Teamsters Legislative Agenda Presented By Fred McLuckie Director Department of Federal Legislation and Regulation
Does It Make a Difference Who’s in Charge?• Congressional Approval Rating – 11%• All Politicians Are the Same• Throw All the Bums Out!• Don’t Worry – Be Happy!• We Have a Backstop – the Democratic Senate and the WH• Nothing Bad Can Happen. Right?
Surface Transportation Bill• H.R. 7 (Written by Rs) • S. 1813 (Bipartisan bill) – Eliminates transit funding stream – Keeps current HTF source – Eliminates hazmat training – “Buy American” loopholes – Provides broader range – Abrogates CBAs – Strengthens “Buy American” – Guarantees losses for private – No provision contractor – No Provision – Eliminates FLSA protections – Displaces state employees – No provision – Increases truck size/weights – No provision – Makes permanent 5,000 hazmat – Two-year study exemptions – No provision
Noteworthy Provisions• Rulemaking for EOBRs• Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse• Buy American loopholes closed• State Reporting of Foreign commercial driver convictions (cmv and non-cmv)• Teamster membership on MCSAC• Expanded Hazmat training• Scrutinizes Reincarnated Carriers• Pre-Authority Safety Audits for Motor Coach companies
Mexican Truck Pilot Program Business Address of MX Carrier
MX Truck Pilot Program• Start Date – October 21, 2011• First Carrier – Transporte Olympics ( 1t/2d)• 33% OOS rate after 7 inspections/trips• Total of 3 carriers (3 trucks/4 drivers)• 17 MX carriers with pending operating authority – Must pass Pre-Authority Safety Audit (PASA)• Grupo Behr – violated operating authority – 6 mo. Suspension• Reciprocity for U.S. Carriers???• MX Trucks Won’t Meet Environmental Standards• Lawsuit Pending – U.S. Court of Appeals – D.C. Circuit
Homeland Security Issues Smuggling Drugs, Guns and Cash• Agents Arrest Six in Drug Bust • Cocaine Seized From Tractor - Charlotte, NC Worth $3.52m• Port Officers Seize large cache • CBP Officers Seize Tractor of Ammo Trailer Loaded With Marijuana• Mexican Soldiers Seize Rig and • U.S. Updates Travel Warning Drugs for Mexico • In Mexico, 12,000 Killed in Drug Violence in 2011
Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)• Mega NAFTA-type trade deal• Nine countries – Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam• China, Russia, Indonesia, Japan, Canada and Mexico want in• Negotiated in secret – but 600 corporate “advisors” have access
TPP• Most of text has nothing to do with trade• Imposes limits on domestic food safety, health, environment and other polices• Contains a set of extreme foreign investor privileges and rights• “Buy American” standards gone!• Pharmaceutical patent rights extended• Corporations can challenge any country’s laws that get in their way
TPP• Strategy to defeat TPP: – Slow down the negotiation process – Peel back veil of secrecy – Show how it impacts countries’ sovereignty – Protests at negotiating rounds
Worker Misclassification Cheats Everyone• Workers are cheated out of vital benefits and protections.• Responsible employers are cheated out of business opportunities.• Federal and state governments are cheated out of billions of dollars in needed revenue.
Recommendations to “Make it Right”• Close the loophole: reform safe harbor provisions in Section 530 of the IRC.• Increase transparency and enforcement.• Strengthen record-keeping requirement.• Stronger penalties for willful misclassification.
Pursue a Two-Prong Approach• Attack misclassification from the tax cheat angle (IRS). – S.2145/ H.R. 4123 – Fair Playing Field Act of 2012• Tackle the problem through robust labor law enforcement (FLSA). – S. 770 – Payroll Fraud Prevention Act – H.R. 3178 – Employee Misclassification Prevention Act
The RESPECT Act (S. 2168)• NLRA gives private sector workers the right to organize, but excludes supervisors from coverage.• The NLRA [sec.2 (11)] defines “supervisor” as a person who has the authority to: “hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or responsibly to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or effectively to recommend such action, if …not of a merely routine or clerical nature, but requires independent judgment.”
