This Labor Day we recognize the incredible achievements of America’s working people and celebrate all those who make our country run. Many of us will be busy with barbecues, festivals and other types of family events that bring everyone together. Amid all the celebrating, we must truly consider what strengthens our families and communities and take a look at how public policies have deliberately diminished working peoples’ ability to sustain a good living and driven our economy out of balance.
Working people are the backbone of our nation and need to be recognized as such, both in word and deed. Too often, those working every day for a better life are forced to take a back seat to corporate interests which care only about their own bottom line. Workers everywhere are standing up and speaking out for fundamental, lasting change regardless of whether they work in manufacturing, engineering, service or retail.
Every day, working people use their talent, dedication and drive to make our nation stronger. This Labor Day should be a celebration of working families, because we are ready to speak up together, change the rules and bring lasting economic balance so that every family can pursue the American Dream and work for a better life.
On Labor Day, we are asking all working families to highlight the single greatest thing that unites us—“Working. For a Better Life”— and to join the push for a fairer and more just economy.
There are a number of ways that you can show solidarity with working people between now and Labor Day:
1) Share one of our 6 Facebook images about Labor Day, on your facebook page, between now and Labor Day. Click HERE
2) Take Action on Overtime Pay: The Labor Dept is going to decide very soon on overtime regulations that would impact millions of working people. Please sign this petition to Secretary Perez, and share with your friends between now and Labor Day:
3) Share this graphic so folks know where to buy their union-made cookout items!
4) Attend a Labor Day event near you! See below for local events in Metro-Atlanta and Savannah.
Savannah Regional Central Labor Council - Labor Day 2015
Sunday, September 6th
Monday, September 7th
Fix Overtime Pay for America’s Workers
Target: Secretary Thomas Perez, U.S. Department of Labor
Millions of Americans have been working overtime and not getting paid for it. The U.S. Department of Labor just unveiled new overtime eligibility rules that will restore overtime protections that have been weakened over the years. Now it needs to hear from us to make sure these new overtime rules provide even stronger protection for working people.
STEP ONE: Know Your Rights
Federal and state laws guarantee the right to form unions. Eligible employees have the right to express their views on unions, to talk with their co-workers about their interest in forming a union, to wear union buttons and to attend union meetings. (Supervisors and a few other types of employees customarily are excluded from coverage.)
Despite these laws, many employers strongly resist their employees' efforts to gain a voice at work through unionization. So, before youstart talking union where you work, get in touch with a union that will help you organize.
STEP TWO: Find Out Which Union Is Right for You
To form a union on the job, you need the backup and hands-on help from the union you are seeking to join. If you don't already know which union is most able to help you, find out more about the unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO by visiting their websites. Many of these websites enable you to contact the right person there directly to help you form a union.
In communities across the country, the AFL-CIO has local and state councils where unions come together to work toward common goals. To find out about union activity in your community, visit the website of your state federation of labor or central labor council or check local directory assistance for this phone listing. Staff members at these offices can put you in touch with a local union that is right for you.
STEP THREE: Find Out About Working America
If forming a union with your coworkers isn’t a real possibility for you, you can still be a part of the union movement by joining Working America, the AFL-CIO’s community affiliate for people who don’t have a union at work.
STEP FOUR: Get in Touch with a Union Organizer
Union organizers assist employees in forming unions on the job to give them the same opportunity for a say at work, good wages and decent working conditions.
Worker Misclassification affects tens of thousands of workers around Georgia, every day. Whether they are truck drivers at the Port of Savannah, Stagehands at the Rock & Roll venues in Atlanta, or Construction workers across our State - this practice is widespread, and must end.
What is worker misclassification? Simply put - it occurs when a worker is paid as an independent contractor (1099), but is treated like an employee (told when to show up, what to do, what to wear, etc).
The result is hundreds of millions of dollars in lost wages and state tax revenues every year. Workers don't receive the same protection, workers compensation or unemployment insurance.
The vast majority of business owners are doing the right thing and following state law. However it is nearly impossible to discover the unscrupulous businesses, because there is currently no mechanism to report this practice.
We need you to contact your State Representative ask them to support House Bill 500 to further define in statute, worker misclassification. And to make sure there are adequate whistle-blower protections for the workers who would report this practice.
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