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Why aren’t we outraged?

We are not outraged enough. The cover of this magazine proves it – if you know the story. It’s the story of a nine-year veteran driver in Atlanta, who suddenly finds her life invaded by MV Transportation. MV is one of the private contractors that offers our labor at low wages to cities and agencies.

 

How does MV do it?

First things first: The workers have to lose their pension. Why? – Cheaper.

The next thing is tricking them out of their health care. That’s a little sneakier. They tell the public they have health care for their employees. Then they price it so high that no worker can ever afford it.

In Atlanta MV has actually priced family healthcare so high ($1,800 a month) that some workers would have a net negative income if they used it – yes, that’s right, some employees would have to pay more than they earn to get health insurance at MV. In effect, they’d be paying the company to work there!

Then, many workers will flee their job and apply for social services, including Medicaid and food stamps. Now, with a newer workforce, MV lowers wages. It’s a trifecta of pain for the workers and a huge profit for the bosses.

This is the story being told by Bernie Sanders in his campaign. We need to listen.

 

We need to get angry

But there’s more. We need to get angry.

These are our Sisters and Brothers being thrown to the curb and cheated out of their jobs and lives by a few sinister politicians – almost all members of the Democratic Party. Look at the picture of Preyonda Price on our cover. Preyonda is YOU, she is ME, she is ALL OF US.

A worker, a single parent, a woman caring for her mother as well as her children, struggling and playing by the rules… Yeah, that’s the real America, my friend. That’s an ATU member being ripped from her job and her benefits in Atlanta today. It raises an inconvenient truth pointed out by Mario Cuomo in his grand speech to the 1984 Democratic Convention when he said:

“In our family are gathered everyone from the abject poor of Essex County in New York, to the enlightened affluent of the gold coasts at both ends of the nation. And in between is the heart of our constituency – the middle class, the people not rich enough to be worry-free, but not poor enough to be on welfare; the middle class – those people who work for a living because they have to, not because some psychiatrist told them it was a convenient way to fill the interval between birth and eternity.”

 

‘Nothing but gangsters’

And here in Atlanta and in many U.S. cities there are the “Private Transit Operators” who are nothing but gangsters ripping off the American public, driving income inequality up and workers’ wages down.

It is uglier than we admit and it is theft engineered through often corrupt business practices and relationships. We must act now to fight this scourge everywhere. We can start by focusing now on Atlanta.

Get angry… challenge politicians every time you can and let’s fight these companies more every day.

Use the ATU App to find out what you can do!