Justin Miller

 Justin Miller is a senior writing fellow for The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

In Iowa, a Glimmer of Hope in the Face of Anti-Union Attacks

Republicans launched a Wisconsin-style crackdown on public-sector unions. But in overwhelming numbers, the members said they’re sticking with the union.  

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) AFSCME President DannyHoman speaks during a rally on January 10, 2012, after then-Governor Terry Branstad's Condition of the State address at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. T here’s not a whole lot of good news for the American labor movement these days. The Republican Party has full control of the federal government and is implementing a radically anti-union agenda. Aggressive union-busting continues to stanch promising organizing drives . Union membership is at a historic low. And public-sector unions—the remaining pillar of organized labor—are preparing to take a big hit as the Supreme Court is soon expected to enable beneficiaries of unions contracts to stop paying dues. But last week, there was some rare good news out of Iowa. In the face of a GOP onslaught against workers, the state’s public-sector union members overwhelmingly voted in favor of recertifying their respective unions. The message was clear: Don’t touch our unions. Since voting...

Republicans Want to Make Corporate Tax Avoidance Even Easier

An obscure provision in the Trump tax plan—the territorial system—would further encourage multinationals to shift profits to low (or no) tax havens. 

(Press Association via AP Images) Apple CEO Tim Cook P resident Trump’s push to slash the corporate tax rate from 35 percent down to 20 percent, and his ludicrous claim that doing so will give the average worker a $4,000 raise, has drawn a great deal of scrutiny—and rightfully so. It’s a trickle-down fabrication to build support for a bill that will further enrich CEOs and shareholders, and do nothing for ordinary Americans. But the only colossal corporate giveaway in the plan includes more than the mere slashing of rates. Quietly, Republicans are also pushing a territorial taxation provision that would make it far easier for multinational corporations to avoid paying even a new 20 percent rate by providing further incentive to stash profits in offshore tax havens. Currently, the federal government uses a “worldwide” taxation system for corporations, which taxes both domestic and foreign profits. This system is badly flawed because multinationals are able to indefinitely defer...

Janus: A New Attack Presents Old Challenges for Unions

There’s a new case against public-sector unions headed to the Supreme Court. But the challenges it presents are anything but new.  

(Sipa via AP Images) A logo sign outside of the headquarters of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in Washington, D.C. I n February 2016, it looked all but certain that the Supreme Court would make the public sector right to work. The case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association , contended that it was unconstitutional to require non-member employees in unionized government shops to pay “fair share” fees to defray their union’s costs of collective bargaining and worker representation—which cover all workers, member or not. Unions were preparing for the worst. Then Justice Antonin Scalia died, leaving the court deadlocked on the case. Even though President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, was obstructed by the intransigency of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, unions thought they had dodged a bullet. If (and when) Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump, she would appoint a new justice, creating a liberal majority and striking a severe...

Both Red and Blue States Rely on Prison Labor

As a Louisiana sheriff’s off-the-cuff remarks and the California wildfires remind us, all states depend on and profit from putting prisoners to work—and that’s a problem. 

(Photo: AP/Jae C. Hong) Inmate firefighters cut down trees along the Highway 29 as wildfires continue to burn Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, near Calistoga, California. E arlier this month, Steve Prator, who heads the sheriff’s office in Caddo Parrish, one of the largest in Louisiana, held a press conference in which he bemoaned the state’s newly passed prison reforms, which could reduce the inmate population by as much as 10 percent by gradually releasing nonviolent offenders who would be eligible for a new early-release program. Why? Apparently, he didn’t want the parish to lose its captive labor pool. “That’s the ones you can work,” Prator said of the people who could be soon be let go under the plan. “That’s the ones that can pick up trash, the work release programs. But guess what? Those are the ones [the state is] releasing.” He added, “In addition to the bad [prisoners], they’re releasing some good ones that we use every day to wash cars, to change oil in our cars, to cook in the...

The Right's Legal Attacks Go After Remaining Fragments of Worker Power

Conservatives' crusade to limit worker rights through the courts is coming to a head. 

(Photo: AP/Susan Walsh) People stand in line to go into the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, for the first day of the new term. L ike heat-seeking missiles, conservatives are looking to the Supreme Court to snuff out the few remaining sources for worker power. If their efforts succeed (and many high court observers believe that they will ), there will be a further atomization of labor law: Workers who want to exercise their legal rights will be far more isolated and up against far more powerful employers. On Monday, Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments for a consolidated group of cases, including National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil , that will determine whether employers can prohibit their employees from joining collective class actions to settle workplace issues—like wage theft or discrimination—by including mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts. As unions have precipitously declined over the past few decades, one of the most powerful...