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Labor's Edge: Views from the California Labor Movement

Labor's Edge Articles by Steve Smith


6/3/16

Questioning Candidates for Elected Office is Central to Democracy

By Steve Smith

Every year around election time, a media outlet writes about organizations asking candidates to fill out questionnaires, insinuating that there’s something unethical – if not downright sleazy – about the practice. The stories are full of loaded language calling questionnaires things like “covenants” hammered out in “secret backroom deals.”


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5/20/16

Boosting Workers is a Big Boost for the Economy

by Steve Smith

The “chicken little” crowd of corporate CEOs and their lobbyists keeps saying anything California does to boost working people is a “job killer.” Unfortunately for them, the facts tell a very different story. Look no further than the latest unemployment figures, showing yet another drop to 5.3 percent, the lowest level since 2007.

California is the most pro-worker state in the country. We just raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour. We’re combatting against wage theft. We support stronger unions. We tackle retirement security head on. We protect immigrant workers from exploitation. The Chamber of Commerce’s nightmare is for everyone else the California Dream.

 


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4/28/16

Carly Fiorina: Job-Killer Extraordinaire

By Steve Smith

Just when you think former CEO and known job-killer Carly Fiorina has retreated from public life for good, she somehow ends up back in the spotlight.


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3/28/16

California Leaders Announce Historic Deal to Raise Minimum Wage to $15

By Steve Smith

History was made today. Gov. Brown joined legislative leaders, workers and unions to announce a deal on proposed legislation to make California the first state in America to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. This day was a long time in the making. Worker led movements like the Fight for 15, labor unions and community groups have been gathering momentum for several years on this issue.


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2/25/16

Dolores Huerta Joins Educators to Appeal Meritless Vergara Ruling

by Steve Smith

This morning in Los Angeles, civil rights icon Dolores Huerta joined teachers and parents to appeal the flawed ruling in the Vergara case that would undercut public education to the detriment of the state’s 6 million students.


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2/10/16

Pulaski: Congress Must Reject Job-Killing TPP

By Steve Smith

On Monday, West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, representing a fake astroturf group  called the “Progressive Coalition for American Jobs,” penned a misleading op-ed in the Sacramento Bee in support of the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Cabaldon used a study from the Peterson Institute to help make his case that the TPP is good for jobs. Unfortunately for Cabaldon, he must not have actually read the study he cited because it actually says the flawed deal wouldn’t create any jobs AND it would lead to fewer good-paying manufacturing jobs.

Today, California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski set the record straight with his own op-ed in the Bee, pointing out the many harmful effects of the deal.


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2/8/16

CSU Faculty Demand Fair Contract, Set Potential Strike Dates

By Steve Smith

The faculty members on the campuses of the California State University system give their all each and every day to teach and mentor California’s future job force. All they ask in return is a fair wage and decent benefits.


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1/26/16

Where are the Jobs? New Reports Show TPP Fails Workers

When it comes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the operative question for Americans to ask is “Where are the Jobs?” According to two new independent analyses, they’re nonexistent.

The Obama administration, as part of its full-throated defense of the deal, is touting a new report from the Peterson Institute that claims the TPP will increase exports and raise wages. More on that specious claim in a minute. But the kicker in this report is that the TPP won’t add jobs, despite job creation being central to the Obama administration’s and big business supporters’ argument in support of the deal. In fact, the report states it will lead to “job churning” from manufacturing to service sector jobs.


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1/12/16

Powerful Corporate Interests Attempt Power Grab with Friedrichs Case

By Steve Smith

There’s been a good amount of hullabaloo in recent days about a Supreme Court case that threatens to undermine the ability of working people to stand together to negotiate a fair wage and decent benefits. Oral arguments in the case, Friedrichs v CTA, were presented before the Court yesterday. The case involves the Court re-examining a 40-year precedent that allows unions to charge fair-share fees for representing those who choose not to join the union but still benefit from the contracts it negotiates.


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11/12/15

Underpaid Workers across California Mobilize to Win $15 and a Union

By Steve Smith

Thousands of underpaid workers across California mobilized Tuesday in a historic show of solidarity for higher wages, social justice and equality in cities from San Diego to Sacramento.

Striking workers from McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s joined home care, child care, and other low-wage workers at a massive afternoon rallies at City Halls Tuesday afternoon – part of 500 protests nationwide to demand that elected leaders everywhere stand up for $15 an hour and union rights.


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