T-Mobile’s company union ruled illegal

A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administrative judge on April 4 ruled that an organization of employees created by T-Mobile, the third largest wireless carrier in the US, is an “employer dominated” organization and is therefore illegal.

Employer dominated employee organizations are also known as company unions, which were outlawed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in 1935.

T-Mobile created the organization called T-Voice in 2015 and described it as the voice of frontline workers.

Members of T-Mobile Workers United (TU) who are organizing a union independent of the company filed charges with the NLRB arguing that T-Voice was the voice of management not frontline workers.

Administrative Judge Sharon Levinson Steckler agreed and ordered T-Mobile to disband T-Voice.

“Whenever an employer unlawfully establishes and maintains a dominated labor organization, that organization must be disestablished (because) (t)he dominated labor organization cannot function as a bargaining representative of employees,” wrote Steckler in her decision.

TU is a national organization of T-Mobile workers organized by the Communication Workers of America (CWA).

Its headquarters are located in Wichita, Kansas and last year its members elected Chief Stewards to represent the interests of workers at seven T-Mobile call centers.

“If T-Mobile wants to address its workers’ concerns and ideas, (TU has) democratically elected representatives ready and willing to meet with management to discuss how we can improve our workplace,” said Angela Melvin, a TU executive board member and T-Mobile customer representative in Wichita.

 

During the time that it has been active, TU has won some important job improvements including paid paternity leave, protections against sexual harassment, and protections of employee free speech rights.

It is currently engaged in making T-Mobile’s employee metrics, the measures the company uses to judge employee performance, fairer and more consistent.

 

 

T-Mobile, owned by the German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom, operates 17 US call centers, where customer service representatives handle inquiries and complaints.

T-Mobile also owns retail outlets, including those managed by MetroPCS, which was purchased by T-Mobile in 2013.

T-Mobile created T-Voice at a time when TU was scoring some victories and growing as an organization, whose ultimate goal is to be union representing T-Mobile’s customer service representatives, technicians, and sales associates.

T-Mobile said that it created T-Voice to address employee and customer problems, that the company refers to as “pain points.”

T-Mobile hand picked T-Voice representatives, provided company space for T-Voice meetings, and paid T-Voice representatives for T-Voice work.

Company managers also sat in on T-Voice meetings.

Despite T-Mobile’s assertion that T-Voice wasn’t a company union, it had all the trappings of one.

Company unions have their roots in a working class tragedy that took place at the turn of the twentieth century.

In 1913 miners at John D. Rockefeller’s Colorado Fuel and Iron mines in Ludlow, Colorado went on strike for better pay, better working conditions, and the recognition of their union.

The strike was long and bitter. The Colorado governor at the behest of Rockefeller called in the National Guard to break the strike.

On April 20, 1914, guardsmen using machine guns opened fire on an encampment where thousands of miners and their families lived during the strike.

The soldiers killed 14 miners, 11 of their children, and two women.

The Ludlow massacre at the time became infamous, and Rockefeller looked for other means besides brute force to keep miners from organizing their own unions.

His solution was to create a union affiliated with the company. He called his company’s union the Employees Representation Plan.

Other employers adopted Rockefeller’s soft strategy for deterring workers from organizing their own unions, and company unions began to proliferate.

While company unions gave the appearance of workers having a voice on the job, they had no power that could give them a real voice or to bargain effectively over wages and working conditions.

In 1935 while the US was in the midst of the Great Depression, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was enacted.

The NLRA created labor standards that among other things prohibited company unions because they put the interests of the employers ahead of the interest of the workers who they were supposed to represent.

Judge Steckler ruled that T-Mobile had violated Section 8(a)(2) of the NLRA, and her ruling creates a path for T-Mobile workers to have an independent voice on the job.

TU wants to be that independent voice.

“We’re telling our co-workers: ‘Your voice matters’,” said Melvin. “Across the country, call center representatives, retail associates, and technicians are coming together to support one another and fight for fairness on the job.”

Fight Racism, Raise Wages

April 4 is an important date in history.

Fifty years ago on April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave one of his most memorable sermons at the Riverside Church in New York City.

The sermon explained why he had decided to publicly oppose the Vietnam War, but it was much more than that and has subsequently been referred to as Dr. King’s “Beyond Vietnam” sermon.

In his sermon, King said that the war was a symptom of more troubling problems facing the US and called for “a radical revolution of values” to overcome the “triplets of racism, militarism, and economic exploitation.”

A year later on April 4, 1968, King was murdered in Memphis where he was in town to support striking sanitation workers.

Forty-nine years later on April 4, 2017, local groups of the Black Lives Matter and Fight for $15 movements joined together to renew King’s call for a “radical revolution of values.”

They held rallies, marches, and teach-ins in two dozen US cities whose unifying theme was “Fight Racism, Raise Wages.”

“I just want you to know with the time we are living in now, with the level of poverty and the level of racism and the level of extremism, silence is not an option. We cannot be quiet and silent any more,” said Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and leader of North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement at the Fight Racism, Raise Wages rally in Memphis.

On its “Beyond the Moment” web page, the Movement for Black Lives announced that the April 4, Fight Racism, Raise Wages actions were the beginning of a month-long campaign of “political education” and “bold actions” designed to lay the foundation for building “a Movement of the Majority,” described as

“Black and Brown people, immigrant communities,  the economically unstable, women, children, the disabled, the LGBTQ community, those working to protect our right to work, and those fighting for our right to clean air and water, (all of whom are) facing attacks because a minority whose values are rooted in white supremacy, division, and hatred have taken power.

Although in power, hate is not the majority.  People who believe in freedom, justice and the humanity of all people are the majority, and we’ve had enough. We won’t stand idly by and watch our communities be attacked and torn apart.

The center of the April 4 rallies and demonstrations was Memphis, where thousands of people marched behind a banner reading “Fight Racism, Raise Wages, Still Fighting for the Dream.”

They marched through downtown to the Lorraine Motel, where King was murdered 49 years ago.

One of those marching was Genevieve Sneed, a home care worker.

“Dr. King came to Memphis to march with Black sanitation workers fighting for better pay and union rights – a fight that we continue today,” said Sneed. “Black and Brown workers—especially women—have been held back by the forces of poverty wages and racism for far too long. After 30 years as a home care worker, I only make $9/hour. It’s time to break down the barriers to the economic and racial justice Dr. King fought for.”

“I have been a home care worker for more than 20 years, yet I only make $9.75 an hour,” said Sepia Coleman who was also at the march. “I do valuable work, yet my pay screams that I am not worthy of living wages for the valuable work I do. The low pay, lack of advancement opportunities, and disrespect I face, and so many persons of color face, says we don’t count. But we do count. That’s why I am committed to the fight to undo the pattern of racial and economic injustice that so many of us encounter.”

The Memphis marchers paused for a moment of silence at 6:01 P.M., the time that King was shot in 1968.

Similar demonstrations took place in cities all over the US.

In Charleston, South Carolina supporters of the Fight Racism, Raise Wages actions gathered at the International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1422 union hall.

At the rally, Local 1422 President Kenneth Riley told the audience that in addition to being the anniversary of King’s assassination, April 4 is the anniversary of the death of Walter Scott, an African American man shot and killed by police officers in North Carolina.

“At this critical juncture in our history, it is so important to honor the memory of these two men, both undone by race hate and gun violence,” said Riley. “But even as he left us, Dr. King showed us the way forward–a three-fold attack on the evils of war, poverty, and racism.”

Unions oppose Gorsuch nomination

Unions are taking a stand against President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

In letters to lawmakers and messages to members, unions say that Gorsuch’s record as a judge on the US Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and his judicial philosophy show that as a Supreme Court Justice, he would put the private interests of corporations and big business ahead of the public interests.

Deborah Burger and Jean Ross, co-presidents of the National Nurses Union, in a letter to US senators, said Judge Gorsuch is “driven by ideology” rather than a devotion to the law.

Gorsuch “has been consistently dismissive of Americans’ rights to meaningful equality and workplace justice” and his record shows that he “promotes business interests at the expense of the average American,” wrote Burger and Ross.

In a separate message to Senate Democrats, NNU urged them to join the Senate’s Democratic Leader Sen. Charles Schumer in filibustering Gorsuch’s nomination.

“We strongly support (Sen. Schumer’s decision to  filibuster) and urge all Senate Democrats to vote against cloture on the floor of the Senate,” said Burger and Ross.

A successful filibuster would raise the number of votes needed to secure Gorsuch’s nomination from 51 to 60.

Dennis Williams, president of the United Autoworkers (UAW) also wrote a letter to senators urging them to reject Gorsuch’s nomination.

