Ten Facts You Should Know About California’s Unemployment Insurance Program

California's unemployment insurance program is our state’s frontline defense for our state’s economic recovery. Every day, Claifornia's Employment Development Department (EDD) pays out, on average, $80 million in unemployment insurance checks, and over 1.4 million laid off Californians depend on these UI benefits to get by.

With unemployment at 12.5%, EDD’s infrastructure is falling apart. Laid off workers must call dozens of times before they can get through on the phone lines. No one at EDD”s one-stop offices can help with unemployment insurance claims. And despite the high need for services, the Governor has failed to appoint a leader to the EDD.

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Fighting for Good Green Jobs at Our Ports

It is often said that the ports are where old trucks go to die. Dirty, out-dated rigs move cargo that our nation depends on to keep our economy going, spewing toxic diesel emissions that are known to cause cancer and asthma. And why does this happen? Port trucking companies operate like it’s the “Wild West” — there are few rules, and their workers are exploited. In a recent The New York Times article, a top Port of Los Angeles official dismissed the notion of our trade hubs as examples of perfect, free-market economics, and instead described it as a model of “cavemen economics.”

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Keeping Jobs in California, Not China

A new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) has outlined our trade problems with China, the biggest trade cheater on the international scene to a stark reality. Between 2001 and 2007, the increasing U.S. trade deficit with China has cost Americans 2.3 million jobs.

This includes nearly 370,000 in California alone, a staggering 2.23% of the employment force. We need to fix the broken free trade system that allows countries like China to bend the rules to their own advantage.

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Orange County Workers Unite Against Big Banks and Wall Street Greed

Over a hundred angry working men and women marched outside Bank of American and JP Morgan Chase in Santa Ana on Thursday, to demand that Wall Steet banks do their fair share to help restore and rebuild our economy.

Orange County Labor Federation President Rick Eiden and Orange County Employees Assocation General Manager Nick Berardino stormed inside Bank of America in Santa Ana to tell management how their members are without work and have lost their homes because of the actions of their financial institution.

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It’s Time for Working Women to Earn Equal Pay

Although the global recession has had a serious impact on working men and women alike, two new reports make clear that women in the United States and throughout the world have suffered most because of long-standing discrimination.

Though they're usually doing essentially the same work as men, or the equivalent of it, women earn 30 to 40 percent less than the men ­ internationally. The gap is narrower within the United States, but even so, U.S. women average only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.

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California Working Families Out in Force to ‘Make Wall Street Pay’

by Rachel Johnson

The nationwide grassroots campaign to make Wall Street pay to help rebuild our economy is on full display in California this week, as working families gather outside big Wall Street banks in San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and Orange County. Hundreds of working people are taking part in the protests statewide, along with AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, who will be speaking at the Bank of America action in San Diego on Friday.

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My Feet are Tired, but My Dream for California’s Future is Strong

Update from the March for California's Future

It's a 350-mile march from Bakersfield to Sacramento if you stop in the small towns along the Highway 99 corridor. I'm a retired teacher and clinical social worker making that march with other teachers and public service workers to sound an alarm in the heartland of this state that the California dream of opportunity and the good life is fading. We're in the second week of our 48-day trek, and my feet are showing the wear. But though I'm tired, my spirit is soaring with the warm reception we are receiving in the San Joaquin Valley.

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House Approves Historic Health Care Reform

In a historic vote more than 60 years in the making, the U.S. House of Representatives late Sunday night voted to approve (220-211) what AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka calls a ”momentous step toward comprehensive health care.”

The bill survived a $100 million lie-and-distortion campaign by Big Insurance to kill it—the same kind of tactics these groups have aimed at health care proposals for six decades. Trumka says the bill is not “a baby step or half measure,” but a solid step forward to set our country on a path to health care that actually works for working families.

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