Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: Victory at JetBlue!
April 18, 2018
Flight Attendants at JetBlue Vote to Stand Together in Union
Over 5,000 flight attendants at JetBlue voted overwhelmingly yesterday to join the Transport Workers Union (TWU). Following in the footsteps of their brothers and sisters in the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the flight attendants’ victory marks a major coup against JetBlue management’s long-running anti-union efforts.
TWU International President John Samuelsen spoke about what the victory means for workers across the country: “This historic victory is yet another example of the tide turning in America as workers collectively fight back to defend their livelihoods. The United States trade union movement is the greatest vehicle for the economic security of working families that this country has ever seen, and more Americans are recognizing this every day.”
The fight for economic justice is rarely one that offers immediate gratification. But these victories should remind us that long, tough fights are the path to a brighter economic future for working people.
What’s more, we can’t afford to sit on our laurels. There’s always another critical struggle ahead. As TWU President Samuelsen pointed out, “If JetBlue refuses to bargain in good faith, this union is prepared to engage in a fightback campaign that will continue until a contract is secured and the in-flight crew members are protected.”
Voter Registration Deadline
Did you know that April 24 is the last day to register to vote, change your party, or update your mailing address for the May 15th Primary Election? Head to www.oregonvotes.gov to make sure you’re ready to vote!
Already registered? Then get involved and help knock on doors on April 28th in Portland for Val Hoyle for Labor Commissioner. Click here for all the details.
Tax Day 2018
Taxes were due yesterday, and if you’re one of the nearly 30 million Americans who wait for the last minute to file, you are breathing a sigh of relief today.
This year, we are taking a look at how our nation’s tax policy could be used to help working people instead of padding the pockets of Wall Street CEOs. Back in December, President Trump and his allies in Congress pushed through the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Act moved so quickly that the public barely had time to scrutinize it. Here are few things the AFL-CIO has learned about it since it passed:
1. It Will Encourage Outsourcing: An April 2018 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office confirms that two "provisions [of the GOP tax bill] may increase corporations’ incentive to locate tangible assets abroad."
2. It Has Not Boosted Corporate Investment: The rate of investment growth has stayed pretty much the same as before the GOP tax bill passed.
3. Few Workers Are Benefiting: Only 4.3% of workers are getting a one-time bonus or wage increase this year, according to Americans for Tax Fairness.
4. Corporations Are Keeping the Windfall: Americans for Tax Fairness calculates that corporations are receiving nine times as much in tax cuts as they are giving to workers in one-time bonuses and wage increases.
5. Corporations Are Using the Windfall to Buy Back Stocks: Corporations are spending 37 times as much on stock buybacks, which overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy, as on one-time bonuses and wage increases for workers, according to Americans for Tax Fairness.
6. Corporations Are Laying Off Workers: Americans for Tax Fairness calculates that 183 private-sector businesses have announced 94,296 layoffs since Congress passed the tax bill.
7. It Costs More Than We Thought: The GOP tax bill will eventually cost $1.9 trillion by 2028, according to an April 2018 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, and we know some Republicans will call for cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to pay for it.
8. We’ve Fallen Behind When It Comes to Corporate Tax Revenue: Thanks to the GOP tax bill, corporate tax revenue (as a share of the economy) will be lower in the United States than in any other developed country, according to an April 2018 report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
9. Extending the Individual Tax Cuts Would Benefit the Wealthy: The GOP tax bill’s temporary tax cuts for individuals expires by 2025, and some Republicans are now proposing to extend them. An April 2018 report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows that 61% of the benefit from these extended individual tax cuts would go to the richest one-fifth of taxpayers.
10. It Is Shoddy Work: In March 2018, a leading tax expert concluded that the GOP tax bill’s new rules for pass-through businesses "achieved a rare and unenviable trifecta, by making the tax system less efficient, less fair and more complicated. It lacked any coherent (or even clearly articulated) underlying principle, was shoddily executed and ought to be promptly repealed."
11. It Is Still Unpopular: The GOP tax bill polls poorly, with a clear majority disapproving.
12. The Outsourcing Incentives Can Be Fixed: In February 2018, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) introduced the No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act, which would eliminate the GOP tax bill’s incentives for outsourcing by equalizing tax rates on domestic profits and foreign profits.
Take Action: Are corporations going to use tax breaks to give workers a raise and create jobs? We won’t know unless they disclose tax cut information, which is why unions are calling on big corporations to release information about how they’re using the tax cuts. Click here to take action.
Workers’ Memorial Day 2018
Please join the Oregon AFL-CIO along with representatives from Governor Kate Brown’s office and Oregon OSHA for our annual observation of Workers' Memorial Day.
Oregon AFL-CIO Workers' Memorial Day Observation: Friday, April 27 at Noon
Oregon State Capitol Mall (outside of Labor & Industries Building)
350 Winter Street Northeast, Salem, OR, 97301 (map)
Click here for more information.
Activities starting at noon will feature remarks from elected officials, union leaders and safety and health advocates. The memorial service will include a reading of the names of Oregon workers that suffered fatalities on the job and Oregonians killed in military service to their country in 2017.
Every day, too many American workers are killed on the job. Thousands are injured each year. And the days and years cut off workers’ lives due to occupational diseases are immeasurable. Workers' Memorial Day is a day to remember those killed and injured workers as well as the contributions they have made to our society. It is also a day when members of organized labor can demonstrate their commitment to ending the needless pain, suffering and loss of life, which are associated with unhealthy and unsafe working conditions.
Rally in Portland on April 30
The Gig Economy and Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft are rapidly changing our economy and workforce. From being paid less than minimum wage to interference in states' legislative process - it's clear that TNCs are putting profits over workers. We have an opportunity to change that in Portland. Join us on April 30 to tell Portland City Council to give Uber & Lyft drivers and impacted community members a voice.