Justin Miller

 Justin Miller is a writing fellow for The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

The Fight to Organize Port Drivers -- Modern-Day Indentured Servants

Drivers in ports around the country are literally paying to work in an exploitative industry. We spoke to the union trying to organize them.

(Photo: AP/Damian Doverganes) A caravan of trucks from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif. drive around the Los Angeles City Hall on Friday, Nov. 13, 2009. E arlier this month, USA Today released a big investigative story on the plight of port truck drivers—particularly those in the Los Angeles area—who transport cargo from the docks to warehouses in the surrounding area. These workers, many of them immigrants, got into the trucking business to make a living. But there’s a steep price to getting into the business. Shipping companies pressure drivers to finance the purchase of new trucks, immediately putting them under a mountain of debt. These companies then force drivers to work hours that go far beyond the legally mandated limit. Despite all the hours logged, drivers often bring home just a tiny portion of their wages, since the companies deduct payments for the truck, insurance, and maintenance. The port truckers are quite literally paying to work. If drivers complain...

Senate Health-Care Bill: Tax Cuts for Rich, Skimpy Coverage for Everyone Else

Instead of moderating the GOP House’s version, the Senate health-care bill doubles down on cuts in coverage and tax cuts for the rich.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, followed by Majority Whip John Cornyn, leaves a Republican meeting on health care on Capitol Hill. I n the wake of House Republicans’ May passage of the American Health Care Act, a proposal that would throw 23 million more people off their health care coverage in order to pay for fat tax cuts for several thousand wealthy people, many pinned their hopes on the Senate, where moderating forces, they hoped, might prevail over the harsh austerity measures offered by the House. Almost two months later, those hopes were dashed when Senate Republicans released their own health-care bill . Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kept the main policy goal of the AHCA intact: paying for massive tax cuts for the wealthy with deep health-care cuts for the poor. The Senate version, as expected, retains the House’s Affordable Care Act tax cuts, which by 2025 will save millionaires nearly $55,000 each year. To put a finer point on it,...

Paul 'Jobs, Jobs, Jobs' Ryan Should Heed Brownback’s Trickle-Down Failures

The Republican House speaker is trying to nationalize the failed tax experiment of his former boss, the Kansas governor.

(AP/Carolyn Kaster) House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., speaks during the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 2017 Manufacturing Summit in Washington, Tuesday, June 20, 2017. A fter passing a bill that will gut the American health-care system, Washington, D.C.’s favorite conservative wonk-master, House Speaker Paul Ryan, is beginning to lay the groundwork for his “Better Way” tax plan, which he touts as a beacon of truly comprehensive reform—though the only certain detail in the plan is that it would dole out generous tax cuts to the top income and corporate rates. In a Tuesday speech at the National Association of Manufacturers’ annual summit—an event chock full of the business-owners and CEOs who will reap the tax-cut rewards—Ryan delivered a big speech about the need for tax reform that consisted of nothing more than the same tired trickle-down talking point that Republicans have clung to for 40 years. “Once in a generation or so, there is an opportunity to do something...

In Supreme Court Case, Trump Sides with the Forgotten Corporation

The White House abandons employees whose access to justice has been cordoned into corporate-captured arbitration hearings. 

Flickr S o much for Trump’s forgotten man. It’s the poor and forgotten corporation he’s truly worried about. President Trump’s Justice Department has switched sides in a major labor law case headed to the Supreme Court, announcing that it will no longer argue in favor of wronged employees and will instead line up behind corporations that hope to further strip workers of their legal leverage and funnel them into management-friendly arbitration schemes. It’s just the latest move in the Trump administration’s crusade to undo labor advances made during former President Barack Obama’s administration and give corporations greater flexibility to push around workers. The case, NLRB v. Murphy Oil , centers on whether employment contracts that waive an employee’s right to join a class-action lawsuit—and compel them to settle disputes through mandatory arbitration—violate the National Labor Relations Act. The Obama White House had filed an amicus brief in favor of the National Labor Relations...

In New York City, Fast-Food Workers May Soon Have a Permanent Voice

With the help of a new municipal law, a new advocacy group seeks to become an organizing model for low-wage workers.

15 Now Fight for 15 activists protest in Manhattan. T hanks to one of a handful new labor laws passed by the New York City Council and signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio late last month, the roughly 65,000 fast-food workers employed across the five boroughs will soon have their own advocacy group—with the hopes of growing it into a self-directed, member-funded organization. This first-of-its-kind law requires fast-food employers to give their employees the option of deducting contributions from their paychecks that would go to a qualified nonprofit that will in turn provide services for and advocate on behalf of its members. Unlike a union, the nonprofit will be forbidden by federal law from bargaining issues like wage levels directly with employers, but it will be able to advocate for a host of issues that affect its members—much as the Fight for 15 did when it persuaded New York state to raise their minimum wage to $15. In response to the law’s passage, labor advocates are launching a...

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