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Labor's Edge: Views from the California Labor Movement

Labor's Edge Blog Articles


California Labor Convention Builds Power for Workers

By Steve Smith

Union democracy really is an awesome thing to behold. This week, the California Labor Federation held its biennial convention in San Diego, with union delegates setting the course for Labor this year and beyond. The theme: building power by standing together. At its core, that’s what the labor movement is all about. Building economic power by giving workers the opportunity to stand together to bargain for fair wages and decent benefits and building political power by mobilizing in force to elect worker-friendly candidates to office.

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Ventura County Pension Supporters to Opponents: Return PAC Contributions from TX Enron Billionaire

By Steven Maviglio

Citizens for Retirement Security (CRS), the coalition opposing the Ventura County Taxpayers Association ballot measure to eliminate retirement benefits for the county’s public employees, today called on its opponents to return $150,000 the group has received from a Houston, Texas political committee headed by former Enron executive John Arnold.

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Economics 101: Raising Taxes on Wealthy Doesn’t Kill Jobs

By Steve Smith

In the run-up to the 2012 general election, the anti-Prop 30 fear mongering was reaching a fevered pitch. The sky would fall, said groups like the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) and the corporate-backed National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) if Prop 30 passed. According to these groups, demanding the ultra-rich pay their fair share to protect California schools from devastating cuts would lead to economic catastrophe.

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Security Officers Standup for Good Jobs at Tech Giants like Apple and Google

By Krista Collard

Apple, Google and other tech giants in the Silicon Valley are booming.  But their security officers are missing out, struggling to support their families in the shadow of the industry’s lopsided success.

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SF Giants Concession Workers Hit Homerun In Contract Fight

By Carl Finamore

Hey Baseball Fans, a big win was pulled out recently by the home team at beautiful San Francisco Giants stadium. The Giants are one of the oldest and most successful sports franchises in the country with more Hall of Fame enrollees and more total games won than any other club.

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Teamster Vision

By Vivian Rothstein

Jeff Farmer 

With his pressed jeans, vegan diet and runner’s frame, Jeff Farmer could be a high-tech entrepreneur. But his heart is with low-wage parking attendants, taxi drivers and truckers instead of corporate profits.

As the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ national organizing director, Farmer doesn’t mind that his union has a reputation for being the biggest and baddest kid on the block. 

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Lineman Appreciation Day celebrates the unsung heroes that power our communities

By Rebecca Band

Without them, we’d be sitting in the dark, freezing cold or unbearably hot. We wouldn’t be able to charge our cell phones, make our morning coffee, use our computers or watch our favorite sporting event on TV. When we’re safe in our homes amidst a big storm, they’re braving the weather to do their work. And when there’s an electrical emergency, they are the first responders who risk their own lives to serve our communities.

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AB 32 - California’s Clean Energy and Climate law - is creating jobs and helping working families

By JB Tengco, California Director, BlueGreen Alliance

Passed in 2006, AB 32, California’s landmark clean energy and climate law, is spurring investments in the clean energy economy and transforming our energy sector in ways that benefit Californians on many levels. It is driving job growth, reducing the carbon emissions causing our climate to change, and improving air quality in regions throughout our state.  


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California Port Truckers Strike Closes Three Terminals

By Alexandra Bradbury

On strike again, port truckers organizing with the Teamsters in Los Angeles and Long Beach are showing their growing leverage. 

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Bargaining to Fix LA: Calling on City Hall to put City Needs Ahead of Wall Street Greed

By Erica Zeitlin

An estimated 1,000 community members, religious leaders, and LA City workers delivered over 4,000 hand-collected  petitions to send a message to the Mayor and City Council to recover taxpayer revenue from Wall Street– not working-class communities of color– to restore vital services and protect good middle-class jobs in the public sector.


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California Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Paid Family Leave Program

By Jenya Cassidy

Today in California's Capitol, State Elected Officials, Labor Leaders, Community Advocates, Parents and Caregivers came together to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the nation's first paid family leave program. Additionally, the groups shared research on the program and highlighted the need for increased awareness of its benefits among low-income, hourly and Latino workers. 

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Marin Deserves Real Green Power, Not Slick Marketing Campaigns

By Tom Dalzell, IBEW 1245 Business Manager


A few enduring classics from the Too Good To Be True department: Eat more, lose weight! Get rich quick! Send your financial information to a generous Nigerian prince and he will pay you millions!

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El Super Grocery Workers Fight for Paid Sick Leave

By Ana Beatriz Cholo

El Super employee Martin Ayala. (Photo: Ana Cholo)

To the sources of airborne diseases brought in from schools, hospitals and airliners, add a new threat: Thousands of low-paid food handlers who are compelled by economic circumstances to remain on the job even when they are ill. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Infected food workers cause about 70 percent of reported norovirus outbreaks from contaminated food.” The CDC’s recommendations for containment include, “Requiring sick food workers to stay home, and considering use of paid sick leave and on-call staffing, to support compliance.”

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Q&A with Labor Leaders: Teamsters General President Hoffa

By Krista Collard

Corporate America has a new plan: to use labor contractors and staffing agencies to supply workers with no strings attached. Look no further than Taylor Farms in Tracy, California, where the company is using multiple staffing agencies to avoid any responsibility to its workers.  Taylor Farms workers are standing up for their rights and are working to pass AB 1897, sponsored by the California Labor Federation and the Teamsters Union, to hold companies accountable for labor abuses of temporary workers.

Last week, Teamster General President James Hoffa joined the Taylor Farms workers in solidarity at the Capitol and again at a rally in Tracy to support their fight for justice at Taylor Farms and advocate for the passage of AB 1897.  We asked President Hoffa a few questions about his trip to California. 

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