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Labor's Edge: Views from the California Labor Movement

Labor's Edge Blog Articles


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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Why We #StandWithTom for Superintendent of Public Instruction

By Steve Smith
Walmart heirs. An oil tycoon. An Texas-based Enron trader. Venture Capitalists. It’s not surprising that this motley group is using their millions to try to influence our elections. What is surprising to some is where they’re putting their avalanche of campaign cash this fall. They’re pouring millions into the State Superintendent of Public Instruction race.

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Voting Gives Workers a Seat at the Table

By Steve Smith

Just six days to go. We’ve heard a lot about the low-turnout projections. But in this final week, labor unions are out in force doing what we do best: talking to workers face to face and on the phone about the importance of exercising our fundamental right to vote. Voting gives a voice. It gives us a seat at the table. It’s the great equalizer to money and power.

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Calif. Manufacturing Workers Score First Contract


At Sacramento-based company Sunoptics, employees craft products that are ahead of their time – high-tech skylights that can help replace most electric lighting with natural sunlight for offices and homes.

Companies from Coca-Cola and Siemens to local school districts and police departments are using the systems to cut energy bills, slash carbon emissions and reduce pollution.

But while Sunoptics is making huge strides toward a greener future, many of its policies regarding its workforce have been stuck in the past.

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Mike Honda - The Un-Titan

By David Bacon

The editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle thinks a Silicon Valley Congressman should speak for the billionaires who have a voice and want an even louder one.

Perhaps thanks are due the board for making the choice between Mike Honda and Ro Khanna so clear. If we want a Congress member, it argues,who will be a voice for "those high-tech titans (Eric Schmidt of Google, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Marissa Mayer of Yahoo among them)" we should follow its recommendation and dump Mike Honda, and install Ro Khanna.

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Longtime Labor Activist Launches New Book About Spirituality & Social Justice, “Living Peace”

Longtime labor and immigration rights activist Victor Narro believes it’s time to bring spirituality into social justice work. To that end, his book Living Peace provokes dialogue for the sharing and integration of spirituality among those working for
peace and justice.

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Fred Ross Sr Inducted Into California Hall of Fame

IBEW 1245

Renowned union organizer and activist Fred Ross Sr was posthumously inducted into the California Hall of Fame on October 1.  The Hall of Fame honors “legendary people who embody California’s innovative spirit and have made their mark on history.” Ross was just one of the many notable Californians inducted that evening, along with Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Charlotta Bass, Francis Ford Coppola, Joan Didion, Jimmy Iovine, Stephen Schneider, Mimi Silbert and Andre “Dr. Dre” Young.


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More posts by Rebecca Band


OCEA launches “Working People Standing Together” series to highlight public service

by Niyaz Pirani

Orange County’s public employees are the backbone of County government. They keep streets safe and clean, and provide vital services the community needs. Unfortunately, politicians and their corporate backers have not let up on their attacks on workers, eroding the middle class our grandparents’ generation built brick by brick. And they’re doing it for their own political gain.

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AFL-CIO President Touts Prop 47 in LA, Urges Californians to Lead Way on Sentencing Reform

By Steve Smith

Mass incarceration isn’t a topic most of us are comfortable discussing. But it’s a problem that affects every Californian on many levels. When non-violent, low-level offenses are treated as felonies resulting in extensive prison time, it wastes taxpayer money that could be going to schools and services. It fuels the cycle of poverty and imprisonment. It siphons resources from fighting dangerous crime. It’s an affront to justice.

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Worker Power in the Capitol Produces Important Legislative Wins

By Angie Wei

The annual season of governor’s signatures and vetoes has come to an end. And this year, as every year, worker power won legislative change. Many of the most significant bills that were signed by Governor Brown each engaged an active lobbying and advocacy effort by workers and their organizations.

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More posts by Angie Wei


Taking Action for Safe, Just and Healthy Workplaces

By Valeria Velazquez

On November 8th, the Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) and Worksafe are hosting a one-day conference at Berkeley City College entitled “Taking Action for Safe, Just and Healthy Workplaces.” (Online registration is available here.) This event will be an exciting opportunity for workers and advocates to come together to discuss efforts to improve health and safety on the job, successful worker empowerment strategies, and how to effectively use worker rights under Cal/OSHA.

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Gov. Brown Signs Landmark Bill to Protect Temp Workers

By Steve Smith

As Vice President Joe Biden might say, this is a BFD. Last night Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB 1897, a landmark bill to curb abuses against temporary workers.

The new law simply requires that companies securing workers through labor contractors or temp agencies must take responsibility to ensure that workers are getting paid, that they have a safe work environment, and that the contractor is paying state and federal taxes.  Given the recent explosion of temp work, this law provides a measure of protection to workers that often are vulnerable to exploitation.

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IBEW 1245 Launches Eight-State Election Campaign to Defend Workers’ Rights

by Eileen Purcell

This fall, 35 IBEW 1245 members, along with three 1245 staff members, are joining Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaigns at local Central Labor Councils and State Labor Federations in California, Nevada, Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

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