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Labor's Edge: Views from the California Labor Movement

Labor's Edge Blog Articles


7/30/15

Medicare Turns 50!

By Rachel Johnson

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.


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More posts by Rachel Johnson

7/29/15

CA activists stand up for students, middle-class at ALEC annual meeting

A California educator is sharing what it was like to join hundreds in San Diego to protest the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, also known as ALEC. ALEC is funded by the infamous billionaire duo Charles and David Koch, also known as the Koch brothers, and has a track record of exploiting the rights of working Americans to make the rich even richer.


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7/28/15

Google Express Workers File for Representation by Teamsters Union

Teamsters Local Union 853 announced yesterday that workers at Palo Alto-based Google Express Services filed for a representation election. The more than 140 warehouse and shipping workers sought out the Teamsters for help with improving working conditions, treatment on the job and compensation.


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More posts by International Brotherhood of Teamsters

7/27/15

Sneak Peak Part III: A History of the California Labor Movement

by Fred Glass

The third installment of the California labor history series, On a Mission:  The first California farmworkers, is excerpted from the forthcoming book on University of California Press, From Mission to Microchip:  A History of the California Labor Movement by California Federation of Teachers Communications Director Fred Glass


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More posts by Fred Glass

7/21/15

Throwback Tuesday: John Oliver Exposes ALEC

by Rachel Johnson

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.


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More posts by Rachel Johnson

7/15/15

California is a NO ALEC Zone!

By Steve Smith

Next week, corporate lobbyists, right-wing millionaires and a host of one-percenters will descend upon San Diego for American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual meeting, a national gathering in which these special interests wine and dine conservative lawmakers and plot strategies to screw working people out of things like a decent wage, health care and retirement security.


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More posts by Steve Smith

7/7/15

Ending the overtime scam against American Workers

by Rachel Johnson

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.


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More posts by Rachel Johnson

7/1/15

California Just Got Healthier

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.


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More posts by Rachel Johnson

7/1/15

The “Sharing Economy” Leaves Out Middle Class Jobs

Apps like AirBnB and Uber bad for workers

by Peter Finn

Don’t the let the term “sharing economy” fool you. There is no sharing. It’s really just the 1% making money by stripping workers of the rights for which the labor movement has fought so hard to secure. Just because the business transactions of these so-called “sharing economy” companies, such as Uber and AirBnB, are accomplished using smartphone apps, doesn’t mean they’re progressive or new. Instead, these companies are simply recycling old ideas and taking us backwards to a time when workers had no rights on the job.


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More posts by Peter Finn

7/1/15

Sneak Peak: A History of the California Labor Movement

This California labor history series is excerpted from the forthcoming book on University of California Press, From Mission to Microchip:  A History of the California Labor Movement by California Federation of Teachers Communications Director Fred Glass.


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More posts by Fred Glass

6/30/15

SCOTUS Puts American Dream in Jeopardy with Friedrichs

By Rachel Johnson

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 Association will 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.


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More posts by Rachel Johnson

6/29/15

July 4 Made-in-America BBQ Shopping List

by Kenneth Quinnell

This week, in the lead-up to the nation's birthday on July 4, we'll be spotlighting union-made products. Stay tuned for a new list each day.

Many of us will celebrate Independence Day with a barbecue. We can keep the red, white and blue in the holiday with this made-in-America, union label backyard barbecue checklist, compiled from the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), the LA Labor 411's website, Union Plus and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).


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More posts by Kenneth Quinnell

6/26/15

On our radar this week: June 22-26

by Rachel Johnson

News about labor unions and the middle class worth a read...


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More posts by Rachel Johnson

6/26/15

Forced Arbitration: Stacking the Deck Against Workers

by Steve Smith

When you start a new job, you expect to fill out a pile of paperwork relating to your employment. What you don't expect is for your boss to slip in a document that effectively nullifies your rights as a worker and demand that you sign it as a condition of employment. It's called forced arbitration, and it's an underhanded practice that's on the rise.


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More posts by Steve Smith

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