Labor's Edge Blog Articles
Professional Dancer Union Member Credits AFA-CWA Member Mom
When Dana Wilson was a teenager, she was offered a job at a local supermarket where union members were on strike. She asked her mother, Denver-based United Airlines Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) member Stefani Wilson, what the employer meant when he said she would have to cross the picket line.
Stefani told her daughter the story of honoring the picket line when United Pilots were on strike in 1985 for 29 days, before Dana was born. She impressed upon her daughter that unions are vital to our industry and that, if she took the supermarket job while workers were on strike, she would be harming those workers.
More posts by Darren Shiroma
Working People Standing Together Give New Meaning to “Black Friday”
Black Friday is known as one of the biggest shopping days of the year, a day when giant corporations boost their bottom lines in a frenzy of shopping deals and “doorbusters.” Problem is, mega-corporations like Walmart aren’t sharing those huge profits with workers. They’re paying poverty wages to the very workers who make these huge companies successful. But thanks to the bravery and dedication of the Walmart workers and supporters who came out to protests in their communities, Black Friday is no longer just a day for corporations like Walmart. It’s a day for the people.
More posts by Rebecca Band
UC Health Care Workers Strike, Charging Harassment and Intimidation
Today, some 22,000 surgical and X-ray technicians, custodians, servers, cooks and other workers at nine University of California campuses and all of U.C.’s medical centers are on a one-day unfair labor practice strike over what they say is intimidation and harassment of workers who took part in an earlier strike over patient safety in May.
"Our members have both the legal right and moral responsibility to stand up for the safety of the students and patients we serve," AFSCME Local 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger said. "By attempting to silence workers, UC hasn’t just repeatedly broken the law—it has willfully endangered all who come to UC to learn, to heal and to build a better life for their families."
More posts by Mike Hall
Truck Drivers Who Haul for Walmart Strike at the Port of LA
The latest wave of low-wage worker strikes is upon us, and it begins today with Teamster-supported port drivers who haul goods for Walmart at the Port of Los Angeles. At 5 a.m., port drivers took up "Stop this unlawful war on workers signs" and hit the picket lines in a surprise short strike. Teamsters are marching in solidarity with the drivers.
Local television, print and radio crews came out to cover the job action (check out news coverage here). The advisory informs us port truck drivers at three companies are walking off the job for 36 hours to protest Unfair Labor Practices, including harassment, intimidation, and other violations of Federal labor laws.
More posts by International Brotherhood of Teamsters
TTSI’s Port Drivers Demand to Be Treated as Employees
Twenty-seven port truck drivers walked into the Rancho Dominguez offices of Total Transportation Services, Inc. (TTSI) Thursday and presented their employer with a petition. Their demand was simple: to be properly recognized as employees.
TTSI is one of the largest port trucking companies in the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. TTSI’s business model – like the vast majority of port trucking companies in the country – relies on misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors.
More posts by Jessica Durrum
Workers Standing Together to Demand Respect at Taylor Farms
The ability for workers to stand together to improve working conditions and bargain for fair wages is essential to the American Dream. But at Taylor Farms in Tracy, the bosses are threatening and intimidating workers as part of a campaign to stop those workers from joining a union.
Today, community leaders and workers rallied outside of a Taylor Farms facility this morning to demand respect, living wages and affordable benefits for immigrant workers. Workers were joined by San Joaquin Supervisor Carlos Villapudua and other community allies, including faith leaders and immigrant rights activists.
More posts by Doug Bloch
“JumpStart Vallejo” Coalition Makes Big Electoral Gains for Working Families
This past election cycle, the Napa Solano Central Labor Council joined forces with a coalition rarely seen in any city. Driven by the negative impacts that municipal bankruptcy has had on the City of Vallejo’s ability to attract businesses or provide for adequate public safety and an image of dysfunctional leadership, the Labor Council partnered with the Chamber of Commerce, police, fire, realtors, building trades, teachers, democrats and conservatives to form JumpStart Vallejo. For the first time, all these very distinctive groups had the chance to come together in order to identify, vet and then come to consensus on four candidates we all felt would be the best to move Vallejo forward.
More posts by Jon Riley
“Ban the Box” Helps Forge Strong Labor-Community Alliances
At the National Employment Law Project (NELP), where we advocate for low-wage and unemployed workers, some of our most inspiring moments have come from being involved in campaigns where labor and the community work together for greater economic justice.
The recent passage of AB218 -- Assemblymember Roger Dickinson’s “ban the box” bill -- was a shining example of the labor movement working in alliance with the community to expand economic opportunity to people hardest hit by unemployment. The unions, led by the California Labor Federation and SEIU Local 1000, were an essential partner to the powerful coalition that organized with NELP for more than two years to provide a second chance to the one in five Californians with a criminal record who struggle to find work.
More posts by Maurice Emsellem
California Labor Unveils New Policy Platform to Boost Struggling Veterans
"Thank you for your service." It’s a line we hear a lot around Veteran’s Day, especially in California, home to more than 1.8 million veterans, more than in any other state.
But if we really want to show gratitude for our veterans, then we need to do more than utter a simple “thank you.” We need to help these brave heroes find a middle-class life when they return from serving our country.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs annual survey of veterans, jobs are the biggest concern for our returning veterans, and for good reason -- the unemployment rate for veterans of recent conflicts is an unacceptable 10 percent, and 1.5 million young veterans -- many with families to support -- currently live under the poverty line.
More posts by Rebecca Band
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