Dark-money oligarchs will “Uberize” all of us. Tell your legislators we will not cooperate.

It’s interesting to watch GOP crowds openly roar for a White Supremacy and Christian Nationalism vision of 1950’s “Father Knows Best” America. They have no idea that the oligarchs that fund their right-wing extremism, along with captive media shills and legislators, have no intention of returning us to that era, which included a 91% tax bracket for the wealthy and a +50% tax rate on corporations. Using flag-covered zealots as cover, they intend to regress us to a time when no laws or regulations impeded their single-minded drive for profit.

(Robert Reich) “They call themselves conservatives but that’s not it, either. They don’t want to conserve what we now have. They’d rather take the country backwards – before the 1960s and 1970s, and the Environmental Protection Act, Medicare, and Medicaid; before the New Deal, and its provision for Social Security, unemployment insurance, the forty-hour workweek, and official recognition of trade unions; even before the Progressive Era, and the first national income tax, antitrust laws, and Federal Reserve. They’re not conservatives. They’re regressives. And the America they seek is the one we had in the Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century.”

And they have a bill to get started…

Action #1: We Californians were fooled into voting for Prop. 22. Don’t let this toxic anti-worker campaign go national. Educate your representatives and tell them we are watching – “NO” on H.R.8442 – Worker Flexibility and Choice Act.

Does this all nonsense sound familiar? Prop. 22, whose $+200 million campaign ultimately bamboozled us into voting to strip newly-won benefits from gig workers, was declared unconstitutional in 2021. Fool us once…

They will try again. On Labor Day, Newsom signed AB 257legislation that sets wages and working conditions for fast food workers. It’s already being challenged in court and paid signature gatherers will soon be lying to us outside grocery stores to place a referendum on the ballot to block this bill, and labor improvements for these workers, permanently. Be aware.

And now, on a national level:The Coalition for Workplace Innovation (CWI)”- backed by some of the largest employers in the country, have a profoundly anti-labor proposal of their own: H.R.8442 – Worker Flexibility and Choice Act. Powered by endless money and similar messaging to Prop. 22, it would transform any employee who signs a “worker flexibility agreement” into an independent contractor for the purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act – removing minimum wage floors, overtime pay, bargaining rights and maximum hours, while superseding state employment regulations.

Establishing a second-tier employment class of disproportionately Black and immigrant workers working in arduous and underpaid jobs has its roots in slavery, which led to today’s racialized economic inequality. But it would be a mistake to think that corporations wouldn’t use this legislation in any job, every level, in any industry. Everyone will be asked to sign, as corporations pursue their maximum profit potential.

(Actually “AGAIN” on a national level: In 2017, the GOP-controlled House passed H.R.1180 – Working Families Flexibility Act, which would have allowed employers to replace overtime pay with comp time -doled out, or not, at the employers’ convenience. The bill died in the Senate.)

Minimal script to your representatives: I’m calling from [zip code] because I want Rep. [___] to vote “NO” on H.R.8442Worker Flexibility and Choice Act – in committee, on the floor, anywhere and everywhere it shows up. I’m appalled that it was a Democratic legislator – Rep. Cuellar, who introduced this toxic bill that would destroy the rights of millions of workers and the economic stability of their families.

Minimal script to your senators: I’m calling from [zip code] because I want Sen. [___] to publicly denounce any iteration of H.R.8442 – Worker Flexibility and Choice Act that reaches the Senate. This profoundly anti-worker bill proposed by Rep. Cuellar is an embarrassment to the Democratic party

(Contact information: See below Action #2)

Action #2: Renew calls to your senators on the PRO Act and tell all your legislators we are tired of paying for corporations to abuse us. “YES” on the H.R. 8448 –  No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act.

The last time we wrote about asking senators to pass H.R.842/ S.420 – Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) was on May Day (5/1) of 2021. It passed the House on 03/09/2021, but more than a year and half later, the Senate still hasn’t passed their version, thanks to the silence of Arizona’s Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema.

Meanwhile, the anti-union activities the PRO Act would have outlawed – such as pressure tactics, hiring anti-union consultants, anti-union advertising, and “captive audience meetings” continue unabated, and corporations are writing off the expense involved from their tax bills – at least $340 million a year. Yep, taxpayers are subsidizing corporate abuse of workers. H.R. 8448S.4192No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act would stop that insult, at least. 

Minimal script to your representatives: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] vote “YES” on H.R. 8448 –  No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act. I also want them to support full funding for the National Labor Relations Board, and substantial penalties for employers who violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), while we’re waiting for senators to find their spines and pass their version of the PRO Act.
(Check here for who is supporting H.R. 8448 – Carbajal and Brownley are NOT yet cosponsors!)

Minimal script to your senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen. [___] to vote “YES” on S.4192 –  No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act, which probably wouldn’t be necessary if the Senate had done its job and passed S.420 – the PRO Act back in 2021 alongside the House. Tell the senator we expect loud support for both these bills, full funding for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and substantial penalties for employers who violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

More script if you want it: If the Democrats are the party of the working class, it’s time to prove it.

(Check here for who is supporting S.4192 – Padilla is a cosponor, Feinstein hasn’t signed on yet.)

Contact:

  • Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
  • or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24): email. DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
  • Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
  • and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
  • Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com

References:

  • (Readings in American Literature) Frederick Douglass’ Economic Critique of Racism in My Bondage, My Freedom
  • (Slate) Uber Has Shown Us the Future It Wants for Employment – With a new bill, gig-economy companies aren’t just targeting their own workers. They’re coming for everyone.
  • (AmericansForTaxFairness) Billion-Dollar Union Busters
  • (CommonDreams) Why the Republican Party Wants to Destroy Labor Unions – The GOP sees unions and their supporters as enemies to be politically and economically destroyed.
  • (Johnathoncohn.medium) House Republicans Vote to Effectively End the 40-Hour Work Week
  • (democratic-erosion) Proposition 22: Corporate Manipulation at its Worst
  • (thetruthaboutcwi) The Truth about CWI – Coalition for Workforce innovation
  • (natlawreview) UPDATE: House Passes Build Back Better Bill Retaining Heavy New Penalties for Employer NLRA Violations
  • (NBC) Meet the Four Republican Lawmakers Who Want to Abolish the EPA – Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida introduced a bill in the House that would terminate the EPA by the end of 2018. Here’s who else signed on.
  • (Steny Hoyer) Meet the New GOP Plan to End Medicare, Same as the Old GOP Plan to End Medicare
  • (NYT) Republican Drive to Tilt Courts Against Climate Action Reaches a Crucial Moment
  • (NBC) Democrats hammer Republicans over Social Security as conservative candidates grab the ‘third rail’
  • (MSNBC) Republicans are fans of unemployment insurance if it undermines vaccine mandates
  • (Intelligencer) Can Anyone Stop the Uberization of the Economy?
  • (tcf.org) U.S. Labor Leaders Say Underfunding at Federal Agency Has “Reached Crisis Stage”
  • (lawecommons) The Echoes of Slavery: Recognizing the Racist Origins of the Agricultural and Domestic Worker Exclusion from the National Labor Relations Act.
  • (businessinsider) ROBERT REICH: The GOP Is Taking Us Back To The Gilded Age

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