Why Marriage Equality Matters to America’s Unions and Working Families

Jackie Tortora

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments in cases that could lead to marriage equality for same-sex couples, an issue of particular importance to working families and America's union members. 

“Working people believe in equality and fairness and that’s why we are happy to stand with millions of Americans and with President Obama in supporting marriage equality,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in a statement. “LGBT working people face numerous inequities in the workplace and in society as they struggle to care for their families.”

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Sen. Jerry Hill Announces New Legislation to Reform the Flawed Enterprise Zone Program

Rebecca Band

Yesterday morning, State Senator Jerry Hill unveiled his new legislation to fix the enterprise zone system at a press conference outside the old VWR facility in Brisbane. The location held significant meaning for the laid-off workers in attendance, many of whom worked at that facility for several decades.

“The California Enterprise Zone program has cost the state over $4 billion dollars, and it has cost these workers their livelihood,” Sen Hill said. “We all stood here 2 years ago in effort to prevent VWR from relocating from Brisbane to Visalia. Since then, over 200 local VWR workers have lost their jobs. As taxpayers, these same workers helped fund the enterprise zone credit that helped pay for their replacements.”

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Unions & Community Allies Join Letter Carriers in Their Fight to Save Saturday Mail Delivery

John Beaumont

Over the past couple of months, lead stories on every media outlet across this nation have covered the “gloom and doom” angle of six-day postal delivery.  But last Sunday, thousands of Letter Carriers, union members and allies came out to set the story straight on the real crisis that is facing the United States Postal Service.

In San Diego, Los Angeles, Fresno and San Francisco, rally participants let the communities they serve know that if the overzealous plan by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to eliminate Saturday mail delivery is allowed to happen, it would be one of the biggest mistakes our government would ever make.

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Hearst & Health Care: Will the San Francisco Chronicle Be Fair?

My name is Michael Cabanatuan. Like most of my co-workers, I love working for the Chronicle.

I never expected to make big money writing for a newspaper, even though it’s a demanding, often stressful job. None of us did. But we did expect to be paid decent, if modest, salaries we could live on, good health insurance, a reasonable amount of time off and some retirement.

We showed our love for the Chronicle a few years ago when times were tough by sacrificing pay raises, vacation time and holidays and by letting Hearst end our pension plan. Our donations to the Hearst Corp. — not to mention our hard work — have helped turn the Chronicle toward profitability. (Not that they’ve ever said thank you.) No, Hearst has simply taken — and taken advantage of our love for journalism and for the Chronicle.

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Five New Reasons Not to Buy Matzah at Walmart

Danny Feingold

If you’re like me, right now you may be scrambling to stock up on all of your Passover essentials. So what if I told you that you could get 12 boxes of matzah – more than enough to cover the eight days and nights of breadless revelry – for just over $40 bucks?

Ah, but there’s a catch: You’ll have to buy this miracle matzah pak at Walmart. Moral dilemma? You bet.

Last year we provided a short list of reasons you might want to think twice about a Walmart matzah binge. We wish we could report that Walmart had cleaned up its act since then, but alas, the world’s largest retailer has racked up a series of alleged corporate crimes and indiscretions that would make a pharaoh blush.

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Join the Drive to Save Saturday Mail Delivery

Mike Hall

This Sunday, you can rally and tell Congress to strengthen the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for the future and protect six-day mail delivery. The coalition Delivering for America is organizing hundreds of rallies across the country to save Saturday delivery, which Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says he will end Aug. 5. Find a rally near you.

Donahoe’s plan to shrink the USPS and end six-day service is an attack on the future of this great institution, on the customers who need it and on the employees who support it. These ill-advised cuts would hit small-business owners, senior citizens and rural residents the hardest.

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Labor & Business Team Up to Encourage South Bay Families to “Earn n’ Spend in San Jose”

Ben Field

The launch of a new campaign to encourage shopping and dining at San Jose businesses, which pay a $10/hour minimum wage, points out two often overlooked facts.

First, treating workers well is good for business. Various businesses have already raised wages, and the result is happier workers and better customer service.  That’s not to mention the $70 million additional dollars low wage workers will put back into the economy when they spend their raises. 

Second, the Labor Movement wants businesses to thrive.  If a business isn’t doing well., it is less likely to provide good quality jobs with decent pay and benefits.

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Hudson News Workers Rally for Justice at San Jose Airport

Calvin Miaw

On Friday, March 15, nearly 100 workers and community members picketed at the San Jose Airport.  They were protesting the Hudson News company, which employs over 40 union members at the airport.  Unite Here! Local 19, which represents those members, has been negotiating with the company for 19 months without reaching an agreement for a first contract.  The Hudson employees are demanding a fair contract that includes good health care coverage.

“The company said they only want to make money, not share it with us,” said Herminia Pecho, a Hudson retail sales associate.  “That's why they are unwilling to provide us health care as good as the other two union employers at San Jose Airport, HMS Host and Areas.  But we are the ones doing all the work for them to have clean stores and happy customers.  What we want is equality.”

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Hey Fox 11! Union Workers Are Not Criminals

Steve Ross

“What do ex-cons and trade unions in California have in common?”

With those words, KTTV Fox 11 Vice-President and General Manager Kevin Hale begins his latest editorial criticizing California’s High Speed Rail Project, specifically a hiring policy that gives preferential treatment to disadvantaged workers. 

“They are defining disadvantaged workers as former criminals and some union workers,” Hale says.

Mr. Hale is certainly entitled to his opinion about the bullet train, but when he starts lumping together criminals and union workers, I have to object. His true anti-union colors are showing with that distortion of the facts.

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