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Labor's Edge: Views from the California Labor Movement

Labor's Edge Blog Articles


Labor 411’s Secret Family Stuffing Recipe

By Michael Teitelbaum, crosspost from Labor 411

You’re in charge of the stuffing and want to impress, so you’ve promised a secret family recipe, passed down through the generations. You may have fibbed a little.
Never fear, my family has a mouth-watering recipe that has never failed, and in the tradition of Labor 411, we’re putting it together with union-made ingredients.

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7 Reasons I’m Thankful for My Union

By Rachel Warino

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...

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More posts by Rachel Warino


Underpaid Workers across California Mobilize to Win $15 and a Union

By Steve Smith

Thousands of underpaid workers across California mobilized Tuesday in a historic show of solidarity for higher wages, social justice and equality in cities from San Diego to Sacramento.

Striking workers from McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s joined home care, child care, and other low-wage workers at a massive afternoon rallies at City Halls Tuesday afternoon – part of 500 protests nationwide to demand that elected leaders everywhere stand up for $15 an hour and union rights.

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Honor Those Who Have Served with the California Labor Movement

By Rachel Johnson

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.

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More posts by Rachel Warino


On November 10th We’re Fighting for $15

by Rachel Johnson

Over 6.5 million workers in California are paid less than $15/hr. And on Tuesday, November 10th workers, labor unions, and community allies will take to the streets to demand $15/hr and a union.

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More posts by Rachel Warino


Taking time to honor those who care by fixing our long-term care crisis

Homecare is the fastest growing industry in the country. Every day, 10,000 people in this country turn 65—but even as the need for long-term care increases daily, the work of homecare providers remains undervalued and underappreciated.

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More posts by Crystal Young


On Workers’ Rights, California Makes the Grade

By Steve Smith

This week the Congressional Democrats released a report showing how states stack up on a range of workplace issues from minimum wage and paid sick day laws to nondiscrimination protections for LGBT workers and accommodations for pregnant workers.  California made the grade, with a perfect score on the issues the report graded.

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UDW member champions law that keeps people with disabilities safer in their communities

by Astrid Zuniga

astrid and son 2

On October 3, 2015, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bills 11 and 29. These new laws mandate training for California law enforcement that will give them the skills needed to safely interact with people with mental illness, intellectual disabilities, and substance abuse disorders.

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Our Days, Our Lives: Working Women Need a Voice on the Job

By Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO

Shirley Chisholm broke ground as the first African-American woman elected to Congress. But back in 1970, she knew her story was the exception, not the rule. Speaking during a debate on the Equal Rights Amendment, she said and I quote: “Discrimination against women, solely on the basis of their sex, is so widespread that it seems…normal, natural and right.”

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More posts by Liz Shuler


Struggle for the eight hour day

This installment of the 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.


In 1863 a prolonged strike of tailors for higher pay led to the formation of the first central labor body in the state, the San Francisco Trades’ Union.  Fifteen unions from diverse trades joined to coordinate activities of common interest to their members.  The outstanding leader of the San Francisco Trades’ Union was Alexander Kenaday.

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More posts by Fred Glass


Congress needs our motivation to act on infrastructure!

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

America's infrastructure has seen better days. The Teamsters have stressed that point repeatedly as part of our "Let's Get America Working" (LGAW) campaign. But too many in Congress seem to be content not moving forward on a plan to rebuild, maintain and repair the nation's transportation network.

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AFSCME Strong is Key to Increase Membership

Through AFSCME Strong, Tina Rees, a locksmith for the Elk Grove Unified School District in Sacramento, Calif., may have found the key to success.

In less than six months, Rees has single-handedly signed up 315 of her coworkers as members of AFSCME Local 258, Council 57. Her local is at 90 percent membership. Since participating in the AFSCME Strong training, Rees’s efforts have intensified, her motivation has increased, and her ability to have structured conversations with her coworkers on the importance of standing together has improved.

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Workers Win Historic Victory as Gov. Brown Signs Wage Theft Bill

Fair Day’s Pay Act will make the promise of California’s labor laws real; Community and labor advocates aim for California to lead the nation in enforcement

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Fully Engulfed: Local 1245 member Charles Rowe recounts harrowing Valley Fire experience

By Rebecca Band

IBEW 1245 member Charles Rowe used to love waking up around sunrise every Sunday to listen to the wind blow through the trees and enjoy the peaceful, majestic scenery outside his home in Cobb, California.

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More posts by Rebecca Band

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