Seeking Solutions to Working Conditions at XPO Logistics
This week, the working conditions of pregnant employees at Memphis’ XPO Logistics warehouse became national news and I continued to work toward solutions. I also praised the Memphis Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” honorees, let you know Open Enrollment at HealthCare.gov begins next week, expressed concern about the bombs sent to current and former public officials and other public figures, drew historic parallels between Watergate and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, watched as the President misled the public about a caravan of migrants from Central America, expressed dismay at the President’s disgraceful reaction to the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, held a “Congress On Your Corner” at Parkway Village, noted that Saturday is "National Prescription Drug Take Back Day," invited veterans to my annual Veterans Day event, offered U.S. Capitol Society calendars to Memphians and provided a health tip involving childhood vaccinations in honor of World Polio Day. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter and Facebook to see more updates as they happen.
Seeking Solutions to Working Conditions at XPO Logistics
Honoring Memphis Business Journal’s “40 under 40”
Previewing 2019 Plans on HealthCare.gov
Expressing Concern about Pipe Bombs
Recalling Saturday Night Massacre
Reacting as President Misleads Public on Central American Caravan
Responding to Trump’s Evolving Reaction to the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Holding “Congress On Your Corner”
Noting Saturday's "National Prescription Drug Take Back Day"
Inviting Vets to My Annual Veterans Day Event
Offering U.S. Capitol Historical Society Calendars
Signing Up for “Congress On Your Corner” and this e-Newsletter
Weekly Health Tip
Quote of the Week
On Sunday, The New York Times took note of an ongoing dispute over working conditions at XPO Logistics’ southeast Memphis warehouse, bringing to light a history of alleged pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, and unsafe and hazardous working conditions. The exposé further detailed stories of women whose horrific experiences dealing with grueling heat, and strenuous physical labor, in some cases despite the explicit recommendation from medical professionals for their patients’ employers to lighten their duties, led to miscarriages. Last October, another Memphis XPO Logistics worker at the same warehouse, Linda Neal, died of heat exhaustion after management denied her medical aid, before she passed out and even after she had lost consciousness. Twice earlier this month, I went to the warehouse to talk with constituents who allege that company employees are being sexually harassed and work in unsafe conditions. I also wrote to the company’s CEO with my concerns and notified the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S.Department of Labor. I am endeavoring to hold a meeting with all parties in the near future and intend to bringthe matter to the attention of my Congressional colleagues on the House Education and the Workforce Committee to urge them to investigate and exercise oversight into the conditions at XPO Logistics in Memphis and nationwide.
This week, the Memphis Business Journal named its annual "40 Under 40" honor roll, and I want to congratulate them all. I was pleased to see my former Senior Legislative Assistant and transportation expert Michael Fulton, now the Government Affairs Director at the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, recognized for his exceptional skills. I also want to give a shout-out to my friends State Representative Raumesh Akbari and Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer for being named to this prestigious list. This younger generation of leaders is making Memphis a better place.
Starting Friday, consumers are able to preview 2019 plans and prices before Open Enrollment for health care under the Affordable Care Act begins this coming Thursday. As in previous years, window shopping lets consumers browse plans without logging in, creating an account, or filling out the official application. Starting Thursday, November 1, consumers can log in to HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 to fill out an application and enroll in a 2019 Exchange health plan. This year, open enrollment runs only through December 15. I will be making use of every possible means to make my constituents aware that the time available to sign up has been limited compared to the enrollment periods during the Obama Administration -- six weeks shorter than it was in 2016. For more information on signing up for health care, see Healthcare.gov.
All week I have been dismayed that pipe bombs have been sent to prominent current and former elected officials and other public figures in what has so far been, mercifully, a series of unsuccessful terror attacks. I am grateful for the continued hard work of law enforcement to safely remove the bombs and investigate and bring to justice those responsible.