NLRB Acts to Significantly Expand Who is a Supervisor• October 2006, NLRB issued a decision on 3 cases, collectively known as Kentucky River that significantly expands the number of workers who could be classified as supervisors. (Kentucky River = Oakwood Healthcare, Crest Healthcare Center, Croft Metals)• Board relied heavily on 2 of the 12 criteria in the definition of supervisor – the phrases “assign” and “responsibly to direct”. Dramatically expanded scope of these terms.• Board also held that worker who spends as little as 10% of his/her time in a supervisory capacity could be deemed a supervisor.• Sweeps those workers who exercise lone minor sporadic supervisory authority into a dramatically expanded definition of who is a supervisor.
The RESPECT Act (S. 2168)• S. 2168 makes 2 modest corrections to the NLRA to: (1) Restore the law to original intent (2) Protect key workplace rights of employees who are not and have never previously been viewed as supervisors.• S. 2168 eliminates the term “assign” and “responsibly to direct” from list of supervisory duties.• Only those with real authority to affect employee’s terms of employment could be classified as supervisors.• It requires that an employee have supervisory duties during a majority of his or her work time to be considered a true supervisor.
H.R. 2587 – “Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act”• Supporters claim the bill eliminates “government interference.”• What the bill really does: – Eviscerates the ability of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to provide basic protections for working men and women under the National Labor Relations Act. – Prohibits the NLRB from ordering any employer to close, relocate, or transfer employment under any circumstances. – Changed the rules mid-trial to benefit a particular Fortune 500 company, Boeing.
HR 3094 – The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act • H. R. 3094 purports to maintain the status quo with respect to elections supervised by the NLRB. However, it does no such thing. • The bill is designed to interfere with the ability of workers to freely choose to form a union and to do so in a timely fashion. • It would further give employers the upper hand by creating new opportunities for delay. • It would expand opportunities to run one-sided, anti-union campaigns (legal and illegal) to discourage workers in their organizing efforts.
HR 3094 – The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act• Mandates a delay in union elections by requiring that workers wait at least 35 days after a petition for election has been filed to hold a vote.• But no limit on how long an election may be delayed because of employer claims, challenges, appeals, and litigation.• Allows employers to indefinitely delay scheduling of election. (Marathon pre-election hearings, requiring findings on extraneous issues, frivolous litigation.)
Anti-Worker/ Anti Union Attacks: Frontal Assaults & Infiltration• Weaken/Gut the National Labor Relations Act and Other Worker Protections• Cripple the Ability of the NLRB, OSHA, DOL and Other Agencies to function and to enforce the Law (weak as it is.)• Attacks on the NLRA/NLRB go to the heart of the philosophy that workers should be free to choose.• Prior to, and since its enactment in 1935, the Chamber of Commerce has vigorously opposed the NLRA and sought to eliminate, or weaken, it. Nothing has changed.• The weapons: legislation, policy riders, defunding, politics, elections.
Anti-Worker/ Anti Union Attacks: Frontal Assaults & Infiltration• Weaken or eliminate the right to form a union and bargain collectively.• Increasing misclassification of workers.• Eliminate meaningful remedies available to workers. Make it easier for companies to outsource jobs oversees.• Interfere with the ability of workers to freely choose to form a union and to do so in a timely manner.• Abolish the NLRB and transfer “functions” to the Office of Labor Management Standards (at DOL) and to the Department of Justice.• National Right to Work (for Less) legislation.
Anti-Worker/ Anti Union Attacks: Frontal Assaults & Infiltration• Anti-salting legislation.• Allow states to outlaw unions unless a majority votes for a union by secret ballot.• Outlaw card check – prospectively and retroactively.• Prohibit pre-emption of state laws by the NLRB.• A “reverse” decertification procedure – require a secret ballot vote to continue union representation every 3 years.• Give non-union members the same rights as union members to vote on a collective bargaining agreement and to vote on a strike or other work stoppage.
Anti-Worker/ Anti Union Attacks: Frontal Assaults & Infiltration• A “reverse” Beck type procedure for union dues other than costs of collective bargaining. Rather than “opt out” and pay an agency fee (v. union dues) a worker would have to affirmatively “opt in”.• Mandate strike votes by all employees who would be affected by the strike with the vote conducted by a neutral, private organization, jointly chosen by the employer and employee.• Require a majority of all employees not just those voting to choose to join a union. (The old NMB election rule.)
