Our country is addicted to cheap labor, and our broken immigration system helps to feed the addiction. Immigrant workers themselves are not to blame for stagnant wages in our country. The problem is caused by employers who put profits ahead of people, and trample rights and drive down standards in the process.
Imagine this: You’re a manager at a local convenience store. You supervise staff, justify inventory, hire and fire hourly workers and even share some of their responsibilities. You like your job, but it pays only $30,000 a year, and you’re still required to work from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.
The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 was meant to protect our economy from Wall Street greed. The legislation was passed into law in response to the 2008 financial crisis, which caused home foreclosures for millions of families and long-term unemployment for tens of millions of workers.
The time to stop Fast Track is now or never. This terrible trade negotiation policy recently passed in the Senate. And now that Congress is back from vacation, its expected to bring Fast Track to a vote any day now. Some of our lawmakers already have committed to stand with their wealthy campaign donors and support Fast Track. But many of our elected officials still can be moved—especially if we remind them that we vote.
In 2015, nearly 5 million American workers might get a pay raise. By joining together to ask for one. Through a union.
Minimum wage hikes, overtime expansion, paid sick leave and other policy improvements are important to raise wages in America. But the best way for workers to get a raise is by asking for one with a collective voice. That’s what workers do—bargain together in unions to improve our lives.
The AFL-CIO has been calling on the White House to halt unnecessary deportations since spring 2013. Our dysfunctional and antiquated immigration system is an invitation for employer manipulation and abuse, and U.S.-born workers as well as immigrant workers are paying the price. Every day that the White House does not act, more than 1,000 people are torn from their worksites, their families and their communities, driving down wages and standards in the process.
In 2004, Congress enacted a law to prevent "corporate inversions" in which corporations reincorporate in a foreign country to avoid paying U.S. taxes, but a gaping loophole allows corporations to get around this law by merging with a foreign company.
Simply put, it allows corporations to avoid paying taxes when they "renounce their U.S. citizenship" and change their corporate address to a foreign country.
The Highway Trust Fund pays for the upkeep of our roads, bridges and public transit. Yet for more than two decades, Congress has failed to increase its funding. The fund hasn't kept up with inflation, let alone the urgent needs for the modernization of our transportation systems. Now a crisis, years in the making, is coming to a head.