Brothers and Sisters,
Here it is. The 5 things you have to know affecting the California Labor Movement!
Nearly 700 union members came together in Sacramento last week for our annual Unionize California Joint Legislative Conference, co-hosted by the Labor Federation and the State Building and Construction Trades Council. New to the agenda this year was a Sunday evening salon, featuring all three of the candidates to replace Dianne Feinstein in the US Senate. All three proved to be the labor champions we know they are! It was also cool to see them taking pictures and sharing extra time with rank-and-file members. The Labor Federation won’t take up an endorsement until the Pre-Primary COPE Convention in December, but we know all of these candidates will be showing up for labor throughout the year. You can read more about the event here.
Workers at Planned Parenthood Clinics in Orange County filed for an NLRB election last Friday. I was honored to meet some of these brave workers as they told their stories about already facing intimidation and union busting in their drive to unionize. We are asking Planned Parenthood to commit to remaining neutral in this union election and not to force unnecessary delays. Organized Labor has consistently stood with Planned Parenthood demanding women have the freedom of choice, it’s time that Planned Parenthood give their workers the freedom of choice to unionize!
Strengthening California’s Public Sector
Last Wednesday, the Assembly Public Employment and Retirement Committee, chaired by Assemblymember Tina McKinnor, held an informational hearing on the loss of good jobs in the public sector. Leaders and members from many unions testified about the importance of public sector workers, the threats from increased contracting out and declining job quality, and recommendations to make sure public sector jobs are good union jobs. Members of SEIU Local 1000 showed up in force to talk about their working conditions as they negotiate their contract this year with the State. We stand with these hard-working members who make our state run—they deserve a fair contract!
Writers’ Strike Solidarity
On May 2, the Writer’s Guild of America went on strike. They are taking a principled stand about the future of their work, residuals, artificial intelligence, and the future of workers in Hollywood. What has been breathtaking has been the amazing solidarity shown by other unions—both in Hollywood and beyond. From UNITE HERE hotel workers to Teamster truck drivers, everyone has committed to having their back.
Adding Rights for Working People to California’s Constitution
Last week, we announced our push for a Constitutional Amendment to protect the rights of working people to organize with their co-workers and negotiate to improve their jobs. This effort is being authored by Senator Tom Umberg and currently has over 25 co-authors in the Senate and Assembly. Once it passes both houses of the legislature by a 2/3 vote, it will be placed on the November 2024 ballot. We are going to start printing labor to labor and worksite informational materials later this year. If your union, Central Labor Council or constituency group wants a training on how to communicate about the Constitutional Amendment or wants to pre-order materials, contact Melanie@calaborfed.org.
Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher