This week, to celebrate International Women’s Day, the City and County of San Francisco honored three incredible labor leaders. Never in my time at the Labor Council have this many labor leaders been honored on one day. But it was the three women whose dedication to the Labor Movement made this day even more historic.
Tim Paulson joined the San Francisco Labor Council as its Executive Director in September 2004. The San Francisco Labor Council is the center of labor activity in San Francisco and is comprised of 150 local unions, representing over 100,000 working men and women in San Francisco. The mission of the Council is to promote social and economic justice for all working people. As Executive Director, Tim leads and coordinates labor's political activities, organizes events and rallies, and supports affiliates in their bargaining and contract negotiations when necessary. Read Tim's full bio.
Starting today, the minimum wage in San Francisco will increase to one of the highest in the nation. We’re joining together as San Franciscans — leaders in government, labor and business — to call on Sacramento and Washington, D.C., to follow our city’s lead, proving that it is possible to promote income equality while simultaneously creating America’s strongest economy. Promoting workers’ rights and creating jobs can go hand in hand, as we’ve demonstrated here in our City by the Bay. Together, we urge the nation to follow our lead, balancing the needs of America’s working poor and small businesses so that issues like minimum wage are not “us versus them,” but all of us together. At its core, minimum wage is a gender-equity issue. According to the White House, working single parents, most of whom are women, benefit when we raise the wage; it can help women work their way out of poverty and into the middle class. Estimates from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers suggest that increasing the minimum wage could also help close the gender wage gap.
Raising the Minimum Wage – 11-0 with support of Mayor
The San Francisco Labor Council is proud to be part of an historic agreement reached yesterday with the Mayor and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors that puts a consensus minimum wage measure on the November ballot that gets all workers to $15 with the cleanest non-exemption path in the United States.
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of America’s most famous icons. However, right now we have a disturbing and heartbreaking situation going on at the bridge.
Over 380 union members who are joined in a coalition of 19 unions have been bargaining for over 10 months without reaching an agreement, and now are down to a fight to keep healthcare affordable for their families. The Golden Gate Bridge General Manager and Board have insisted on concessions to help them out of a short-term budget challenge, while also giving the non-union employees at the District a raise in July of 2011.
Last Friday night at about 10:00 pm I began receiving phone calls with alarming messages that there was about to be a strike on the San Francisco waterfront. I finally realized that workers had walked off an Italian cruise ship at Pier 35. I put on a warm coat and drove to the Embarcadero to see what was going on.
News cameras were interviewing a large group of men and women in red jackets and black bow ties who were on the Embarcadero outside the pier. I found out that they had left the cruiseliner after the dinner shift because they were getting paid wages less than what they had signed up for. Their compensation was being calculated in dollars instead of euros. A substantial difference. They felt that the company was ignoring them at port after port and finally took action in what they had heard was a “union town.”
Californians are impatient with the state of the economy – and afraid that the future may not bring better circumstances.
During the worst economic downturn in a generation, it's our job to make sure no opportunity to create new jobs and protect existing jobs is left on the table.
The much-discussed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile USA is an opportunity to create real jobs that are necessary for injecting life back into our economy. It will also give tens of thousands of T-Mobile workers the option for union representation at AT&T, the only major wireless company that gives employees the freedom to join unions. In fact, the pending merger represents the best opportunity we have seen in recent memory to organize in the growing technology sector.