In addition to criticizing Judge Gorsuch’s judicial record of supporting business over workers, Williams’ expressed concerns about how Gorsuch’s nomination would affect civil rights and campaign finance cases that come before the Supreme Court.

“Judge Gorsuch’s judicial philosophy and public statements strongly suggest that he would decide cases in a way that eviscerates what remains of our campaign finance laws and further weakens voting rights,” wrote Williams.

Both the UAW and Communication Workers of America (CWA) are urging members to get involved in stopping the Gorsuch nomination.

The UAW in a flyer, urged members to contact their senators to tell them to vote no on the nomination.

The CWA in a e-mail message to members did the same.

In the message, CWA described testimony  that its General Counsel Jody Calemine gave at a hearing on the Gorsuch nomination conducted by the Senate  Judiciary Committee.

In that testimony, Calemine brought the case of Trans Am Trucking, Inc. v. Administrative Review Board to the attention of the committee and the general public.

The case involved a truck driver named Alphonse Maddin, who was fired by his employer Trans Am Trucking.

Maddin was stranded on a highway in subzero weather after the brakes on his truck’s trailer froze. Maddin reported the problem to Trans Am and waited for three hours for help to arrive.

When Maddin began to feel the effects of hypothermia, he became worried that he might freeze to death. With no word from Trans Am on when help would arrive, Maddin unhooked his trailer from the cab and drove himself to safety.

As a result, the company fired him for abandoning the trailer.

Maddin filed a complaint against Trans Am with the US Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

The case was heard by an administrative law judge with US Department of Labor who ruled in favor of Maddin and awarded him back pay.

Trans Am appealed the judge’s decision, and the appeal was eventually heard by the US Court of Appeals Tenth District.

A three judge panel of the appeals court voted 2 to 1 in favor of Maddin ruling that Maddin had acted appropriately when he decided to save his own life.

Gorsuch, on the other hand, dissented saying that the company was justified in firing Maddin.

In addition to mobilizing their members to oppose the Gorsuch nomination, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have joined a grassroots coalition of public interest groups called People’s Defense to stop the Gorsuch nomination.

People’s Defense on April 1 held rallies in cities across the US to speak out against the Gorsuch nomination.

At the rally in Cleveland,  SEIU Local 1 Ohio Director Yanela Sims told the audience that the US needs an economy and political system that works for working people; not one that puts the special interest of corporate America above the public interest.

Grievance strike hits AT&T West; workers demand a fair contract

Seventeen thousand AT&T West technicians and call center workers returned to work on March 23 after participating in a grievance strike that affected AT&T’s communication services in California and Nevada.

The grievance strike was called by Communication Workers of America (CWA) District 9 to protest the company’s efforts to expand the duties of premise technicians.

Premise technicians install and maintain AT&T’s U-Verse television and internet service, but last July, the company issued a document requiring them to perform work done by higher paid service technicians who maintain and repair telephone and cable lines.

“We went on strike to demonstrate to the country that we will not do more work for less pay, especially when it puts us in a position not to deliver the best possible service,” said Robert Longer, a member of CWA Local 9421 in Sacramento, California.

The strike lasted one day and ended after the company agreed to rescind the document requiring premise technicians to perform expanded job duties.

“Our grievance strike was a success,” read a statement issued by CWA District 9. “Our premise technicians will no longer be required to work outside of the scope of the their duties.”

The scope of premise technicians’ duties has been one of the sticking points keeping AT&T and the union from reach a fair agreement on a new contract.

The union and AT&T West have been negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement for more than a year.

The current agreement expired in April 2016, but the two sides have continued to negotiate.

When the company in July attempted to circumvent the bargaining process and unilaterally expanded the scope of premise technician duties, union members filed a number of grievances to prevent the expansion.

The union was negotiating with the company to resolve the grievance, but the negotiations broke down.

In a statement explaining the reason for the strike, the union said that AT&T disrespected the bargaining process and “reneged on an agreement to resolve the (premise technician) dispute without any explanation.”

“We are on strike today because AT&T is hurting us all by violating their bargaining obligations with the union,” said Robinson Paiz, a maintenance splicer from Los Angeles.  “We don’t want to let our customers down, but AT&T left us with no other choice. AT&T needs to get serious and honor its contract with us so we can keep servicing our customers.”

The union and its members are hoping that the grievance strike will make it clear to AT&T that they are serious about negotiating a fair new collective bargaining agreement.

