In a bold strategy to protect millions of Californians, Senators Kevin de Leon and Scott Weiner joined forces to keep net neutrality in California with their bills SB 822 (Wiener) and SB 460 (de Leon).
Unions. Change. Lives. This idea was central to the 2018 Joint Legislative Conference. The conference brought more than 500 union members, leaders, and activists to Sacramento to celebrate the impact of unions in the lives of working people and recommit to protecting our movement in the years to come.
As a case backed by billionaires will soon be heard by the Supreme Court of the US, working people are joined by the Sacramento Bee Editorial Board in denouncing the insidious attempt to silence our voices and weaken the middle class. The case- Janus v AFSCME– claims to be about “freedom” but it’s really about a powerful anti-worker agenda that seeks to further stack the deck against everyday Americans to line the pockets of the wealthy elite.
Earlier this month, CEO Elon Musk boasted about Tesla’s plans to sell the new Model 3 to a half a million customers. He said Tesla would go through “production hell” to complete these orders. “Production hell” in the c-suite looks very different than “production hell” on the factory floor, where rate of injury is 31% higher than the industry average according to a Worksafe report this year. The report also showed the rate of serious injuries was DOUBLE the industry average in 2015.
It’s less than a week until Father’s Day and Hugo Meijia Murguia and Rodrigo Nunez are living a nightmare. They are stuck in a detention center, separated from their children, uncertain about what will happen to them. Their union brothers and sisters are fighting like hell to help them.
Its official- President Trump is looking to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). News broke when the White House sent an official notice to Congress that failed to include details or a hint of the President’s vision on how he plans to renegotiate the notoriously flawed trade agreement. Working people and their unions were quick to respond.
The origins of May Day run deep in the history of our nation. From the late 1800s when our ancestors were fighting and dying for the 8-hour work day to 2006 when hundreds of thousands marched together for immigrant rights, International Workers’ Day has been a time for working people to come together and fight for our values.
With unprecedented federal attacks threatening working people across the nation, California Labor’s Joint Legislative Conference theme of “Resist and Rebuild” embodied the spirit of the California Labor Movement. We are unified and we are ready to not only go on defense, but on offense. And we’re going to stand together to win for working people.
Big Pharma can raise the price of a vital prescription drug at any time, for any reason without ever telling anyone why. The revenue could be going to buying hover boards for Pharma CEOs but no one would know. Why? Big Pharma spends millions of dollars to send lobbyists to our Capitols to wine and dine our legislators to keep the status quo: Pharma’s unchecked ability to raise prices behind closed doors without having to justify the rate hikes.
International Women’s Day (IWD) has deep roots in Labor history. The organizers of the very first IWD in 1908 gathered to honor a protest of women garment workers 50 years prior. More than a hundred years ago, our grandmothers and great-grandmothers recognized that women’s rights are worker’s rights. They knew that when women succeed, so does the world.
Representative Jeff Denham’s constituents are fed up, and with just cause. After weeks of demanding an opportunity to meet with their Congressman face-to-face with zero response from Denham, hundreds of folks from his community decided to hold a peaceful candlelight vigil in his neighborhood in Turlock, CA last week. The cold temperature on a week night didn’t deter the crowd from passionately chanting “Denham: Do Your Job” and “What do we want? Healthcare! When do we want it? NOW!” for over an hour outside Denham’s gated community.
Take note, elected officials: working people are organized and ready to mobilize for our healthcare! With a President who took office insistent on dismantling the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) without any feasible replacement option, California’s working people didn’t waste a second to take action. Rain or shine, working people have turned out in record numbers throughout the state to send a clear message to their elected officials: don’t cut our healthcare!
The victories won by working people standing together in 2016 are already benefitting millions across the state. From raising the minimum wage to stronger workplace protections, California continues to lead the nation in championing laws and policies that raise standards for all.
This week, President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to pick on one of our own – Chuck Jones, President of United Steel Workers Local 1999 in Indiana. This is how working people responded from across the nation: #ImWithChuck!
Solidarity knows no borders! To date, over 2,000 California union members have volunteered to turnout the vote for Election 2016 in our neighboring “Battle Born” state, Nevada – and the number will keep keeps climbing through Election Day.
It’s been a decade since California passed our last statewide school bond to repair and upgrade our public schools. That’s 10 years of students from kindergarten to college attempting to learn in schools crumbling around them. Libraries, science labs, classrooms – you name it – California schools are in dire need of an upgrade.
