Rants & Raves for the Week of March 15th

* Schwarzenegger protects tax cheats instead of providing tax relief to working families * Census data proves Meg Whitman wrong on public employees * Toyota NUMMI severence agreement includes gag order *


* CBO finds health care reform bill would cut deficit by more than a trillion dollars * Assemblymember Sandre Swanson regains Labor Committee chairmanship * Retirees honor advocate Bill Powers *

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Health Care Reform: The Home Stretch

After nearly two years, we are finally approaching the finish line on health care reform, and the pace is moving quickly in DC. Just this morning, the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the bill, which found that the bill will cut the deficit by $1.3 trillion (yes, trillion) over the next 20 years, and would cover 32 million Americans, or 95 percent of the population.

Also this morning, the complete reconciliation bill language was posted online, bringing us one step closer to a House vote on the bill. The next step is for the bill to go to the House Rules Committee, where the “mark-up” of the bill will begin immediately. The House is gearing up for a floor vote on Sunday.

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Workers Confront Disney Executives at Annual Shareholder Meeting

It's not often that we – the workers – have the opportunity to address corporate executives directly. In fact, we weren't sure if they were even aware of the injustices that are taking place at the three Disney hotels in Anaheim. So, instead of allowing this doubt to linger in our minds, we made sure that the highest-ranking Disney executives know about this two-year long struggle that has overshadowed all the “magic” at Disneyland.

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Arnold Protects Tax Cheats, Refuses Tax Relief for Struggling Families

At a time when California is facing yet another budget crisis, you’d think Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would want to crack down on tax cheats, especially if it meant that families and businesses would receive some tax relief as a result.

Think again.

This week, the Governor said he would not sign a bill passed by the Legislature to give tax relief to struggling homeowners and renewable energy companies because the bill would also increase the penalty on multi-million dollar corporations and the wealthiest Californians who blatantly cheat on their taxes.

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Support Locked Out Workers at Castlewood Country Club

Three weeks ago, our employer, Castlewood Country Club, locked us out of work, and told us that we cannot come back to work unless we accept a proposal that would cause many of us and our families to lose our health care. The Management’s proposal would raise the cost of family coverage to $739.00 per month. For an average worker who earns $12.52 an hour, that’s more than a week’s worth of wages, and is simply impossible.

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Taking a Stand Against the Assault on Prevailing Wage

The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) sent out a notice in October about a prevailing wage survey of all construction employers in California’s 18 counties in the Central Valley. There has never been a survey conducted of this size and scope in the history of the state, and it is just the beginning of what will become a full-blown frontal assault on workers’ wages. 

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Tuning in to the GOP Debate Tonight? Get Ready for More False Rhetoric and Attacks on Workers

If you tune in to tonight’s first Republican gubernatorial debate between Meg “Megabucks” Whitman and Steve “We-don’t-bother-coming-up-with-nicknames-for-candidates-who-poll-under-20 percent” Poizner, you can bet you’ll be treated to overheated, misleading and flat-out false rhetoric about state government, unions, taxes, regulations and a host of other red-meat topics for the GOP conservative base.

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Rants and Raves for the Week of March 8th

* Meg Whitman chases the press out of her own press conference * State Sen. Tom Harman tries a backhanded attempt to weaken worker protections * Republican Senators try to block union organizing rights for FexEx truck drivers * The chair of the Cal/OSHA Appeals Board passes the buck on worksite safety *

* Hundreds converge at Labor's Legislative Conference * Attorney General Jerry Brown cracks down on bad employers who exploit workers * Senate and Assembly pass legislation to scale back furloughs *

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On The Road: Update from the March for California’s Future for the Week of March 8th

We are marching because we are witnessing the destruction of the California Dream. Our state ranks 47th in per pupil spending on education for K-12 and 45th for community colleges. Our CSU and UC systems, once affordable ladders to opportunity for the working and middle classes, are now increasingly unaffordable.

We are marching because of these grim realities, but the march, thus far, has been full of hope.

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