There are other contract issues that have yet to be resolved.

Union members want to keep their health care benefits intact without the cuts proposed by the company; they want the company to hire more workers to deal with the chronic under  staffing; and they want to protect their jobs against offshoring.

AT&T has outsourced thousands of call center jobs abroad to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and the Philippines.

AT&T recently closed its largest call center in Oakland, leaving those who remain on the job nervous about their futures.

“The fact that AT&T has moved a lot of jobs (abroad) has hurt a lot of us here in the United States,” said one California call center worker. “I talk to my children a lot about Mommy not being employed anymore.”

“When they get rid of the jobs in our communities it affects a lot of other businesses in the communities,” said another California call center worker.

Union members also want the company to hire more workers. “We’re short staffed,” said another AT&T worker.

Short staffing is causing workers to work a lot of forced overtime.

“Forced overtime can happen anytime, and any day,” said another AT&T worker. “You can’t make plans in the evening because you don’t know what time you’re going to get off.”

Forced overtime is also interfering with family life. Workers miss special events like birthday parties for family members and everyday events like spending time with their children.

Short staffing, forced overtime, health care cuts, outsourcing, and the expansion of the scope of premise technicians’ work are all the results of AT&T attempts to cut labor costs.

These cuts aren’t coming at a time when ATT&T is struggling.

In fact, AT&T makes a billion a month in profits and its CEO Randall Stephenson received $28.4 million in compensation for 2016, a 13 percent increase over the previous year.

But the company is getting pressure from its Wall Street investors to reduce labor costs so more of the wealth created by the company’s workers can go to investors.

“While AT&T is extremely profitable, the company has become disconnected from the day to day issues facing workers and customers,” said a statement issued by CWA. “Despite the financial success, the company is asking its workers to do more for less — keeping them from their families with unpredictable overtime, undercutting pay and advancement, offshoring good jobs, and pushing more health care costs onto employees. At the same time, customers are paying increasingly higher bills to AT&T for essential services.”

AZ Supreme Court backs voters on raising minimum wage

The Arizona Supreme Court on March 14 upheld the state’s new minimum wage and paid sick leave law by  unanimously rejecting a lawsuit filed by the law’s opponents.

The new law, which took effect in January, raises the state’s minimum wage from $8.05 an hour to $10 an hour. More raises will follow until the minimum wage reaches $12 an hour in 2020. After that, future raises will be tied to increases in the cost of living.

The new law also requires businesses to give employees at least three paid sick days a year.

Because of the new law, more than 800,000 of Arizona’s 2.5 million workers will get pay raises by 2020.

Arizona voters in November voted in a statewide referendum on the Fair Wages and Health Families Initiative, or Proposition 2016, which called for raising the state’s minimum wage and providing paid sick leave to all workers.

58 percent of them voted “yes” for Proposition 206.

Despite Proposition 206’s widespread support among voters, right wing groups led by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry filed suit to block implementation of the law.

After hearing that the court had rejected the chamber’s suit, supporters of the Proposition 206 held a media conference where they welcomed the good news.

“We’re so very happy that the Arizona Supreme Court decided for the will of the voters and not for special interests,” said Tomas Robles, executive director of  Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), which organized the campaign that got Proposition 206 on the ballot and the eventual referendum victory.

The successful campaign began more than a year ago, said Alejandra Gomez, co-director of LUCHA.

“We started this battle over a year ago, and were able to show that when the community comes together we can have a victory,” said Gomez. “We came together. We collected signatures on petitions. We talked to thousands of voters to let them know that this referendum would mean a pay increase in their salaries.”

The first step toward getting the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Initiative on the ballot was to gather 150,642 signatures of registered voters on a ballot petition.

Supporters of the initiative gathered 271,000 signatures.

The petitions were submitted in July to the secretary of state, who reviewed the petitions, determined that there were enough valid  signatures, and added the initiative to the November ballot.

LUCHA organized its members and supporters to knock on doors and talk directly to voters about raising the minimum wage and providing paid sick days to all workers.

The effort to win voter support also included direct mailings, television ads, and a digital media campaign.

The Chamber of Commerce tried twice to keep the initiative off the ballot.

In August a trial judge rejected the chamber’s suit to deny voters the opportunity to vote on the initiative. Two weeks later, the state Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s decision by rejecting the chamber’s appeal.

