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Rolando appointed AFL-CIO finance committee vice chairman during labor fed’s winter meeting

Rolando appointed AFL-CIO finance committee vice chairman during labor fed’s winter meeting

NALC President Fredric Rolando was appointed vice chairman of the AFL-CIO’s finance committee during the federation’s executive council meeting this week in San Diego. The president sits on the council as one of its vice presidents.

During its sessions this week, the council also discussed a wide range of items related to the union movement, including plans for the labor movement’s get-out-the-vote efforts in 2016 and beyond and the alarming number of anti-union battles taking place on around the country at the state level. The council also adopted a variety of policy statements; among them was one that concerns the rising class of “on demand” workers, something that has the potential to threaten Postal Service jobs.

“While the number of people who earn a majority of their income from work ‘on demand’ via digital platforms constitutes only a tiny slice of the workforce today, some predict this kind of work could become much more prevalent in the future,’ the statement said. “Under current law, only workers who are defined as ‘employees’ are protected by the National Labor Relations Act. Encouraging on-demand companies to rely on a workforce of independent contractors who lack the rights and protections of employees is bad public policy, yet four states have passed legislation doing just that for Uber and Lyft drivers. Similar bills are pending in five other states.

“We believe there is no basis for the pessimistic view that good jobs soon will be a thing of the past,” it said. “Employee status by itself is no guarantee of decent work, but the rights and protections of employee status long have been the foundation on which we strengthen our bargaining power.” (Click here to read the council’s other adopted policy statements.)

Also at the meeting, the council declined to hold a vote on whether to endorse a presidential candidate in the 2016 election campaign. In an e-mail to executive council members, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said that, after much discussion and conversation, “I have concluded that there is broad consensus for the AFL-CIO to remain neutral in the presidential primaries for the time being and refrain from endorsing any candidate at this moment.”

Trumka said that the federation’s leadership encourages “affiliated unions to pursue their own deliberations with their members and come to their own endorsement decisions, if any, through open and rigorous debate.”