As the 2016 presidential election approaches, Republican candidates and corporate CEOs are seeking to undermine the unity of working people by employing the politics of fear and division. Time and again, they have tried ugly and manipulative ways to pit us against each other, but working people know that these tired attempts to divide us are simply a distraction from the important issues we face in our lives.
In a unanimous decision, a federal appeals court reversed a district court and ruled that the Labor Department was within its authority to issue a rule change meant to provide home care workers with a minimum wage and overtime protections. The case is now remanded to the district court.
Today, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, a day that commemorates the 19th Amendment being ratified granting millions of women the right to vote. In the 95 years since, women have used their votes to better their lives, strengthen their families and protect their communities. But women have yet to maximize their power at the polls—about one-third of all U.S. women and nearly 40% of unmarried women are not registered to vote—or in the workplace. The labor movement provides almost 7 million women with a voice on the job through union membership and is a driving force in the fight for economic equality and security for women.
Since the late July negotiating round that failed to reach a final deal for the corporate-leaning Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, a lot has been written about the merits of a purported ISDS carve-out and whether it played a role in the failed effort to complete a deal by July 31. (Don’t know much about the TPP? Learn more.)
Last week, China, the world’s second largest economy, devalued its currency by about 4% against the dollar. Vietnam—a party to the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations—followed suit. This devaluation makes it tougher to sell U.S. goods on the world market—by making “Made in America” goods relatively more expensive and Vietnamese and Chinese goods relatively cheaper.
Three years ago, I, along with the entire immigrant rights community, experienced a major victory when President Obama implemented Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) granting legal status to thousands of immigrants who, like myself, came to the United States as children. I migrated to the United States in 1997 with my mother and younger sister when I was only nine. My family left our home in Cuernavaca Moreles, Mexico to find a better, safer life that would allow us to remain together. As we settled into our new neighborhood in a predominantly Black and Brown Pasadena neighborhood, I began to experience some of the negative treatment that comes along with being undocumented in the U.S.
For months we’ve heard that the economy is finally moving in the right direction, except for one hitch: Working people’s wages, particularly those of women, are not going up. One big reason: For years, millions of workers have clocked in more and more hours without ever seeing an extra cent in their paychecks. That’s wrong. Too many workers, most of whom are women, are seeing their finances stretched to the limit because even though they work overtime, they are not compensated for it.
Today, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), in coordination with MomsRising, released a new report that reveals working women will benefit hugely from the newly proposed overtime changes, with 3.2 million women receiving salary increases. Some 36% of working women who were formerly exempt under the outdated overtime laws will be eligible now to receive overtime pay if they work longer than the standard 40-hour workweek.
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.
The Economic Policy Institute has produced detailed information about the 13.5 million salaried working people and their families who would benefit from the Labor Department’s proposed overtime eligibility rules.