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Labor's Edge: Views from the California Labor Movement

Labor's Edge Blog Articles


New Economic Policy Institute Report Details Economic Challenges Facing UC Workers

By Jason Rabinowitz, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 2010

More than 80 percent of University of California support staff employees are paid wages too low to provide the basic necessities of life in the areas where they live and work, according to preliminary findings of a study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute.

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It’s Time to Clean out Dark Money in Politics

Tell the CA Supreme Court: Give CA voters the opportunity to overturn Citizens United!

5 years later, Citizens United is still keeping our political system in the gutter.

by Tim Molina, Courage Campaign

Today marks the five year anniversary of Citizens United -- the U.S. Supreme Court’s most damaging decision in the history of American democracy, which opened the floodgates for corporate money in politics and unlimited spending by billionaires such as the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson.

Hundreds of courageous Californians are taking to the streets in San Francisco and Los Angeles to show that people power can defeat corporate power. For those of you who can’t make it today, you can still make a difference by signing our petition to the Supreme Court

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Inviting LeDaya Epps to the State of the Union Highlights the Benefits of Union Apprenticeships

by Rachel Johnson









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.

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Martin Luther King Jr. and the Struggle for Economic Justice

by Martin J. Bennett

Commemorations on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday tend to portray a moderate civil rights leader who aimed to end segregation and racial discrimination by nonviolent direct action.

Often forgotten is his lifelong belief that a "radical restructuring of the architecture of American society" was needed, and that the fight for racial equality and the struggle for economic justice are intertwined.

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We’re Not Buying the Pension-Busting Hype

By Steve Smith, California Labor Federation

Chicken little is alive and well. Those who seek to undercut the retirement security of hard-working public servants are once again trying to whip up mass hysteria about pensions, cherry-picking data from  a website recently created by State Controller John Chiang in an effort to fool the public. As usual, the fact-challenged pension-busters -- and a number of media outlets -- totally missed the mark in their shallow analysis of pension data, which Dave Low of Californians for Retirement Security notes in a San Diego Union-Tribune op-ed.

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Homecare workers deserve overtime pay – and so much more

For-profit homecare agencies are threatening homecare workers’ new rights to overtime pay. But they’re fighting back.

By Allison Padgett, United Domestic Workers of America

In December 2011, California caregivers Michelle Wise and Elva Munoz stood next to President Obama as be announced some major news. The regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) were being amended to extend a minimum wage, overtime pay, and other wage protections to America’s homecare workers, including In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) caregivers in California, for the first time.

Over four years later, caregivers in California are still fighting for these fundamental workplace protections. Support them by signing their petition to Governor Brown today.

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Teamsters Call On Apple, Yahoo, Ebay, Zynga, Genetech, Amtrak To Support Compass Drivers

By International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Rome Aloise, International Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif., sent letters to the CEOs of six East Bay-area companies this week, asking them to support the unionization efforts of the drivers that transport their employees. The drivers, employees of Compass Transportation, are seeking union representation and a contract.

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Groundbreaking a Major Leap Forward for Job-Creating High-Speed Rail

By Sara Flocks

California has always been a state of visionaries and risk-takers. From Silicon Valley to Hollywood and everywhere in between, creative and innovative thinkers have taken risks to develop new products, new industries and new inventions. Investment by the public in the state’s highways, bridges, universities and skilled workforce has allowed visionaries to make their dreams a reality.

Today, California continues our proud tradition as a leader in both vision and investment. Leaders from labor, business and government gathered in Fresno to break ground on the most ambitious public works project in the country—high-speed rail. California’s 500-mile high speed rail system will connect San Francisco to Los Angeles with the spine built in the Central Valley.

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Got a T-Shirt? Chances Are Child Labor Was Involved

by Tula Connell

Cotton production involves the most child labor and forced labor in the world, according to the 2014 “List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor” by the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs.

Overall, 126 goods are produced annually by child labor and 55 goods produced through forced labor. Most of the goods, like cotton, are found in common items like T-shirts or are among popular foods, such as melons and rice.

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Facebook Drivers Vote to Join Teamsters

By International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Drivers who shuttle Facebook employees to and from the company headquarters in Menlo Park., Calif., have voted in favor of representation by Teamsters Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif.


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Stand with Walmart Strikers on Black Friday

By Mike Hall  

Walmart workers, many who earn poverty-level wages and have irregular and part-time hours, have mobilized for justice and fairness at Walmart over the past few years and now are calling on Walmart to end retaliation against workers who are asking for $15 an hour and full-time hours. Now, workers’ allies in communities around the nation are joining them in massive demonstrations on Black Friday (Nov. 28), the biggest shopping day of the year.

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Labor hosts service projects, community celebration to commemorate Veterans Day 2014

By Orange County Employees Association

California’s labor unions stood with veterans this November to commemorate Veterans Day 2014 with service projects and a free community celebration attended by 9,000 people in Orange County. Attendance nearly tripled this year as Southern California residents came to the OC Fair & Event Center to honor our nation’s heroes and enjoy free food, music and activities for the family.

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UDW homecare workers recognized during National Family Caregiver Month

By Kim Moore

As baby boomers age and the need for long-term care rises, caregiving has become one of the fastest growing occupations in America. And most people – ninety percent of us – indicate that we would rather be cared for at home than a nursing home or facility.

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Union Members Restore Battleship USS Iowa to Commemorate Veterans Day

By Niyaz Pirani

SAN PEDRO—Armed with buckets of simple green and scores of rags, union members volunteered Saturday, Nov. 8, to be the USS Iowa crew for a day, scrubbing down bunks and cleaning walls in the 72-year-old battleship.

More than 40 members of Southern California’s labor unions—including Orange County Employees Association, United Food and Commercial Workers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and several others—came to commemorate Veterans Day and honor our nation’s heroes by giving back.

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