On the 10th Anniversary of Paid Family Leave, It’s Time More Workers Know About It

At any point in their lives, workers may need to take time off to care for either a new child or a sick family member. While we have state and federal laws to protect workers from losing their jobs or benefits when they take leave, the leave time is mostly unpaid. Unpaid leave hurts a family’s income and economic security – many of our working families, especially in this economy, live at the margin and can’t afford to take leave without pay.

No worker should have to make the difficult choice between a paycheck and being there for a loved one.

Ten years ago, labor unions and community organizations in California came together to ensure that our working families did not have to make this difficult choice. We successfully advocated for and passed the California Paid Family Leave (PFL) Act in 2002.

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Ask Your Senators to Support the Bring Jobs Home Act

As CEO at Bain Capital, Mitt Romney earned “jaw-dropping profits” by closing U.S. factories, laying off hundreds of workers, sending those jobs overseas and stashing money in offshore tax havens.

Recently, The Washington Post ran a scathing article on Romney’s Bain Capital for owning “companies that were pioneers” in the practice of shipping work from the U.S. overseas. Even though Romney says he left Bain in 1999, recently revealed SEC filings show Romney was at the company until 2002. 

Congress must fix these outsourcing practices. We have lost 6 million manufacturing jobs while our trade deficits have ballooned and the largest nonfinancial companies in the United States sat on record amounts of cash.

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KPFA Listeners Poised to Recall Anti-Union Pacifica Board Member

the network’s treasurer, Tracy Rosenberg.

Throughout its 63-year history, Pacifica has been known for its progressive approach to journalism, including its coverage of workers’ rights issues. But last year managers of the nonprofit network, led by Rosenberg and Pacifica’s executive director, Arlene Engelhardt, targeted outspoken KPFA workers for layoff, using the guise of a budget crisis and violating the union contract of the staff, who are represented by CWA Local 9415.

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Like the TEA Party? You’ll love the Special Exemptions Act!

At first blush, some would think that Prop 32, the Special Exemptions Act, would be a step in the right direction.  That it would somehow reform our broken campaign finance system.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, the Special Exemptions Act ends up making the system worse, and more biased against working Californians. It leaves open huge loopholes for Billionaires to spend in SuperPACs and Independent Expenditures(IEs), while stifling the voice of labor and working Californians. It's an unbalanced and unfair measure that would just increase the power of the undisclosed and poorly regulated SuperPACs and IEs and their tea party allies in California.

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IBEW Mentoring Program Prepares Local Residents for a Career in the Electrical Trades

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 11 has a successful mentoring program designed to help underserved communities prepare for careers in the electrical trades. Before applicants take their entrance exam at the IBEW/NECA Electrical Training Institute in Commerce, Calif., IBEW mentors provide support and guidance for obtaining GEDs, make sure candidates have the algebra requirements and help them to study for the exam.

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Strike Vote at Northern CA Lucky-Savemart Stores Motivates Employer to Work Out Settlement

members employed by Lucky-Save Mart voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, after the company announced it was issuing and moving to implement its last, best and final offer, which would result in $5-per-hour reductions in pay or layoffs for hundreds of members throughout Northern California.

Workers from Lucky and Save Mart stores voted in record numbers to authorize a strike. Twenty-six meetings were held in four days from Ukiah to Salinas and east to Vacaville. Four hundred voted San Jose and five hundred cast ballots in Hayward alone. In the end, 94% voted in favor of authorizing the strike.

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Labor Greets TPP Negotiators in San Diego to Prevent a “NAFTA on Steroids”

As trade negotiators and corporate lobbyists meet at a swank San Diego hotel this week in an attempt to push the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) toward conclusion, labor, environmental and community organizations are working together to drag the TPP out of the shadows and prevent a new “NAFTA on Steroids.”

Approximately 3.5 million American jobs have been shipped abroad under past NAFTA-style trade pacts, including more than half-a-million in California.  While hosting a Kick-Off Rally on the opening day of the negotiations, San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer Lorena Gonzalez noted how all workers are affected by offshoring, saying, “This not only contributes to the nation's severe unemployment problems, but it pushes down wages and benefits for the jobs we have left.”

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A Crystal Ball to the Post- Special Exemptions Act Future in California

In 1980, Ronald Reagan spent $29.2mil to win the presidency. The incumbent, Jimmy Carter, spent $29.4mil to lose it.

In 2012, with the nominating convention still two months away, Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate with ambiguous goals has committed, so far, over $35mil to ensure that his voice is millions of times larger than any single everyday voter. Just a few days ago, Adelson committed another $10mil at the Koch Brothers luxury convention.

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A Victory for Homeowners

The other night, my son woke up with a bad dream. “I dreamed we had to move out of our house,” he told me in a worried voice. As I hushed him back to sleep, I thought about all the children for whom that is not just a bad dream.

Over the past 6 years, nearly two million Californians have lost their homes to foreclosure. That’s an awful lot of parents who have had to explain to their children that they could not stay in their homes. They’ve had to take their kids out of the schools and neighborhoods where they were raised and have friends and start over somewhere new and unfamiliar.

But today is a new day. This week, the California Legislature passed the Homeowners Bill of Rights. Sponsored and championed by our state’s Attorney General Kamala Harris, this bill addresses the very practices that did so much damage to our families, our state and our economy.

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Thousands March in Largest Wal-Mart Protest in History

by Caroline O'Connor

In the largest-ever protest against Walmart in U.S. history, thousands in Los Angeles demanded the world’s largest private employer start respecting its workers and communities or stay out of L.A. Union workers from every industry marched alongside Walmart and warehouse workers, Chinatown residents, community and civil rights groups, faith leaders and activists, and our sisters and brothers from the San Diego, Orange, South Bay and San Francisco labor councils who rode in on buses to stand up to Walmart and stop the “Walmartization” of L.A. jobs.

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