When voters went to the polls in November, they overwhelmingly supported Proposition 206.

It garnered 1,195,027 votes, more than Sen. John McCain (1,089,324 votes), who won the state’s US Senate race, and Donald Trump ( 1,021,154 votes) who won the state’s presidential electoral college vote.

The new minimum wage increase means that workers like Rosa Maria Padilla received big pay raises in January, some by as much as $1.95 an hour.

Padilla is a care giver to the elderly and to children with special needs.

“In December the company that I work for told us that we would be getting a pay raise thanks to Proposition 206,” said Padilla in Spanish through a translator.

Padilla, a member of LUCHA, added that the fight for a fair and livable wage isn’t over.

LUCHA and other worker groups will continue to fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage.

“This won’t be the last we hear about raising the minimum wage,” said Padilla. “We’re going to keep fighting.”

Idaho silver miners to protect hard won gains

Two hundred forty-six Idaho miners on January 17 voted unanimously to continue their strike at the Lucky Friday silver mine in Mullan, Idaho.

The mine is owned by the Hecla Mining Company, which owns silver and other precious metal mines in the US, Mexico, and Canada. Hecla is headquartered in nearby Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

The strike began on March 13 after miners voted to strike when they learned that the company planned to implement portions of its contract proposal that miners rejected in January.

The miners are members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 5114.

The contract that the union members rejected included a number of concessions.

“The miners consider this offer to be a slap in the face,” said Steve Powers, USW District 12 staff representative to the Spokane, Washington Spokesman-Review. “A lot of them have been here for 15-plus years. They made it through the hard times already.”

The miners, instead, want to hold onto to gains that they’ve won since the local was organized in 1970.

“We’re asking to basically keep things the way they are,” said Local 5114 member Rick Norman to the Spokesman-Review.

In a letter written to the Shoshone News-Press, Norman describes some of the concessions that Hecla is demanding.

Norman writes that the company has offered to increase base pay, but its pay raise is offset by steep increases in health insurance premiums, co-pays, and deductibles that could increase from year to year.

Even worse, the company wants to reduce the workers’ silver price premium, essentially a bonus that, according to Norman “is a big player in our annual bottom line.”

The company also wants to reduce recall rights to three months, which means that no matter how long miners have worked for the company, they wouldn’t be guaranteed a job if they were laid off for three months or longer.

Norman goes on:

The job progression plan (Hecla) has offered is just a way of giving more power and control to management so they can mix and match people when and where they want at their discretion. The bid system we have now is considered the cornerstone of any union and without it our voice in the workplace is greatly silenced. This system has been labeled “outdated” by (Hecla). This system has broken production records time and time again throughout the years, and a big reason for that is the “ownership of responsibility” that comes with the team that is picked by labor. There is a lot of pride and competition between teams and this is only a good and productive thing for labor and management. To discard this bidding system, in my opinion, would be a huge mistake pertaining to production and safety.

As if these concession demands weren’t enough, the company also wants to reduce vacation days.

Hecla’s concession demands come at a time when business is good.

“We finished 2016 strongly, with record silver and silver equivalent production for the year and robust performance at all our mines driving record sales, strong net income and more than doubling adjusted EBITDA over last year,” said Phillips S. Baker, Jr., Hecla’s president and CEO, in a message to investors.

Hecla’s demands for concessions during what Baker describes as a year of “robust performance” is emblematic of a problem that the working class as a whole is facing: corporations are seeking ways to lower labor costs even as they prosper in order to extract an even greater share of the wealth that workers are helping to create.

Other unionized workers seem to understand that Hecla’s overreaching concession demands aren’t just a threat to the Lucky Friday miners, they’re a threat to all workers.

We are getting calls of support and financial pledges from across the country from various local unions,” writes Phil Epler on the union’s Facebook page. “I would like to recognize Brad Toland and his fellow members out of Ironworkers local 86 in Seattle for donating $500 to our hardship fund. I also received a call from Rick Olson out of Machinist local 86 Spokane. He and some of their members are heading over to attend the spaghetti feed at the Sunshine Inn tomorrow at 6 pm. There will also be a silent auction at the dinner with all proceeds going to our hardship fund.

The spaghetti dinner and silent auction raised more than $2100 for the strikers’ hardship fund.

The striking miners also received a message of support from miners in Mexico.

