Pomona Students Can’t Speak with Food Workers—They Might Join a Union

If you’re a student at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., you’d best not speak with a campus food service worker who’s on break, unless you do so in a management-authorized area.

Will Mullaney, a senior at Pomona who also serves as the communications officer for the student government, said that when he tried to talk to an on-break food service worker in the cafeteria last month, “I was asked to leave by one of the managers, who cited a college policy that forbids dining hall employees from talking to non-employees while on their break unless they leave the building.  This policy was passed by the administration after cafeteria workers expressed interest in forming their own union.”

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Separating Fact from Fiction: The Truth About the Right-Wing Attacks on the Postal Service

in the United States, after the Department of Defense, employing more than half a million workers in good union jobs. It’s also the second largest employer of military veterans; more than 22% of all postal employees have served in the U.S. armed forces. But if Republicans in Congress get their way and succeed in ending Saturday mail delivery, as many as 200,000 Post Office jobs would be lost. With Veterans Day coming up, it couldn’t be a more fitting time to draw attention to this deceptive effort by the right wing to strip thousands of our brave service men and women of their jobs, and leave our troops returning home from war with even fewer employment options.

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Occupational Health Watch: Cleaning Products Can Cause Asthma

, PhD.

A 37-year-old teacher developed new asthma at her workplace. She worked in an area where custodians used cleaning products at full strength instead of mixing them with water, as the label required. She now has asthma symptoms made worse by many different chemicals.

A 43-year-old high school custodian started having breathing problems when he used chemicals to clean the bathrooms and strip floor wax at work. It took a year for him to be diagnosed with asthma. He finally had to leave his job because of his asthma.

These are just two of the many California workers whose asthma was caused or made worse by cleaning products. Cleaning products are used in all workplaces and can cause or trigger work-related asthma.

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Trucking Carrier Sacks 26 Drivers for Organizing at the Port of Los Angeles

With his last $8 in his wallet, Alberto Quiteno, a truck driver at the Port of Los Angeles, said goodbye to his wife and teenage daughters last Friday and traveled 8,000 miles to Melbourne to plea to his employer, the Australian logistics giant, Toll Group, for humane working conditions in the United States.

In his carry-on, Alberto had carefully packed a petition signed by 62 (out of 75) co-workers that local management had previously refused to accept. Along with it was a copy of a letter he sent to Toll Group CEO Paul Little before his journey to outline the mistreatment and local management missteps. Hearing no response, Alberto headed to LAX and boarded a plane, joined by officials representing America’s largest transportation union, the 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

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Tax Millionaires, Create Jobs and Rebuild California

These are tough economic times for the people of California. Unemployment is at 12.5%, people’s wages are down, and people are losing their homes. Thousands of teachers and classified employees have been laid off, and we are losing firefighters, police, and other critical public services.

So what has Congress done to stimulate the economy and get people back to work?

They cut taxes on corporations and the rich, they gave away hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout money to the corporate banks, they are letting the big banks foreclose on family homes, and they failed to pass the American Jobs Act.

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Release of Business Plan Puts High-Speed Rail Back on Track

There’s no question that it’s been a difficult path forward for California’s high-speed rail project. Given how ambitious the plan is, even the project’s strongest supporters would tell you that the promise of high-speed rail wouldn’t come easy. For months, critics have – often unfairly – assailed the project for being unrealistic and lacking transparency. Today, those critics were silenced with the release of a realistic business plan that lay bare the challenges and costs moving forward, but also underscored the critical importance of the project to our state’s future.

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Students, Workers Rally at Cosumnes River College for Jobs

Like many college students, Tanya Reyes is doing what she can to try to build a better future for herself. Every weekday, she makes the 1 ½ hour drive from her home to Cosumnes River College to pursue a college education. But over the last year, the class offerings have become slimmer. Educators have been let go. The economic outlook has become even gloomier, making her wonder what opportunities await her after college.

She, like hundreds of others at an “America Wants to Work” rally at the college last week, is becoming increasingly frustrated with the GOP obstructionism on the President’s jobs plan. The American Jobs Act could put hundreds of thousands of people to work right away, alleviate the devastating cuts to her college and so many others, and spur economic growth so that she could look at the future with a sense of optimism.

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North Valley Union Members and Candidates Connect

The San Joaquin-Calaveras CLC held a first-of-its-kind candidate training Saturday, October 22 at the CLC’s new labor center in Stockton. Leaders from several affiliates held discussions with candidates about issues important to public and private sector workers, education workers, and the Building Trades. Candidates for Congress on down to School Board attended, though the training was intended for candidates for local offices. Assembly and higher offices have a different process, but also found this training helpful.

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What the Hell is a Solidarity Sleepover?

What would cause 13 mostly 30- and 40-something electricians to come up with an event like the “Solidarity Sleepover” at Occupy LA? It all started with a text message. Howard Brown, adventurer, electrician and Occupy LA supporter wrote me, “would like 2 c mas union presence.” I had not been down to Occupy LA and before I put my name near it, I needed to do some recon to check it out. I had heard that it was this leaderless movement that really had no strong positions on anything because they could not get a consensus from the group. Being a lifelong Democrat, that sounded vaguely familiar.  So down to City Hall I went with my good friend Gary in tow. I figured I needed some backup in case somebody tried to put a red Che Guevara beret on me when I wasn’t looking.

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