California’s Labor 2012 Legislative Agenda

Working families in California have been devastated by the Great Recession.

First the private sector collapsed in the wake of the foreclosure freefall, and then the public sector crumbled under the deepest cuts we’ve ever seen. Jobs have disappeared, home values have plummeted, and services have been decimated. In a few short years, millions of families have lost the security that took decades to build.

2012 is the year to invest in California’s future. We will win new revenue to stabilize our economy and rebuild this state. We will confront the growth in contingent work that is eroding basic worker protections. We will get Californians back to work, keep families in their homes, and restore benefits to injured workers.

The Labor Movement will not give up on the California Dream. If we invest in California’s future, we can repair this state, restore economic fairness, and rebuild the middle class.


Build high-speed rail in California

The high-speed rail line will bring immediate economic stimulus and long-term economic growth. It will result in thousands of good new jobs in construction and operations, attract businesses to California, and benefit the environment. We cannot afford to lose this opportunity.


Stop corporate wage thieves

Companies that follow state laws shouldn’t have to compete with those that cheat their employees. Today, companies are increasingly using third party labor contractors, like staffing and temporary agencies, to avoid responsibility for wages, hours, and working conditions. We must close loopholes that allow employers to shift and shirk their responsibilities to their workers.


Cut waste, fraud and abuse in enterprise zone tax giveaways

Every year, the state spends over $500 million on the ineffective enterprise zone tax giveaway program. This program has been proven to create no new jobs. In fact, companies can get these tax credits even if they lay off existing workers to relocate where labor is cheaper. That’s an outrageous use of taxpayer funds and it must be stopped.


Corporate fair share for worker health care

With the implementation of health care reform, there are major corporations that pay no tax dollars yet expect taxpayers to subsidize the cost of employees’ health care. We need transparency to figure out which companies aren’t paying their fair share by dumping their workers into the taxpayer subsidized Health Care Exchange.


Restore benefits to injured workers

The last administration slashed benefits to permanently disabled workers by nearly 70%. We must restore some dignity to those who were injured on the job by increasing permanent disability benefits.


End discrimination against the unemployed

There are employers refusing to even consider the unemployed for jobs. At a time of record unemployment, we cannot allow those who are out of work to become a permanent underclass. Everyone deserves a fair shot at getting work.


Stop foreclosures on families in loan modification

Foreclosures have not only destroyed families, they have cost the state billions and have depressed home values across California. Banks should be modifying unaffordable loans instead of foreclosing on families. Instead, they are actively foreclosing on homeowners who are in the loan modification process. Let’s hold the banks accountable and stop unnecessary foreclosures.