The National Executive Committee of the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Related Workers of the Mexican Republic, and all of its members . . .send a message of support and solidarity to all of the workers at the Lucky Friday Mine who are on strike today, writes Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, president and general secretary of the union. We support your courageous decision to strike and we encourage you to unite to fight and resist . We hope that soon Hecla Mining Co. will be willing to listen, to negotiate and to reach an agreement that respects your working conditions and is fair to all parties. The Mexican Mineworkers stand with you!

 

Unions: Trumpcare hurts workers; enriches the already rich

The Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, was filed in Congress on March 6.

The official title of the Republican bill is the American Health Care Act (AHCA), but D. Taylor, president of UNITE HERE, is calling the new bill “Trumpcare.”

When the bill was introduced, labor unions condemned it as a gift to the rich paid for by the working class.

One week after the bill was introduced, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of Trumpcare. The CBO analysis confirms that the unions are right.

The New York Times reports that according to the CBO analysis, Trumpcare cuts taxes on the wealthy and corporations by $1 trillion over the next ten years.

Those taxes help pay for federal subsidies that made health insurance affordable for many workers.

Trumpcare eliminates the subsidies, putting affordable health care out of reach for millions of workers.

It also reduces Medicaid funding by $880 billion and caps the growth of future funding. The reduction and cap will cause millions of low-income workers to lose Medicaid coverage.

“This isn’t a health care plan, it’s a shameful handout to corporations and the wealthy paid by working families who will pay for the tax cuts with less coverage,” said Chris Shelton, president of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) when the bill was first introduced.

“President Trump and the Republican Party ran on a promise to immediately repeal the ‘broken’ Affordable Care Act and replace it with something ‘great’,” said Taylor. “Instead, what was unveiled by House Republicans is a plan that slashes health care coverage for millions of Americans.”

Taylor made his statement before the CBO released its analysis.

If anything Taylor may have underestimated the number of people who will lose coverage.

The CBO analysis states that the Trumpcare will cause 24 million people to lose health care coverage over the next ten years. Fourteen million will lose coverage within a year of its passage.

One reason that workers will lose health care insurance is that Trumpcare eliminates Obamacare subsidies for purchasing health insurance and replaces it with tax credits.

But the Trumpcare tax credits are less generous than Obamacare subsidies and don’t increase as the price of health insurance increases.

Additionally, Trumpcare would allow insurance companies to charge older workers much more than younger workers, but  tax credits for older workers will be the same as younger workers.

Trumpcare would also phase out the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid, which made Medicaid available to many more low-income workers.

Trumpcare also changes the nature of Medicaid, which would no longer be a government benefit for workers who meet certain income requirements.

Instead, the federal government would provide grants to states. The states would determine eligibility rules and the level of benefits.

If the federal grant does not cover the cost of everyone who is eligible, benefits would be rationed. Some would get them; others wouldn’t.

“Trumpcare will gut Medicaid expansion and subsidies that have made lifesaving health care available to millions of Americans,” said Taylor.

Trumpcare could also cause employers to drop health insurance benefits for their workers.

Forbes reports that up to 7 million workers could lose their employer-based insurance benefit because of Trumpcare.

One of the reasons that workers may lose their employer-based health care benefit is that Trumpcare maintains the Obamacare excise tax, a 40 percent tax on employer-based health insurance whose premium costs exceed the national average of health care premium costs.

The high cost of the excise tax could cause some employers to drop employee health care insurance. Others may cut benefits to avoid the tax.

The excise tax would  especially hurt union workers, who through years of struggle have won good, affordable employer-based health care insurance.

By maintaining the excise tax, Trumpcare “will drive up already skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs and drive down coverage for the vast majority of Americans under age 65—more than 177 million—who get health insurance through work,” said Taylor.

RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United (NNU), also joined the chorus of union leaders criticizing the anti-working class nature of Trumpcare.

“The principal effect of the new bill will be the loss of existing health coverage for tens of millions of people, without any restraints on health care industry pricing practices that add up to massive health insecurity for the American people.” writes DeMoro writing for Common Dreams.

Health care in the US can’t be fixed, continued DeMoro until “our broken, dysfunctional, profit-focused health care system (is replaced by) an improved Medicare for all system,” which would expand Medicare so that it covers everybody.

DeMoro writes that NNU is building grassroots support for a single-payer health care plan like Medicare in the state of California “that could become the national model (for) an alternative to both the ACA and the fraudulently named GOP American Health Care Act.”