San Diego City Workers Overwhelmingly Ratify Landmark Agreement

defiantly stood their ground and beat back attempts to cut overtime hours and ban compensatory time. Workers, who provide around-the-clock service keeping San Diego’s streets, parks and beaches safe and clean, also secured two extra days of paid leave, tighter time limits on management regarding discipline procedures and written assurances that Local 127 members get comparable wage increases should another group of city workers gain something better.

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Gotta Dance, Gotta Have Rights

Just like a swift slap across the face, it hits me. I’m lying on the muddy concrete floor of a warehouse among old rusty screws and nails, puddles that resemble a witch’s brew — and broken patches of exposed fractured foundation filled with oil and water. I wait in quiet anticipation for that simple word that begins the whirlwind of magic, “Action!” and a world of horizontal expression is unleashed. That’s the moment it hits me — something has to be done. It’s time for change. It’s time for the music video industry to take care of the people who help bring its visions to life on film.

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Union Rights Are Civil Rights

The right of U.S. workers to organize and bargain collectively with their employers unhindered by employer or government interference has been a legal right since the 1930s.  Yet there are workers who are unaware of that, and employers who aim to keep them unaware, meanwhile doing their utmost to keep them from exercising what is a basic civil right.

Many employers often claim working people are in any case not much interested in unionization, noting that less than 15 percent of workers currently belong to unions.

But as anyone who has looked beneath the employer claims has discovered, it's the illegal opposition of employers and the failure of government regulatory agencies to curtail the opposition that's the basic cause of the low rate of unionization.

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New Report Reveals Shocking Rate of Injury Among Pomona Dining Hall Workers

I’ve worked as a cook at Pomona College in Southern California for 6 years. My coworkers and I have been asking the college to agree to a fair and neutral process to let us choose whether or not to join a union, but the college hasn’t agreed yet.

A few weeks ago, some of my coworkers and I filed a complaint with Cal/OSHA about the injuries food service workers have suffered while working at Pomona. UNITE HERE and Workers for Justice have compiled a new report documenting the injuries in Pomona’s dining halls.

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Grocery Workers Mobilize for New Contract

at Raley’s/Nob Hill, Northern California grocery workers are continuing to mobilize for a new contract. UFCW members at Lucky/SaveMart, Raley’s/Nob Hill and Safeway, as well as their retired sisters and brothers, are joining forces with community allies and elected officials. They are bringing the fight for a settlement that preserves affordable healthcare and good jobs directly to store management.

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Unions, Kaiser Permanente Reach Tentative Agreement

and the nearly 100,000 members of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, reached tentative agreement yesterday on a new, three-year national contract. The tentative agreement covers workers at hundreds of Kaiser Permanente health care facilities in nine states. The current agreement expires Sept. 30.

The tentative agreement includes wage increases and maintains current benefits plus improves the dental plan.  Kaiser Permanente also has committed $19 million annually to two existing educational trust funds to ensure career development for its diverse workforce.

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Fighting Back Against Hyatt’s War on Mamas

2012 has been a year of wars. There’s the War on Women – an intense legislative assault on women’s access to reproductive health care – and the War on Workers – be they public sector workers trying to hold on to their right to bargain collectively or private sector workers staving off subcontracting, outsourcing, and union-busting. The battleground in the War on Immigrants has shifted from Arizona to Alabama and, finally, to the US Supreme Court. The War on Moms was an attempt by Republicans to brand Democrats as hostile to stay-at-home mothers, and the Real War on Moms was an attempt by Democrats to refocus the debate on the disastrous effect that right-wing economic, immigration, and health care policies have on poor and working-class women and their families.

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CSU Faculty Take Fight for a Fair Contract to Trustees

The California State University Trustees were meeting inside, first in closed session to discuss “executive personnel matters” and collective bargaining. Then they met in committee on yet another new policy to give more raises to campus presidents, now from university auxiliaries.

Meantime, 150 faculty from 20 campuses all over California protested outside. The faculty made a strong pitch that the CSU Trustees and management need to adopt policies that put instruction and student services first, and to settle a fair contract with the faculty.

The protest outside the Trustees meeting was held just a week after the California Faculty Association announced a 95% member vote to authorize rolling two-day strikes through the California State University's 23 campuses if bargaining fails to get a settlement. The strike would affect some 400,000 students.

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California Domestic Workers Celebrate Mother’s Day with Visit to Lawmakers

Mother's Day in California will be extra special this Sunday, as working families, students and elected officials honor mothers by recognizing the role of domestic workers in our households. The events coincide with the launch of video highlighting the work of domestic workers around the state and the need for the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.

Domestic workers and their supporters will gather in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Santa Rosa to celebrate working mothers and preview the video, by Brave New Foundation’s Cuéntame.

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Workers and Riders Unite to Urge BART Board of Directors to Buy American-Made Rail Cars

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system needs new rail cars. But will BART seize the opportunity to hire a company to manufacture the rail cars that will create as many jobs as possible here at home? That’s the subject of tomorrow’s BART Board of Directors meeting, where the Board will have the opportunity to move toward selecting a company that will produce rail cars using 95% domestic content. 

Alstom is a NY-based rail car manufacturing company that has produced more than 7,000 safe and reliable metro cars for transit systems throughout the country. If they’re selected by the BART Board of directors (as opposed to another company that would use nearly one-third less domestic content), the company would help create and sustain a passenger rail supply chain that will serve commuter systems in California and across the country.

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