Hundreds Converge to Vote on California Labor’s June Primary Endorsements

This week, the California Labor Federation announced its June 2012 primary election endorsements for State Senate and Assembly, US Congress and statewide ballot measures at its annual Pre-Primary convention. Find out who Labor’s endorsing in your district.

Not a lot of people know how union endorsements happen, but it’s perhaps one of the most democratic processes left in the United States. Before every primary and general election, rank-and-file workers engage in the endorsement process in multiple ways, including town hall meetings and other gatherings. Workers, through their unions and central labor councils, engage in months of leg work to discern which candidates and ballot measures would protect the middle class. Unions carefully consider each candidate’s proposals for the future, and they invite every candidate to meet with workers directly, through round table discussions, candidate interviews and public forums.

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Port Drivers Claim Victory in Historic Union Vote

What started as a vision a year ago by a brave small group of Toll Group port drivers to form their union has become a reality! With the strong leadership and backing of Secretary-Treasurer Eric Tate and the members of Teamsters Local 848, the hard-working, professional Toll drivers finally have the opportunity to join the Middle Class. Toll port drivers didn't just win here locally; their emphatic yes vote is sending shockwaves throughout the entire U.S. port trucking industry and signaling to port drivers everywhere — they can too! Almost thirty years have gone by at the L.A. ports without a private sector union election, and Toll drivers just delivered one in a historic landslide victory!

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Help Make High-Speed Rail a Reality

There is a national effort underway to see that High Speed Rail becomes a reality in America.  High-speed rail has been moving passengers at speeds of up to 220 mph in other countries around the world since 1964, when it was inaugurated in Japan almost 50 years ago.  France inaugurated its high speed rail system in 1981, and other countries in Europe and Asia have followed. Now, we're fighting to make high speed rail a reality in America, starting in California, and you can help.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) recently launched This site allows California residents to send an email in support of HSR to their State Senator and Assembly member.  This is critical, given the Assembly and State Senate will soon vote on the appropriation of $2.3 billion in rail bonds to begin construction of the first phase by the end of the year.

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Tell Under Armour: Don’t Fire Women for Using the Bathroom

She peed, and they made her pay. Toll Group's unreasonable firing of Xiomara Perez, who made a quick stop at a McDonald's to use a restroom while on the clock, has American workers everywhere shaking their head in disbelief.

According to Toll Group, once on the road, drivers are not allowed to make a quick pit stop — no matter how many hours drivers are sitting in traffic. But as a professional driver, Xiomara adhered to U.S. Department of Transportation regulations that require any hauler to pull over if they feel faint, fatigued, or are experiencing any other physical ailment that may keep them from safely operating the truck. Aside from preserving professional standards, Xiomara was also a model employee — she had never been disciplined for anything before.

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Get Ready for 99% Spring “Tax Wealth, Not Work” Actions

This week, some 100,000 activists from unions and community, faith and other progressive groups are in 99% Spring training sessions around the country, learning how to take back the economy from the 1%. Their first big round of actions is set for Tax Day, April 17. Click here to find a Tax Day action near you. Click here to find a training session near you.

In demonstrations around the nation, working families will raise their voices to demand that the 1% and corporations pay their fair share. The wealthiest Americans—like Mitt Romney—pay a far lower percentage of their income in taxes than do average working people—and some multibillion-dollar corporations don’t pay a cent.

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Five Reasons Not to Buy Matzah at Walmart

It’s matzah bargain-hunting season, and guess who has entered the fray? That’s right, Walmart.

The world’s largest retailer may not be known for bar mitzvah catering, but apparently the matzah market was too lucrative to pass up. Visit, and in less time than it took God to part the Red Sea, you can load up on all variety of matzah products. But before you get out your credit card, you might want to consider whether a matzah splurge at Walmart is really in the spirit of Passover

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LA Unions Spur Needed Jobs

Waiting for a bus in the pre-dawn hours on his way to a construction job, Robbie Hunter would often stand frustrated as one, two and even three buses passed him by, too packed to stop as they plowed along Los Angeles’ congested streets.

“You couldn’t depend on getting to a job site on time,” Hunter recalls, adding that construction workers who are late twice are summarily fired. Nor did his commute improve when he moved to the suburbs. “If I wasn’t on the the freeway by 5 a.m., I couldn’t get to anywhere in downtown L.A. by 7 a.m.”

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Recent Audit Finds That More Can be Done to Help California’s Unemployed

Last week, the California State Auditor released a report finding that more effective state planning and oversight is necessary for implementing the federal Workforce Investment Act in California.  The findings in the audit confirm what many of us working in the WIA system already knew to be true: a nonalignment of state agency practices and policies and a complacent attitude towards performance measures, has done a disservice to California employers and job seekers alike.

At a time when California remains saddled with a staggering unemployment rate, it is reprehensible to think that job seekers could lose the benefits of a public workforce system as a result of inefficiency and a lack of oversight at the state level.

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Governor, High-Speed Rail Authority Set Bold Course Forward with New High-Speed Rail Plan

sums it up pretty well in the first three words: Better. Faster. Cheaper.

Under Gov. Brown’s direction, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has made key improvements to previous plans, bringing us one step closer to making the vision of high-speed rail – and all its benefits to our economy and environment – a reality.

The new business plan addresses two of the biggest challenges for high-speed rail head on: cost and viability. Through the use of existing commuter lines and other cost-saving measures, the new plan shaves a whopping $30 billion off the overall cost of the project. In addition, the new plan connects the Central Valley with the Los Angeles basin in the first phase of the project, which will increase ridership early on.

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The Truth Behind the Chamber’s So-Called ‘Job Killer’ List

For years, the California Chamber of Commerce has put out a list of so-called “job killers.” It’s never been clear to us what qualifies a bill as a job-killer. Last year, our sponsored bill to keep your boss from using your personal credit report to deny you a promotion was on that so-called “job killer” list.  Seriously, protecting your privacy kills jobs? Businesses are fleeing the state because…they can’t review their employees’ credit reports? That seems a bit far-fetched…

They also named AB 350 (Solorio) a “job killer.”  That bill simply extended existing worker retention provisions to building services workers. That means that when a contract for building services changes hands, the workers who have been doing the job have 60 days to persuade the new contractor that they should be retained. How does keeping people in their jobs kill jobs? It simply makes no sense.

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