigration law gets used as a club to beat working people, lower pay and tear families apart.

Immigration has become the key sticking point on legislation to fund the federal government, but it’s really part of a larger fight about raising pay for working people or rigging the rules against us. Policies like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status protect a vital part of the American workforce, and help raise pay and improve working conditions for everyone. In fact, 69% of DACA recipients reported moving to a job with better pay after receiving a work permit.

Workplace immigration raids criminalize work and punish people who try to provide for families and contribute to our communities. The threat of raids also makes workplaces less safe. Workers who reported stolen pay and dangerous working conditions in California last year reported five times as many instances of retaliation by employers over the year before—leading fewer people to take the risk of reporting stolen pay and dangerous working conditions.

Oregon’s union movement believes it’s time to head down a better path. Hold the line of workplace rights for DREAMers and those with TPS, and offer a practical and workable path to citizenship. Click here to take action today.

The Common Path

On Monday, America celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A video from the United Autoworkers looks at how labor and the civil rights movement walked a common path through Dr. King’s courageous work. The lessons of his struggle can help guide our movement today to be a strong voice for all workers.