Food, Labor & More Strikes!

IN THIS EDITION:

  • Repeal the Tax on Healthcare Plans!
  • Join the Labor Sing-a-Long at the Common Ground Fair
  • Discussion on Labor Issues in the Food Service Industry — 9/18
  • AFT Endorses Climate Strikes

Repeal the “Cadillac Tax” on Health Insurance Plans!

We are urging our members of Congress to secure a floor vote on a measure to eliminate the 40 percent “Cadillac” tax on health benefits. Although this regressive tax hasn't taken effect, employers have already been hollowing out employee health benefits to comply with the policy, making health care less affordable for millions of workers.

When this tax was first introduced, the architects of the Affordable Care Act argued that it would force employers to move away from “overly generous” health coverage and to impose higher out-of-pocket costs on workers in an effort to reduce “overutilization” of healthcare services.

The idea that any health coverage is “overly generous” is ludicrous, but if their goal was to force  working people to ration health care, they succeeded as this policy has only caused out-of-pocket costs to rise. The policy was based on a flawed assumption that employers would increase wages and other benefits if they reduced their health care benefits, but that has not been proven in practice.

Therefore we encourage you to contact Senator Angus King and ask him to repeal this regressive tax on working families and co-sponsor S.684!

Join the Labor Sing-A-Long at the Common Ground Fair!

We will also be hosting a labor song sing-a-long at the Fair on Sunday, September 22, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm in the Social/Political Action Speakers Tent. We’ll have song sheets to share with words for quite a few labor songs but all are welcome to bring other labor songs to share, instruments and, most importantly, your voices!

Discussion on Labor Issues in the Food Service Industry — 9/18

Matt Schlobohm, executive director of the Maine AFL-CIO, will join a panel of nationally recognized speakers to discuss labor issues in the food service industry in Portland on Wednesday, Sept. 18. The keynote speakers will include:

David Weil of Brandeis University, former head of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor under President Obama and author of The Fissured Workplace.

Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at Berkeley and author of Behind the Kitchen Door and Forked: A New Standard for American Dining.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

WHERE: Hannaford Hall, University of Southern Maine

The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required by filling out the form at www.FrancesPerkinsCenter.org or by calling 207-563-3374.

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Supports Student Climate Strikes

The American Federation of Teachers has announced its support for a series of upcoming youth-led climate strikes. During the week of September 20th, organizers say millions will walk out of their workplaces, homes and schools to demand action on climate change.

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s elected officials, engineers, researchers and scientists," said Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers. "They are designing solutions to preserve the earth’s riches, forging a path for a future they want to inherit.”

AFT represents teachers, part-time adjunct faculty, health care providers and personal care aids in multiple Maine unions throughout Maine.

To find out where climate strike actions are happening in Maine, visit this site and punch your zip code!