Tag Archives: workers

Farm Workers Aren’t Free

Freedom to come together and negotiate in a union is even more important when it comes to migrant farm workers. Fear of retaliation on farms in the US is so widespread. Farm bosses know they can bring people in to work, treat them poorly, deny those who stand up for their rights a visa for next season, and in that way, keep them “in line.”

One recent and disturbing case is Jose Alberto who worked at the farm of North Carolina Senator Brent Jackson for four years. After he accidently broke a piece of equipment, he was fired for refusing to pay for it and evicted from his housing. When he and six other workers filed a lawsuit against Jackson Farming Company for unpaid wages and Alberto’s unjust firing, a farm employee called them at their homes in Mexico and threatened them. None have been offered farm jobs this season.

Visit: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/stop-the-retaliation-of-farm-workers-at-jackson-farming-company-2?source=blog to send an e-mail to state senator of North Carolina and owner of Jackson Farming Co., Brent Jackson, and tell him to stop the retaliation, rehire blacklisted and fired workers, and allow employees to negotiate together to create a better workplace.

New Guidance for Employee Classification

Last week the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued clear and timely guidance on the question of which workers should be considered employees and therefore covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act. You can read the guidance the Administrator’s Interpretation at: http://www.dol.gov/whd/workers/Misclassification/AI-2015_1.pdf.

Here are some highlights:

  • In instances where employees are labeled something other than contractors—“owners,” “partners,” or “members of a limited liability company”—the determination of whether the workers are in fact FLSA covered employees should be made by applying an economic realities analysis.
  • The multi-faceted economic realities test focuses on whether the worker is economically dependent on the employer or truly in business for him or herself.
  • Job designation given by a company is not determinative of a worker’s employment status.
  • This Administrator’s Interpretation is not new. It explains long-standing and developed case law and DOL interpretations of 77-year-old “suffer or permit to work” terms. It should not come as a surprise to companies.

Trade Deals Need to Work for Workers, not CEOs


Even though Congress pulled some last-minute political maneuvering to get Fast Track passed last month—we beat all the odds and changed the game. Despite arm-twisting from corporations and the 1%, Congress nearly defeated Fast Track thanks to pressure that millions of working Americans put on their legislators.

In the coming months, as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—the biggest trade deal in the history of US trade deals—moves forward, Congress will have to vote on it. Working Americans need to stand together to make sure the TPP doesn’t sell out working people here and abroad, give foreign corporations special privileges to sue US taxpayers to recover lost profits, nor undermine efforts to stop climate change.

“We need to carry this momentum forward and tell our lawmakers to focus on policies to raise wages, so millions of working families don’t have to worry about putting food on the table or keeping a roof over their heads. And one way to do that is to ensure that the final TPP is as good for working people as President Obama has said it is,” says AFL-CIO Trade and Globalization Policy Specialist Celeste Drake.

Tell US Trade Representative Michael Froman and President Barack Obama to make trade deals work for working people and not CEOs by signing the petition at: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/trade-deals-must-work-for-working-people.