When you start a new job, you expect to fill out a pile of paperwork relating to your employment. What you don't expect is for your boss to slip in a document that effectively nullifies your rights as a worker and demand that you sign it as a condition of employment. It's called forced arbitration, and it's an underhanded practice that's on the rise.
Everywhere you look, union apprenticeships and careers in the trades are being applauded. Earlier this year, LeDaya Epps, a graduate of a Laborer’s apprenticeship was invited as a special guest to the State of the Union. President Obama recognized her and called for more paid apprenticeships and “opportunities that give workers the chance to earn higher-paying jobs, even if they don’t have a higher education.” Governor Brown also expressed similar sentiments during the groundbreaking ceremony for California’s High Speed rail, extoling how vital it is to strengthen our infrastructure through skilled workers in the trades. He said, "You've got to get these building trades men and women doing stuff. That's what makes America — what makes the world — go 'round."
Yesterday the U.S. Senate voted 60-37 to invoke cloture on Trade Promotion Authority (aka "Fast Track") for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, effectively ensuring the passage of Fast Track. This vote was all the more disappointing because Sen. Feinstein joined 12 other Senate Democrats to cast decisive votes that pushed this job-killing corporate trade deal forward.
Today we’re throwing back to a powerful time in labor history. On June 15th, 1990, a few hundred workers bravely stood together against unspeakable odds and improved the lives countless workers, an impact we’re still seeing in the labor movement today.
Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger once termed it the “stuff used to blow up in the movies.” But America’s vital infrastructure—highways, railways, bridges and thruways—now face a doom worse than the Terminator ever imagined. That’s the destruction from the rust, decay and corrosion of trillions of dollars worth of elderly tracks, canals, ports, structures and causeways that carry our trade and traffic all over the United States.
California Federation of Teachers Communications Director Fred Glass has written a book on California labor history, the first in nearly fifty years. It will be published by the University of California Press next year. In the meantime, Labor's Edge is pleased to present excerpts in a series beginning with this issue!
Ask any of our Teamster members…what happened after NAFTA? Unequivocally, they would say, American jobs were lost. There may be some other points made but that is definitely the topline takeaway.
And what’s going to happen if we let the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) pass? Ten-thousand good union dairy jobs could be lost. Some of the best jobs in California’s Central Valley. And many more jobs in industries – both union and non-union -- all across California.
When a fellow worker is fired for wanting to join a union, there’s only one way to respond: stand behind them! That’s exactly what happened for Fermín Rodríguez, a worker who was terminated by El Super, a California-based, Mexican owned supermarket chain where he worked for 9 years.
Concerned over sweeping Fast Track legislation that would allow corporate lobbyists and DC bureaucrats to negotiate new international trade agreements that would make lifesaving drugs more expensive, Registered Nurses (RNs) with National Nurses United (NNU) are stepping up pressure on members of Congress in new radio ad campaigns in targeted districts.
The extraordinary campaign to raise wages for low-income Californians scored one of its biggest victories to date yesterday when the Los Angeles City Council approved a plan to hike the minimum wage for Angelenos to $15 per hour by 2020. The union-led coalition LA Raise the Wage has been building support for months to secure yesterday’s historic 14-1 council vote in favor of the wage hike.