Labor-Management Partnerships: A Win-Win for Workers, Employers & Communities

California’s labor force is in the midst of a major economic and demographic transformation. High Road labor-management training partnerships can play an important role in ensuring California’s workers have the skills they need to remain competitive in an increasingly volatile economy. 

That's why the California Labor Federation's Workforce and Economic Development Program has recently reprinted Working Together: Sectoral Lessons from Labor-Management Training Partnerships in California. By profiling four unique labor-management training partnerships, Working Together examines the strengths of industry-focused and sector-based workforce development strategies.

Read More

Antidote for Stupidity of Shipping Tax-Dollar-Financed Jobs Overseas

– buy American-made products. She clearly explained the reasoning: every American dollar spent on an American-made product helps create an American job.

Defying Sawyer’s admonition to search for “Made in America” tags, California set a record for using government money to create jobs in China. The Golden State awarded a contract for the new Bay Bridge that created 3,000 jobs in China for five years – a period during which the state’s unemployment rate persisted at two percentage points above the nation’s already high average.

Now there’s an antidote for California’s stupidity. It is legislation called the Invest in American Jobs Act. Championed by U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall, (D-W.Va.) and Senators Sherrod Brown, (D-Ohio), Bob Casey, (D-Pa.), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).

Read More

Act Now: Tell House Republicans to Stop Holding Jobless Hostage

The Republican-controlled House Rules Committee early Tuesday morning voted to block a full House vote on the bipartisan Senate compromise that extends unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for the long-term jobless. The current program expires Dec. 31.

Call House Speaker John Boehner at 202-225-0600. Tell him to stop playing politics with the lives of working familes–pass the Senate’s bipartisan bill to extend unemployment aid and middle-class tax cuts now.

Previously, Speaker Boehner indicated he supported the measure. But the Republican tea party wing raised such a ruckus, Boehner changed his tune, and now says the compromise should be rejected.

Read More

Public or Private: Unemployment Hurts the Economy

When Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich proposed that students should take over the job of cleaning our schools, he was rightly denounced for wanting to eliminate what he called “stupid” child labor laws.

But not a word has been said about the tens of thousands of low-wage janitors who would lose their jobs under Gingrich's plan or about what it would mean to their families and to our national and local economies.

This is sad but not surprising. Tea Party extremists and other Republican ideologues demand that government programs at all levels be eliminated or slashed, but never mention the millions of hardworking Americans who would lose their jobs as a result.

Read More

The Few, the Proud, the Very Rich

Much of the current political and popular discourse has focused on inequalities that exist in the U.S. In particular, the Occupy movement has brought the huge disparities in wealth to the forefront. There are a few questions floating round about wealth. First, how skewed is the distribution? Second, it is true that the rich have gotten much richer over time? (a statement I often heard my Grandma make).

Well, there is a plethora of statistics (e.g. here, here, & here) out there, but here are two. The share of wealth held by the top fifth is about 87.2 percent, while the bottom four-fifths share the remaining 12.8 percent of wealth—so the Occupiers are correct in their assessment. And, the riches of those in the top 1 percent are about 225 times greater than that held by the typical family—it was 125 times in 1962—so, Grandma was correct too.

Read More

305,000 Californians to Lose Unemployment Insurance Lifeline if Congress Fails to Act by January 1

A new report released today by the AFL-CIO shows that more than 305,000 Californians will lose their unemployment benefits on December 31 if Congress fails to act to extend unemployment insurance. .

In California as well as across the country, jobless workers and their communities will be holding actions Thursday to call attention to the ongoing jobs crisis and to urge Congress to take immediate action to extend unemployment benefits. In Sacramento, hundreds of jobless workers will march to Rep. Dan Lungren’s office to call him to support an extension of benefits.

Read More

Los Angeles Labor Begins ‘Team Homeless Heroes,’ Raises $10,000 for Homeless Veterans

Tonight when you go to sleep, will it be somewhere safe and secure? If you answered “yes,” ask yourself one question, “Where are approximately 144,000 homeless veterans in the U.S. going to sleep tonight?”

Now I assume you will ask yourself the question, “Why are our veterans homeless?”

I agree this seems to be a fair question, with probably long and complicated answers. But will pursuing any answer make any difference tonight, or tomorrow night, to those homeless veterans who have served on behalf of us all? So the question really we have to ask ourselves is, “What can — and should — we be doing now?”

Read More

Union Busting Is Disgusting: CALPINE Workers File for a Union Election

Amid chants of “Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Union Busters Gotta Go!”, CALPINE workers at the Geysers geothermal plant filed for a union election yesterday at the San Francisco National Labor Relation Board’s office. Over the last three years, CALPINE management have ignored repeated workers’ concerns and violated workers' trust by implementing “take aways” and instituting changes that threaten safety and job security.

Read More

High-Speed Rail Will Restore California’s “Pioneering Spirit”

on California’s High-Speed Rail plan, “goes to the heart of the state’s pioneering spirit, recalling grand public investments in universities, water systems, roads and parks that once defined California as the leading edge of the nation.

Then, after explaining all the benefits of better transportation, a stronger economy, a boom in employment, a cleaner environment and a higher quality of life, the Times summarized the simplistic opposition of a Republican politician who said: “It’s a boondoggle.”

There, in a nutshell, is our fight.

Read More