More than 50 People Arrested in Largest Ever Act of Civil Disobedience Against Walmart

Jamie Way

Fifty-four Walmart workers, members of the clergy and community members sat down in the middle of the street in Downtown Los Angeles Thursday evening to call for an end to retaliation and a salary of at least $25,000 a year for Walmart workers.

The protest comes almost exactly one year after the first-ever strike at Walmart began in Los Angeles. In that historic event workers at the Pico Rivera Walmart put their jobs on the line to end the illegal retaliation when they walked off the job. They set off a wave of strikes and protests around the nation.

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California’s Unions Step Up for Veterans

Steve Smith

My grandfather, a member of what Tom Brokaw coined the “greatest generation,” was a chief petty officer in the US Navy during World War II, fighting along so many others for nothing less than freedom itself. He made it back. Many of those he served with did not.

Upon returning home, he needed a job. While looking for work is never easy, he found meaningful employment first as a police officer in Washington state and then later at Caltrans in the San Joaquin Valley. Back then, putting veterans to work was a priority. Government partnered with labor unions and employers to create a pathway to careers for veterans who bravely served our country, defending the freedoms many take for granted today.

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Outside The Box: Corona Teacher Uses Popular Video Game to Teach Geometry

Sherry Posnick-Goodwin

“People say, ‘Oh, they’re just playing video games,’” says Tristan Grandy. “But it’s much more than that.” He logs in to a computer and enters what he calls “a world without limits that holds infinite possibilities.” He is playing Minecraft, one of the hottest video games on the market, where anything can be built with cubes.

Grandy shows off a virtual, three-dimensional replica of their school’s gymnasium he and classmate Aiden Lawrence are building, while other student teams construct virtual classrooms, locker rooms and other areas of their Centennial High School campus in Corona. 

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Veteran’s Day Should Mean Something More

Jessica Bartholow

Next week, America will take a day to honor the commitment of men and women who have served our country.  In California, this day is significant because it is home to more returning veterans than any other state in the Nation.

But for too many veterans, the November 11th holiday is nothing more than a gateway to a stressful holiday season filled with cold months, high utility bills and empty plates.  I know this because my dad is a disabled Veteran who suffered for years with untreated and debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  We were never invited to a Veteran’s Day parade or a pancake breakfast, just left to find our own way, many times our basic needs going unmet.  

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Preserving Trust & Community Safety Through Fair Detainer Policies

Jill Malone

The inability of Congress to address the broken immigration system is forcing counties and states to address the complexity of immigration issues in a piece meal fashion. In this context, Santa Clara County stands out. The most recent example is the Santa Clara County Detainer Policy No. 3.54. This present policy ensures that limited resources do not create a two-tiered system of justice. This current policy ensures that everyone in our system receives equal treatment regardless of immigration status. There is no justifiable reason to treat people’s criminal cases differently just because of their immigration status. The Santa Clara County Detainer Policy supports equal protection guarantees under the US Constitution, while avoiding due process concerns created by ICE tactics.

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Course Correction: Reversing Wage Erosion to Restore Good Jobs at American Airports

Kathleen Maclay

The outsourcing of airport jobs that once sustained middle-class careers has left many airport workers in jobs characterized by insecurity and low wages, according to a new UC Berkeley study released today. According to the study, this trend poses problems for workers, the communities surrounding airports and the flying public.

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Serving Those Who’ve Served Our Country

Connie Leyva

Without our armed service women and men, none of us would enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted every day.  In an effort to thank our Veterans for their great service to each of us and our nation as a whole, the California Labor Federation is sponsoring a day of service on Veterans Day, November 11th, and at a number of locations around the state, union members and supporters will volunteer their time to help out veterans and military families in their own communities. 

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Pension Cutters: Bipartisan Slogans, Right-Wing Money

 delivered his usual speech about the benefits of slashing the retirement benefits of his city’s public employees – and why he is now pushing for a statewide ballot measure that could dramatically change the lives of hundreds of thousands of Californians. Reed’s initiative – which he characterizes as a bipartisan effort and which hasn’t yet qualified for the 2014 ballot — would allow the state and local governments to reduce retirement benefits for current employees for the years of work they perform after the measure’s changes go into effect. What was not usual about Reed’s speech was its setting: The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, 3,000 miles from California.

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A Tale of Hope & Caution: How Three Latin American Nations 
are Defending Public Education

Josh Pechthalt

As part of AFT’s ongoing effort to build alliances with educators and trade unionists around the world, President Randi Weingarten led an AFT delegation in May to meet education union leaders and other unionists in Brazil, Argentina and Chile. I joined them as we looked at their multi-year effort to defend and expand public education, and to develop a response to attacks.

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