1 in 4 Californians have experienced the worst kind of surprise over the past two years: a medical bill in the mail they had zero anticipation of ever receiving. These surprise medical bills happen when an insurer pays less for medical procedures than expected and they can be devastating for working families. Fortunately there’s a […]
California Legislators are facing a yuuuge stack of bills on a range of topics to address as summer heats up at the Capitol. Fortunately one of the bills on the table, Senate Bill 1010 (Hernandez), is such a no-brainer and so obviously beneficial to working people and their employers, California legislators looking out for their constituents won’t have to break a sweat figuring out how to vote.
Senate Bill 1010 (Hernandez) will likely be up for a vote next week in the California State Assembly Health Committee before heading to the floor for a vote. The bill has already passed the CA State Senate, and everyone – except Big Pharma – seems to be coming out in favor of this commonsense, pro-transparency bill.
Imagine dedicating 30 years of your life to one employer, then one year away from retirement getting handed a layoff notice. It feels so wrong on such a visceral level but it just happened to Janette Reid. Janette had worked for the University of California Berkeley Molecular & Cell Biology Department and was the first administrative support worker to receive a layoff notice.
“We’re sick of being treated like second-class citizens. It wears on you after a while. And we are done with it.”
On the fifty-third anniversary of the Equal Pay Act being signed into law, I wish I could tell you this quote is just an insightful throwback to a less just era and that we have since moved on to conquer the gender pay gap. Unfortunately I can’t because no, we haven’t.
Hint: raising the minimum wage is good for everyone
By Rachel Warino
Historic legislation to raise the wage in California to $15 an hour would be an economic boost to workers and California’s economy, according to a new study released by the UC Berkeley Labor Center. According to researchers, slowly hiking minimum wage to $15 would benefit 5.6 million Californians.
Last year’s biggest legislative battle on healthcare to return
by Rachel Warino
“When Sarah had a baby in June 2015, she researched her options and chose an in-network hospital. She ended up having an unplanned C-section and was surprised when she received a $1,050 bill for the out-of-network anesthesiologist. “I'm grateful that my baby girl is healthy and that my delivery went well, but I had no idea the anesthesiologist would be out-of-network and not covered by my insurance. That unexpected additional $1,050 bill was a burden on our budget”
More than 500 union members, leaders, and activists met in Sacramento this week to plan and execute a shared agenda to raise standards for all working people in California. The conference theme: Union Strong. In California, Union Strong means a path to the middle class and the American Dream for all.
March 8th is recognized worldwide as International Women’s Day (IWD). This is a day meant to celebrate the contributions of women to their communities across the world and to continue our fight for global equality.
Tomorrow Teamsters Aircraft Mechanics are standing together to join a nationwide day of action against United Airlines. Over 93% of the 9,000 mechanics nationwide voted to reject United Airline’s final offer and to authorize a strike. Teamsters in California will punch out for their lunch break and rally outside San Francisco International Airport to show solidarity with their coworkers across the country.
This past weekend, the death Justice Scalia left an open seat on the Supreme Court. The President has constitutional authority to full that seat, but Senate Republicans immediately said they would not hold hearings to even vote on a nominee.
Join us and AFL-CIO President Trumka in telling Senate Republicans: #DoYourJob!
In honor of Black History Month, we wanted to spotlight one of California's most forward-thinking labor leaders, Doug Moore. Mr. Moore is the Executive Director of United Domestic Workers of America, AFSCME Local 3930, which is made up of over 91,000 California home care workers. His union has made historical gains under his leadership, expanding membership by the thousands in recent years. When talking to Mr. Moore I was struck by his enthusiasm and seemingly tireless resolve to grow our labor movement. You can tell he cares deeply about his members, the broader workers’ rights movement, and racial justice in our country. Let’s dive in.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a bad deal for working families in our country. We anticipated it would be when we fought against fast-tracking in through Congress and our worst fears were realized when the text was finally released to the public for the first time just a few months ago. This week, working people are standing together to urge Congress to stand with American workers and vote No on the TPP.
For 30 years, a group of tireless volunteers have dedicated countless hours, time, resources, and energy to providing one of the most welcoming spaces for workers on the West Coast: The Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival. This past festival, held on Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend was no exception.
This video of children singing Solidarity Forever will give you all the feels By Rachel Warino Having a rough day? Need a pick me up? We got you covered. Last week , hundreds attended the dedication of the Itliong – Vera Cruz Middle School in Union City. The naming of the school after Larry Itliong […]
Passing laws that help improve the quality of life for working families can be a tough prospect. Commonsense ideas that help workers thrive in our society – raising the minimum wage, ensuring all workers have access to paid sick days, over time pay, to name a few – have always faced incredible pushback from the very same corporations and their lobbyists who benefit from a shrinking middle class. Yet year after year, we see that when workers stand together, we can raise standards for all. Last year was no exception.
