What I Do
IBEW helps build Busch Gardens' newest roller coaster.
The union movement works to improve the lives of all people who work—not just those who have the benefits of union membership. In fact, the AFL-CIO has formed partnerships with worker centers and other groups of working people who do not have the legal right to collective bargaining. Some, like taxi workers, have been misclassified as independent contractors. Others, including domestic workers and day laborers, have been excluded from coverage by U.S. labor laws. All workers deserve fair treatment, respect and a voice at work, regardless of how they are classified by employers or regarded by labor law.
In 2006, the AFL-CIO began to formalize its relationship with the flourishing worker center movement—-domestically and internationally—in a number of ways. That year, the federation’s Executive Council authorized worker centers to formally affiliate with state labor federations, local labor councils and Working America. At the same time, the AFL-CIO entered into an historic partnership with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network under which the two organizations pledged to work together on state and local enforcement of rights, worker protections in areas including wage and hour laws, health and safety regulations, immigrants’ rights and employee misclassification, as well as immigration reform.
The AFL-CIO continues to work with worker centers, in both the United States and Mexico, on organizing campaigns, policy initiatives and legislative and other joint efforts. In September 2011, the National Taxi Workers’ Alliance (the first worker center to formally affiliate with a local AFL-CIO body) became the first nontraditional workers’ organization to become formally chartered by the national AFL-CIO in more than six decades.
A new study from the Institute for Women's Policy Research shows that Hispanics and those who make less than $20,000 a year are the workers least likely to have paid sick days. Overall, slightly more than 60% of Americans have paid sick days, a number much lower than most developed countries, and the evidence shows that the amount of paid sick days Americans get is declining in recent decades. The new study shows that less than half, only 47%, of Hispanic workers get paid sick days. Even worse, less than 28% of workers who make under $20,000 a year have paid sick days, compared to 83% for workers who make more than $65,000 annually.
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