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Labor's Edge: Views from the California Labor Movement

Labor's Edge Blog Articles


New Law Will Protect Low-Wage Earners from Debt Collectors

by Jessica Bartholow

The fight for fifteen is no longer just a slogan, or a hashtag. It is now the law in an increasing number of California cities and will soon be a checkbox on our ballots. And, in January, California will have the highest minimum wage in the nation. As the most prosperous state in the country, with one of the highest rates of income inequality, it is only right that we should.

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Powerful Corporate Interests Attempt Power Grab with Friedrichs Case

By Steve Smith

There’s been a good amount of hullabaloo in recent days about a Supreme Court case that threatens to undermine the ability of working people to stand together to negotiate a fair wage and decent benefits. Oral arguments in the case, Friedrichs v CTA, were presented before the Court yesterday. The case involves the Court re-examining a 40-year precedent that allows unions to charge fair-share fees for representing those who choose not to join the union but still benefit from the contracts it negotiates.

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2015 Victories to Ring in the New Year

By Rachel Warino

Passing laws that help improve the quality of life for working families can be a tough prospect. Commonsense ideas that help workers thrive in our society - raising the minimum wage, ensuring all workers have access to paid sick days, over time pay, to name a few – have always faced incredible pushback from the very same corporations and their lobbyists who benefit from a shrinking middle class. Yet year after year, we see that when workers stand together, we can raise standards for all. Last year was no exception.

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Bankruptcy reforms needed to help Californians climb their way out of debt

By Senator Bob Wieckowski

New U.S. Census Bureau data show the Bay Area is booming, but rising housing costs and poverty rates are making the recovery a spectator sport for many people trying to pay their bills while eliminating their personal debt.  Incomes have increased, but rents have jumped substantially more, and owner-occupied housing has dropped in the region.  For most people, it’s hard to buy and keep a home.

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Our Continuing Resolution

By Michael Messin, cross post from Labor 411

With the new year comes the obligatory question: Do you have any resolutions? And we tend to give the obligatory answers: Go to the gym more; eat healthier; laugh more often. And here at Labor 411, our answer tends to be the same each year, too. And for good reason; it’s an ongoing resolution: to make the American middle class stronger than it was the year before.

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22 Resolutions Passed at the Recent CLUW Convention

by Kenneth Quinnell

The Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) held it's 18th Biennial Convention in November. Among the wide array of activities during the convention, the delegates passed numerous resolutions related to issues that affect and concern women in the workforce.

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San Mateo City Council Backs Raising Minimum Wage to $15

by Paul Burton, Managing Editor, San Mateo Labor

In the city of San Mateo, close to 10,000 service workers, including food prep, janitors, personal care and moving/transportation workers earn a median wage of $21,860—which is at the federal poverty level for a family of three. San Mateo County Central Labor Council Community Services Director Rayna Lehman told the San Mateo City Council November 16, “The minimum wage is too low. A household with two full-time workers earning the minimum wage will take home well under $38,000 per year. Our workers and our children are suffering.”

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More posts by Paul Burton


“All the same good for Chinamen”

by Fred Glass

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.

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10 Reasons You Should Sign the Petition Calling for the Repeal of the Health Care Tax

by Kenneth Quinnell

A new tax on health care plans is threatening to hurt working people and their families. The 40% tax on many health care plans will lead to increased out-of-pocket costs for workers. You can go right now and add your name to a petition to members of Congress asking them to keep the Affordable Care Act affordable by supporting a repeal of the health care benefits tax.

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Drivers Join Growing Number of Silicon Valley Workers Choosing Teamsters

Shuttle drivers who transport Facebook employees to and from work have joined Teamsters Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif., and ratified a strong agreement providing for significant wages, benefit improvements and gains mirroring or exceeding the Facebook/Loop Transportation contract already in place. These drivers with WeDriveU, Inc., will supplement the drivers who work for Facebook contractor Loop Transportation.

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More posts by International Brotherhood of Teamsters


Union-Made in America Holiday Gift Ideas

by Kenneth Quinnell

It's not too late yet to find that perfect holiday gift that carries a union label and is made in America!

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More posts by Kenneth Quinnell


Nearly 15,000 Passenger Service Workers Win Industry-Leading Wages, Working Conditions

Passenger service workers with American Airlines, who are members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and Communications Workers of America (CWA) Association, have voted to ratify a groundbreaking five-year agreement.The contract covering nearly 15,000 workers provides for initial average wage increases of 30 percent and improved benefits, among a number of other industry-leading gains.

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