Family and friends gathering in one place, cooking together, and sharing all of the things they’re most grateful for is why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. My family takes the being grateful thing seriously and this year I’m going to take time to say why I’m grateful for my union (but really: all unions). We spend most of our time working so anything that improves that part of our lives is worth our gratitude. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are are 7 reasons why I’m thankful for my union…
With Veteran’s Day around the corner, the California labor community is preparing to honor those who have risked their lives to protect our country and the freedoms that define America. Men and women who serve our country in uniform have shown courage defending our nation. Yet far too often a return home is met with a distressing reality: good jobs are few and far between and the services and support they have earned are lacking in their communities. Recent reports have shown veterans often face difficulty finding a job with good wages and decent benefits, particularly younger veterans between 18 and 24 years old. Our veterans deserve the best resources to ensure their transition from military to civilian life is as smooth as possible.
This has been a historic week for California! On Tuesday, Governor Brown signed historic legislation aimed to squash the gender wage gap in California. Signing SB 358 (Jackson), the California Fair Pay Act closes decades-old loopholes that have helped employers work around the Equal Pay Act, signed by President Kennedy in 1963.
The clock is ticking on Governor Jerry Brown’s deadline to decide which bills from this legislative session he’ll sign into law. A bill promising to curtail a practice that’s both harmful to workers and disturbingly on the rise in workplaces across California is more than worthy of his signature. Mandatory arbitration waivers have been sneaked into countless piles of paperwork for workers to unknowingly sign their rights away on the job or when they’re first hired.
There is a crisis in the healthcare industry harming workers and their bosses. Premiums for employer health insurance plans have risen 185% since 2002, more than five times the increase in the state’s overall inflation. As a result we’re seeing many workers giving up raises to pay for health care while also paying more and more out-of-pocket. Discussions about raising wages at the bargaining table are getting shelved as even more cash goes to the pockets of giant corporate health plans. These skyrocketing healthcare premiums and costs are clearly taking a toll on workers and employers.
By Rachel Johnson, proud Union Member of The Newspaper Guild-Communication Workers of America
It must be easier if they don’t have to see the families they seek to destroy. That’s the only explanation I can think of when I hear about the latest campaigns to annihilate retirement security for millions, Republican lawmakers’ efforts to push legislation that will make it harder for workers to stand together and organize, and a conservative presidential candidate who said teachers’ unions are worthy of a punch in the face.
On this date in 1965 President Johnson signed Medicare into law. Fun fact: at the signing ceremony, President Johnson enrolled President Truman as the first beneficiary of Medicare. Today this publicly funded health care system continues to lift millions out of poverty. 50 years since being signed into law and Medicare is the nation’s largest and most successful health insurance program, providing quality healthcare and financial security to over 55 million Americans.
We couldn’t think of a better throwback than John Oliver’s hilarious take-down of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). This group of corporate lackeys is hell-bent on pushing their anti-worker agenda on any elected official who takes them up on their offer for an all-expense-paid vacation to their annual meeting, this year in sunny San Diego.
Since 1975, millions of American workers have been scammed out of bringing home a salary that reflects the time they have dedicated to their job. How have bosses managed to get away with this insidious form of wage theft? The title “assistant manager” and others like it paved the way.
6.5 million Californians have access to paid sick leave starting today
By Rachel Johnson
Today is game-changer for California. Thanks to the Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014, which goes into effect today, millions of workers in the Golden State will now have access paid sick day protections at their workplace. After years of fighting to expand access to paid sick leave against business lobbyists who continue to insist that paid sick leave is a “job-killer”, the California Labor Movement earned a historic victory when a Labor sponsored bill, AB 1522 (authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez): Earned Sick Leave for All California Workers, was signed into law by Governor Brown in 2014. Today that law goes into effect, bringing a much needed benefit to millions of California workers.
The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) announced this morning that it would hear a case that has the potential to adversely affect millions of American workers. The case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Associationwill challenge existing precedent and would allow people to have the benefits of a union contract without paying an “agency fee” or “fair share” fee. These fees cover the costs of bargaining workers’ contracts with employers and are typically less than full union membership dues. This system is covered by legal precedent dating back to the 1970’s when the Supreme Court heard Abood v. Board of Education and determined that fair share fees are legal and just.
Everywhere you look, union apprenticeships and careers in the trades are being applauded. Earlier this year, LeDaya Epps, a graduate of a Laborer’s apprenticeship was invited as a special guest to the State of the Union. President Obama recognized her and called for more paid apprenticeships and “opportunities that give workers the chance to earn higher-paying jobs, even if they don’t have a higher education.” Governor Brown also expressed similar sentiments during the groundbreaking ceremony for California’s High Speed rail, extoling how vital it is to strengthen our infrastructure through skilled workers in the trades. He said, “You've got to get these building trades men and women doing stuff. That's what makes America — what makes the world — go 'round.”
Yesterday the U.S. Senate voted 60-37 to invoke cloture on Trade Promotion Authority (aka “Fast Track”) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, effectively ensuring the passage of Fast Track. This vote was all the more disappointing because Sen. Feinstein joined 12 other Senate Democrats to cast decisive votes that pushed this job-killing corporate trade deal forward.
Today we’re throwing back to a powerful time in labor history. On June 15th, 1990, a few hundred workers bravely stood together against unspeakable odds and improved the lives countless workers, an impact we’re still seeing in the labor movement today.
When a fellow worker is fired for wanting to join a union, there’s only one way to respond: stand behind them! That’s exactly what happened for Fermín Rodríguez, a worker who was terminated by El Super, a California-based, Mexican owned supermarket chain where he worked for 9 years.
Concerned over sweeping Fast Track legislation that would allow corporate lobbyists and DC bureaucrats to negotiate new international trade agreements that would make lifesaving drugs more expensive, Registered Nurses (RNs) with National Nurses United (NNU) are stepping up pressure on members of Congress in new radio ad campaigns in targeted districts.
In the month since Congressman Ami Bera announced he would support Fast Track legislation, the California labor movement has been committed to holding him accountable for his actions. Working people in his district (CD-7) have held sit-ins at his office, hit the phone banks to educate folks about Bera’s support of Fast Track, and rallied outside his office, showing how his support of this undemocratic legislation is insulting to those who have supported him for years.
While running for Congress, Representative Ami Bera made a lot of promises to the people of his district. He made it clear that protecting jobs in the Sacramento region would be one of his top priorities. Yet, to the frustration of working people in his district, Rep. Bera has fallen back on that promise by committing to voting yes on Fast Track legislation that would steamroll a job-killing trade bill through Congress.
Working people of California are making sure this a recess some members of Congress won’t ever forget!
Members of Congress are visiting their home districts and states until tomorrow and with a critical vote to authorize Fast Track on trade bills looming, now is the time to make our bottom line clear: stand with working people to support good jobs! Vote NO on Fast Track!
After reading the recent workforce report by Career Builder it’s easy to feel like our nation has mastered the “One step forward, two steps back” move. We have made progress but it’s also clear we have much work to do before every American has an equal shot at sharing in our nation’s economic prosperity.
It’s been a rough couple of days for Congressman Ami Bera. Bera, representing communities in the Sacramento region, announced his support for Fast Track legislation in an opinion piece to the Sacramento Bee on Saturday. In his piece, Bera claimed that “The Trade Promotion Authority also requires the strongest deal yet on labor and the environment.” Unfortunately for Bera, Buzzfeed broke the news that this statement and several others from the piece were copied and pasted straight from talking points disseminated by lobbyists of corporations who stand to gain from the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
Worker’s Memorial Day is more than just an observance and a day to honor our friends and family who have suffered and died on the job, it’s also a call to action. Yesterday in our ThrowbackThursday post we highlighted life for workers before Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act more than forty years ago.
Can you imagine a time when you could go to work, get injured, and have no recourse whatsoever?! Until workers started to organize in the 20th century and push for safe standards on the job, this was the case for generations of men, women, and children. For decades workers across industries fought to have employers voluntarily adopt regulations to keep their workers safe and provide benefits in the event a worker got injured while working.
The Coalition to Stop Fast Track began airing television ads in Sacramento, Bay Area, and Fresno media markets to encourage voters to urge their Representatives to oppose Trade Promotion Authority, aka “Fast Track”, which Congress is expected to vote on within the next two weeks. These “Bad Deal” ads are part of a seven figure campaign running across the country and specifically target Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA 6th District), and Congressmen Ami Bera (D-CA 7th District), Mike Thompson (D-CA 5th District) and Jim Costa (D-CA 16th District) who have been non-committal about their position on Fast Track legislation.
Thousands took part in strikes and protests Wednesday in one of the largest mobilizations of underpaid working people in history. Actions across California from Los Angeles to Sacramento gave working people the opportunity to stand with low wage workers who bravely went on strike and walked out mid-shift to send the message: we will not stop until $15 and a union.
Yesterday, Labor’s annual Joint Legislative Conference, sponsored by the California Labor Federation and State Building and Construction Trades Council, brought together more than 500 union leaders, representatives, and activists from all over the state to plan and execute a shared agenda for the good of all working families. While there were many phenomenal speakers throughout the day during plenary, lunch and dinner, conference attendees agreed: the workers who were able to tell their story stole the show.
Today more than 500 leaders and activists from hundreds of California unions will come together in Sacramento for Labor’s 2015 Joint Legislative Conference, hosted by the California Labor Federation and the State Building and Construction Trades Council. The theme of the conference this year is “Working People Standing Together Changing Lives”.
Everyone loves a good #TBT but there are also so many forward-thinking campaigns worth highlighting in the labor movement! Yesterday we celebrated the legendary Cesar Chavez for #ThrowBackThursday and today we’re dedicating our first #ForwardFriday to Jennifer Muir with the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA). Muir wrote an opinion piece for the Orange County Register today that will hit home for many working people in California who are fed up with a system that is rigged against us.
“If we can change Walmart, we can change the World”
It was with this spirit that workers from around California united at dozens of Walmart locations to educate customers and staff about the recent wage victory for Walmart workers and to let them know that the fight is not over. We will not stop until workers earn a living wage and have access to full time work.
For our final Q&A celebrating women in the California labor movement to honor Women’s History Month, we sat down with Mary Gutierrez-Khopkar. With experience in labor, federal and state politics, Mary Gutierrez-Khopkar currently serves as Child Care Campaign Director for the largest union organization in California, the State Council of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU California,). SEIU California is the coordinating political body for over 17 SEIU locals throughout California representing over 700,000 school employees, child care providers, homecare workers, janitors, social workers, court employees, healthcare workers, and other service employees. In this capacity, Mary is responsible for leading strategy and implementation of one of the largest union organizing efforts in the country by trying to win collective bargaining rights with the state on behalf of a predominantly female workforce of over 60,000 family child care providers.
On Wednesday April 1st, all across the country, we will spread the news of the recent wage victory for Walmart employees and the message that we can’t stop until all workers are earning $15 and full time is an option for those who need it at Walmart. Just last month Walmart announced raises for 500,000 Walmart workers. That’s $1 billion in money into Associates pockets! It’s a huge victory and a great start, but even with this raise many associates continue to struggle to support their families on low wages and too few hours.
That’s why workers are calling on Walmart to publicly commit to $15 an hour and access to full-time, consistent work. You can join them on April 1st.
Continuing our Women in the Labor Movement series to celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting a young leader in the California labor movement: Nichole Trujillo Rice. Nichole Trujillo Rice currently serves as district legislative representative for UFCW 8-Golden State and Secretary-Treasurer of the San Joaquin-Calaveras Counties Central Labor Council.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we are honoring women leaders in the California Labor Movement. Today I sat down with Shelley Kessler, a pillar of the labor movement in California. Shelley got started in the union movement in a male-dominated industry and has led the charge advocating for safety in the workplace. As head of the San Mateo Country Central Labor Council, Kessler represents 110 affiliated local unions and over 70,000 working member families. She has been at the Labor Council for 29 years, first as the political director. She also currently serves as a Vice President of the California State Labor Federation and an IAM Delegate to the AFL-CIO.
California registered nurses (RNs) marched to PhRMA in Sacramento and visited district offices of several key Congress members to share their grave concerns for public health if fast-track legislation is used for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations.
Every time we turn around workers have gained more ground in Silicon Valley! Just a few days after tech industry shuttle drivers voted to join Teamsters Local 853 news broke that Apple committed to increasing drivers’ salaries by 25 percent.
Last week, over 400 labor leaders and activists mobilized and coordinated a massive gathering in Washington D.C. for a national fly-in Lobby Day on Trade. Their mission? Demand Congress to Stop Fast Track. Leaders spent the day meeting with over 120 members of congress and staff to relay the dangers of passing massive trade agreements with Fast Track legislation.
We have another victorious example of what workers can do when they stand strong together! Just this week, advocates for security officers at Apple were planning to send a message to the tech giant with storefront actions around the state to demand they stop contracting their work out Security Industry Specialists (SIS). Before all actions could even be completed, Apple released a statement announcing that will start hiring security officers in-house and offer them full-time work with fair wages and benefits. This is an incredible win for workers and their families in Silicon Valley!
Tech is booming. Record-breaking profits, inspiring innovations, ideas that turn into life-changing products are all examples of the news we hear about tech companies in California. The top 150 companies brought in over $103 billion in profits in 2013, and this was pre iPhone 6!
But this prosperity is not being shared with everyone who works for the tech industry.
There’s trouble brewing in Washington D.C. for American workers. In the coming weeks, our congress will decide whether or not to pass Fast Track legislation that will allow trade deals to be made behind closed doors and without any oversight from the people most impacted: American workers.
In honor of Black History Month, we sat down with one of California's most dynamic labor leaders, Willie Pelote with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) to discuss the intertwining history of the labor movement and the civil rights movement and how to continue that legacy.
Yesterday Judge Andrew Hanen, a district court judge in Texas, issued a politically-charged injunction to block the implementation of immigration initiatives designed by President Obama to improve our system for millions of immigrants living and working in the United States. Today was supposed to kick-start the planned expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, granting immigrants at least 30 years old who came to the US as children and teenagers the right to apply for deportation relief and work authorization.
Unions are driving force for new workplace violence standards for healthcare providers and patients
by Rachel Johnson
Delivering compassionate and efficient care to Californians is something that should be appreciated and regularly applauded. When our doctors, nurses, and hospital staff stand up to bring attention to unsafe working conditions, it’s imperative for our state leaders and regulators to listen.
FMLA was a game changer – millions of families in America have been protected since its adoption in 1993. There is no question that FMLA deserves much celebration.
However; save for a few changes, FMLA has gone largely untouched for decades. This historic legislation was adopted nationally the same year pilots aired for X-Files and Boy Meets World. Fast forward to 2015: Girl Meets World is now on the air but we're still waiting on necessary improvements to FMLA.
When you’re tuning in to the President’s State of the Union address tonight, keep an eye out for LeDaya Epps. This inspirational mother of three and proud member of Labor's International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 300 spends her days working on a project to expand the light rail train line for LA Metro to the Los Angeles International Airport. It’s no wonder that Labor Department Secretary Tom Perez invited her to be a guest of the First Lady at tonight’s address.
and his opponent David Harmer. Before Saturday’s debate even began, it was clear which candidate had the grassroots energy behind him. Hundreds of loyal McNerney supporters gathered outside prior to the debate in the pouring rain to wave signs and show their support for McNerney before his first live showdown with Harmer.
McNerney turned in a strong performance, confirming that he is the best candidate to represent the district in the US Congress. Focusing on his accomplishments and his plans for the 11th district, McNerney came across as intelligent, compassionate and forward-thinking.
The Central Valley could be the California equivalent to Florida or Ohio in presidential politics – a critical battleground that may determine the fate of an election.
That’s why unions have placed special emphasis on the region this year, ramping up more phone banks, precinct walks and worksite visits than ever before. And if this weekend’s Central Valley GOTV kick offs are any indication of how much grassroots energy there is statewide for Jerry Brown, Barbara Boxer and other working family candidates, it’s going to be a good night on Nov. 2.
Wal-Mart has been under fire for years for its shoddy treatment of its employees. In 2006, California Wal-Mart workers decided they’d had enough, taking the fiercely anti-union retail giant to court for failing to pay overtime, vacation and other wages. Yesterday, Wal-Mart ended the lawsuit by agreeing to settle a class action lawsuit and pay up to $86 million to 232,000 affected employees.
Yesterday marked the end of a long journey for hundreds of devoted teachers, union members and community activists marching for a better future for California. The March for California’s Future began in Bakersfield on March 5, highlighting the need for quality public education and services, an effective and efficient state government and the return of fair and equitable taxes to California.
The nationwide grassroots campaign to make Wall Street pay to help rebuild our economy is on full display in California this week, as working families gather outside big Wall Street banks in San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and Orange County. Hundreds of working people are taking part in the protests statewide, along with AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, who will be speaking at the Bank of America action in San Diego on Friday.
At a time when the news cycle is chock-full of reports about the recession, bank bail-outs and gubernatorial candidates throwing millions (and millions, and millions) of dollars at the 2010 election, we found a breath of fresh air: tangible proof that unionizing helps workers earn more money and receive better health care coverage! The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) issued a conclusive report this month providing evidence of the many benefits workers gain when they are able to unionize.