Labor Notes #467

For union members trying to breathe a little life into their local, a newsletter is often the “go-to” solution. But what should go in it?

Wearing scrubs emblazoned with cheery cartoon characters, superheroes, and holiday themes is a point of pride for many of us who work at Kaleida Health in Buffalo, New York. It’s especially important to patients at the Children’s Hospital—bringing a little life into what can otherwise be a dreary, even scary, place to visit.

But last fall, administrators tried to wiggle their way around the contract language and impose uniform scrub colors.

On December 18 an Amtrak passenger train traveling at 78 miles an hour derailed on a 30 mile-per-hour curve outside DuPont, Washington, killing three people and injuring scores more.

It’s Friday morning, and you’re starting another 12-hour shift in the bitter cold. At least you know the end is in sight, because tomorrow is Saturday and you’re almost to the 60-hour weekly limit.

That is, until your manager hits you with the news: UPS has decided to exploit a loophole in Department of Transportation regulations to allow 70-hour weeks. You’ll be working tomorrow after all.

Judging by what’s in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, Donald Trump and the Republicans who pushed this disastrous bill through Congress in December must have thought American inequality wasn’t unequal enough.

Their act showers benefits on the best-off taxpayers. For the rest of us, it offers only meager tax reductions written in disappearing ink.

In 2018, the Tax Policy Center estimates, taxpayers with incomes of $1 million or more will get an average tax cut of $69,660, while those under $75,000 will get an average cut of $353.

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