5 Things You Need to Know about CA Labor: JUNE 2023

Brothers and Sisters,

Here it is. The 5 things you have to know affecting the California Labor Movement!

First Unionized Amazon Drivers on Strike (and Need Your Help!)

Eighty-four drivers and dispatchers at Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner BTS in Palmdale, CA, organized with the Teamsters in April and negotiated a collective bargaining agreement that raises pay to $30 per hour and guarantees their right to refuse unsafe work. Despite the absolute control it wields over working conditions and over the contractor BTS, Amazon has refused to recognize or honor the union contract. Instead, Amazon has engaged in dozens of unfair labor practices in violation of federal labor law.

In Palmdale, summer temperatures regularly exceed 100 degrees. To work safely in that heat, workers need reduced quotas, plenty of water, and access to cool spaces to rest. But for years, Amazon has refused to even fix the air conditioning in their vans and rationed how many bottles of water the workers can take on their routes. The workers also have to deliver packages on unsafe, unpaved roads or to homes with aggressive dogs.

These workers are not backing down in the face of Amazon’s threats, but they need financial support so they can continue to take care of their families as they fight back against Amazon. Can you make a donation to support these brave workers?

Organize California Institute Coming to a Location Near You

As you may know we are doubling down on building organizing capacity in California’s labor movement. One of the ways we are doing it is by holding 3-day Organizing Trainings in communities throughout California. We had a very successful Institute and Drive in San Diego in February. We will be in Oakland later this week and in August 18-20, we will be bringing the OCI to the Inland Empire! If you or your union is interested in participating in the Inland Empire training (or a future one near you) please register here or email organizing@calaborfed.org.

Hot Labor Summer Is On!

The Writers Guild has been on the picket line for 7 weeks, SAG-AFTRA voted overwhelmingly (97%) to strike if necessary, Teamster UPS drivers also delivered a 97% strike authorization vote if their contract is not settled this coming month, UNITE HERE Local 11 hotel workers in Los Angeles authorized a strike at 100 properties this summer, and SEIU LOCAL 1000 is escalating their actions for a fair contract.

In every industry, every union, we are seeing workers saying enough is enough to wages that can’t pay the bills and bosses who have profited off their hard work. And the world is taking notice. You can read stories about all the bubbling labor activity here or here. See you on the picket line!

Julie Su Does It Again! (Now confirm her already!)

No one in the California worker movement needs to be reminded why Julie Su is the most qualified candidate we may have ever had for US Labor Secretary. Her decades of work in the Golden State are beyond comparison. But, as Acting Secretary of Labor, she showed us once more. She helped mediate a contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association. Her incredible work helped avoid a shutdown of our California Ports and will keep Port workers on the job. Now, we are patiently awaiting her confirmation.

In Solidarity,

Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher