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The Culinary Union Wants To Change The Affordable Care Act


D. Taylor, President, UNITE Here

BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- Add labor unions to the list of those calling for reform of the Affordable Care Act. Leaders of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers and UNITE Here sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to voice their fears -- that the ACA as it stands offers “perverse incentives” for employers to end the 40-hour work week, which union leaders view as the backbone of the middle class.

“We’ve seen a proliferation of employers cutting people back to less than 30 hours to evade the penalty ... so you’ve got a loss of income, you do not get health insurance, and the employer doesn’t have a penalty so it’s the worst of all worlds,” says D. Taylor, President of UNITE Here.

Taylor says that so far employers on the Las Vegas Strip aren’t talking about cutting hours for culinary workers, but that the Darden restaurant chain, operator of Red Lobster and Olive Garden among others, has said publicly that they’re going to make sure that their workers do not work 30 hours in order to avoid the penalty.

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“In any major legislation – social security did this, civil rights did this – they have to go back and try to fix the unintended consequences that have occurred. They’ve done this in every major piece of legislation that has come through Congress in the last 150 years. This is no different,” says Taylor.