Anti-Worker/ Anti Union Attacks: Frontal Assaults & Infiltration• Prohibit the NLRB from requiring an employer to provide the Board or a labor organization with employee telephone numbers or e-mail addresses.• Declare everyone a supervisor!• Eliminate Davis-Bacon prevailing wage.• Eliminate Service Contract Act prevailing wage and successor provisions.• Eliminate federal minimum wage requirements or permit states to opt out.
Anti-Worker/ Anti Union Attacks: Frontal Assaults & Infiltration• Hamstring OSHA’s ability to issue standards to protect workers and to enforce workplace safety and health.• Erode overtime protections. Expand exemptions for coverage. Comp time.• And, then there are the attacks to come on appropriations bills this year !!
Attacks on Worker Rights & Protections & the NLRB in Funding Bills - Expect Them Again This Year • The war on workers intensified last year with attacks coming in the form of anti-worker legislation, amendments, and policy riders to funding bills for fiscal year 2012. • With respect to Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations bills for Agriculture, Energy-Water Development, and Interior, a series of amendments to eliminate Davis-Bacon and Service Contract Act coverage and to block the President’s executive order, and thus the use of project labor agreements, on federally assisted construction projects were offered and, fortunately, defeated.
Attacks on Worker Rights & Protections & the NLRB in Funding Bills - Expect Them Again This Year• The broadest and most intense assault on worker protections came in the Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations Bill introduced in the House by Representatives Denny Rehberg and Hal Rogers.• Made steep cuts in most worker protection and enforcement programs, including the NLRB.• Also included numerous policy riders (a number of which are drawn from H.R. 2587 and H.R. 3094) to block the DOL and the NLRB from going forward with various rules and initiatives.
Attacks on Worker Rights & Protections & the NLRB in Funding Bills - Expect Them Again This YearNational Labor Relations Board:• Filing & Processing of petitions – blocks proposed rulemaking regarding the timing and scope of representations hearings (and consequently the timing of elections).• Employee Rights – prohibits the use of funds for implementation or enforcement of the final rule governing the notification of employee rights• NLRA coverage – Prohibits the use of funds for the exercise of jurisdiction by the NLRB over any entity that meets the definition of a small business concern under the CFR (re: sm. biz. size regulations). This would virtually gut worker rights and protections under the NLRA (a sm. biz. could be as large as 500 – 1000 employees).
Attacks on Worker Rights & Protections & the NLRB in Funding Bills - Expect Them Again This YearDepartment of Labor:• Wage & Hour Division – prohibits the use of funds for the continued development or promulgation of Right to Know under the FLSA regulation, adversely impacting the DOL’s worker misclassification initiative.• LMRDA – blocks the promulgation or implementation of a final rule relating to employer and labor relations consultant reporting under the LMRDA, i.e. the proposed rulemaking re: interpretations of advice (transparency re: union-busting activity).• OSHA – no funds for continuing work on the MSD recording and reporting requirements, the Injury and Illness Prevention Program (identification and correction of workplace hazards on an ongoing basis), and residential roof falls prevention.
Attacks on Worker Rights & Protections & the NLRB in Funding Bills - Expect Them Again This YearDepartment of Labor:• Department-Wide – prohibits the use of funds for any activity related to “significant regulatory action” as defined by E.O. 12866 unless Approps. Committees notified 30 days prior.• Other - The bill also prohibits the use of funds to implement, administer or enforce final Federal Acquisition Regulations regarding the use of project labor agreements for federal construction projects published by DOD, GSA and NASA.
Overall Federal Income Tax Rates on Millionaires1997 – Capital gains taxrate lowered from 28% to20%2001 – First Bush tax cutslower top marginal ratesfrom 39.6% to 35%2003 – Second Bush taxcuts, reduce capital gainsand dividend taxes to15%
The “Buffett Rule”• Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012., sponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).• Requires that all households with incomes above $1 million pay at least a 30 percent minimum tax rate.• Failed to pass Senate by vote of 51 – 45, Pryor and Collins broke rank.
Stop the War on Workers!“We didnt start this war – the right wing did. Mycomments on Labor Day in Detroit echo the angerand frustration of American workers who areunder attack by corporate-funded politicians whowant to destroy the middle class. This fight isabout the economy, it’s about jobs, and its aboutrebuilding America…we all have to vote to takethese anti-worker politicians out of office.” - JPH, September 2011