Last Saturday, October 20, was the 45th anniversary of the Saturday Night Massacre when Richard Nixon tried to get his Attorney General to fire the Special Prosecutor looking into Watergate. The parallels to the perilous situation we are in today are obvious and troubling as a potentially vulnerable Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to look into Russian interference in the 2016 election. It is clear we must pass the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act (H.R. 5476) I have cosponsored so the Mueller investigation, which has already produced guilty pleas and felony convictions among President Trump’s inner circle, can proceed to its conclusion.
All week, I followed the confused and misleading reaction of the President to a caravan heading north from Central America. At one point, he claimed “Middle Easterners” were part of the group but, when challenged by the press, acknowledged he had “no proof.” This irresponsible language is unacceptable but shows the importance of a free press. Trump’s effort to frighten the public with misleading, dishonest and made up stories needs to be called out.
The President has moved 180 degrees from first appearing to accept Saudi Arabia’s claims that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi left its Istanbul consulate unharmed to now finding plausible that the Saudis killed him.I have signed on to several letters to the Trump Administration and to the Saudi government urging a full and fair investigation in this matter and ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to justice. The President has so far failed to stand on principle and show the Saudis that America doesn’t tolerate and will punish this kind of thuggery.
As your representative in Congress, part of my job is making sure your concerns and issues with federal agencies and federal benefits are dealt with fairly and expeditiously. My office held a “Congress On Your Corner” event Friday at the Parkway Village Branch Library to help with Social Security, Medicare, veterans benefits and military service issues, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and services, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) home loans, federal grant applications, visa and passports, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues and more. My office will hold an evening “Congress On Your Corner” for those who can’t make our daytime events, on Monday, November 26, at the Benjamin Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday is the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's "National Prescription Drug Take Back Day." It is a coordinated opportunity to get rid of extra pills that may be sitting around, including and especially prescription opioids, to reduce the risk of misuse.
You can find your nearest collection location here.
Words cannot adequately express the gratitude our nation owes its military veterans for their dedication to our country and the sacrifices they have made. My annual Veterans Day gathering is a time to thank them and their families and enjoy some barbecue while we discuss veterans issues. My 10th Annual Veterans Day Meeting and Barbecue Luncheon will be held on Monday, November 12, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Kroc Center of Memphis – Hardin Hall, 800 East Parkway South.Vets please RSVP by Thursday, November 8 at (901) 544-4131.
My office will soon have a limited number of 2019 U.S. Capitol Historical Society calendars available. If you would like to receive a calendar, please complete this formon my website. Due to the rules of the House, I can mail calendars only to residents of Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District. Please feel free to share this email with other residents of the 9thCongressional District who may be interested in receiving one but who do not receive my e-Newsletter.
I enjoy meeting regularly with constituents in the district and helping get answers for them to questions about dealing with federal agencies. If you are interested in attending one of my “Congress on Your Corner” events, you can sign up here to receive notification as soon as the next event is scheduled.
For those who haven’t participated in a telephone town hall, it’s easy to sign up for them by using this form.
If you would like to receive this weekly e-Newsletter, or share it with others, you can do that with this form.
Each week, I share a health tip in the hope of promoting a healthy lifestyle for residents of the 9th Congressional District. As always, it is best to check with your doctor before making any changes to your diet, exercise routine or lifestyle.
Wednesday was World Polio Day, set on the October 24 birthdate of virologist Jonas Salk who first developed a vaccine against the crippling disease. This year’s recognition of World Polio Day marks the 27th year that polio has been eradicated from the Americas. Over the past 30 years, we have reduced the number of confirmed cases of polio 99.9 percent -- from 350,000 in 1988 to just 22 last year. The worldwide effort to rid the planet of this scourge is led by the United Nations’ World Health Organization. Read about its efforts here. As someone who was stricken with polio in my youth, I know how important vaccines are. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends children get vaccinated against polio at appropriate ages. The CDC’s recommendations can be found here.
“Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together. An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and the courage to do it can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and mockery. A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself. The power to mold the future of the republic will be in the hands of the journalists of future generations.” – Joseph Pulitzer, North American Review, May 1904 (Plaque in the lobby of the Columbia School of Journalism in New York City).
Member of Congress