Labor's Edge Blog Articles
The Education of Ted Mitchell
by Gary Cohn
The nomination of Californian Ted Mitchell to the number two position at the U.S. Department of Education is the latest indication that proponents of school privatization are continuing to gain influence over the Obama administration’s education policy.
“He represents the quintessence of the privatization movement,” Diane Ravitch, an education historian and former Assistant Secretary of Education under President George H.W. Bush, tells Capital & Main. “This is a signal the Obama administration is committed to moving forward aggressively with transferring public funds to private hands.”
More posts by Gary Cohn
California Needs High Speed Rail Now
by Robbie Hunter
California urgently needs high speed rail now. The nay-sayers are still searching for reasons to delay this great public works project further, but they are out of excuses. The delays need to stop. It is time to move forward and begin building. The transportation needs, the workers and the dollars are there to get started.
Governor Brown has made the sensible suggestion to use cap-and-trade dollars for some of the funding. That makes sense because the very purpose of cap-and-trade is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels--one of the greatest benefits high-speed mass transit rail will bring to California. Without question, providing electrified mass transit for the people of California will reduce our use of fossil fuels.
More posts by Robbie Hunter
Would You Like Fries With Your iPad?
Prior to the LAUSD vote January 13, 2014 to approve Phase II of the district's $1 billion iPad project, I shared the following remarks with school board members during the three minutes allotted each speaker during Public Comment:
"Good afternoon, board members, Superintendent, sorry about that [jumping the gun], I was looking for my iPad. Part of this discussion about iPads has been framed as -- I'm David Lyell, UTLA Secretary -- it's been framed as a debate about who should and should not have access to technology. No one is opposed to providing students with access to technology. This project really isn't about technology. This is about providing a vehicle for students to conveniently complete common core state standards testing."
More posts by David Lyell
Victory! Sunoptics workers choose IBEW 1245
In a classic union representation election that pitted anti-union managers and consultants against an energetic organizing team, workers at Sacramento-based Sunoptics chose to be represented by IBEW Local 1245.
The vote, conducted under the supervision of the National Labor Relations Board on Jan. 10, was 48-29.
All We Are Saying…Is Give Students a Chance
No one wants an adult who abuses children in the classroom, and existing laws and policies work when adults actually enforce them. In fact, in the wake of several high profile cases in Los Angeles Unified School District, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing admonished District officials for failing to do just that—follow existing reporting guidelines.
Nowadays in LAUSD, when teachers assigned to “teacher jail” pending investigation of an accusation (any accusation—even a hearsay accusation without any evidence) have been cleared by police of wrongdoing, our School Board and superintendent frequently refuse to return these professionals to the classroom
More posts by David Lyell
Fighting for Respect at Taylor Farms
Food Processing Workers, Teamsters and Community Take Action Against Workers’ Rights Violations and Call for the Reinstatement of Unjustly Fired Workers
By Doug Bloch
When workers express a desire to stand together to improve wages and job conditions, far too often the employer responds with a vicious retaliation campaign. That’s the case at Taylor Farms in Tracy, where the immigrant workforce is being subject to threats, harassment and even firings simply for standing up for their rights. Today, the workers are fighting back.
Teamster members and fired Taylor Farms workers were joined today by community allies, faith leaders and elected officials to launch a one-day Unfair Labor Practice strike to demand respect for workers and the reinstatement of those who were fired unjustly.
More posts by Doug Bloch
The Antidote to Income Inequality? Workers Standing Together
Earlier this month, President Obama called rising income inequality the "defining challenge of our time." The gap between the rich and everyone else is now the largest since the Great Depression. But many people still view income inequality in the abstract, because it can be tough to put a finger on how it impacts our everyday lives.
In a new Associated Press report, leading economists spell it out clearly. The income gap hurts us all and poses a major threat to the United States economy: "A key source of the economists' concern: Higher pay and outsize stock market gains are flowing mainly to affluent Americans. Yet these households spend less of their money than do low- and middle-income consumers who make up most of the population but whose pay is barely rising."
More posts by Steve Smith
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