Labor's Edge Blog Articles
TTSI’s Port Drivers Demand to Be Treated as Employees
Twenty-seven port truck drivers walked into the Rancho Dominguez offices of Total Transportation Services, Inc. (TTSI) Thursday and presented their employer with a petition. Their demand was simple: to be properly recognized as employees.
TTSI is one of the largest port trucking companies in the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. TTSI’s business model – like the vast majority of port trucking companies in the country – relies on misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors.
More posts by Jessica Durrum
Workers Standing Together to Demand Respect at Taylor Farms
The ability for workers to stand together to improve working conditions and bargain for fair wages is essential to the American Dream. But at Taylor Farms in Tracy, the bosses are threatening and intimidating workers as part of a campaign to stop those workers from joining a union.
Today, community leaders and workers rallied outside of a Taylor Farms facility this morning to demand respect, living wages and affordable benefits for immigrant workers. Workers were joined by San Joaquin Supervisor Carlos Villapudua and other community allies, including faith leaders and immigrant rights activists.
More posts by Doug Bloch
“JumpStart Vallejo” Coalition Makes Big Electoral Gains for Working Families
This past election cycle, the Napa Solano Central Labor Council joined forces with a coalition rarely seen in any city. Driven by the negative impacts that municipal bankruptcy has had on the City of Vallejo’s ability to attract businesses or provide for adequate public safety and an image of dysfunctional leadership, the Labor Council partnered with the Chamber of Commerce, police, fire, realtors, building trades, teachers, democrats and conservatives to form JumpStart Vallejo. For the first time, all these very distinctive groups had the chance to come together in order to identify, vet and then come to consensus on four candidates we all felt would be the best to move Vallejo forward.
More posts by Jon Riley
“Ban the Box” Helps Forge Strong Labor-Community Alliances
At the National Employment Law Project (NELP), where we advocate for low-wage and unemployed workers, some of our most inspiring moments have come from being involved in campaigns where labor and the community work together for greater economic justice.
The recent passage of AB218 -- Assemblymember Roger Dickinson’s “ban the box” bill -- was a shining example of the labor movement working in alliance with the community to expand economic opportunity to people hardest hit by unemployment. The unions, led by the California Labor Federation and SEIU Local 1000, were an essential partner to the powerful coalition that organized with NELP for more than two years to provide a second chance to the one in five Californians with a criminal record who struggle to find work.
More posts by Maurice Emsellem
California Labor Unveils New Policy Platform to Boost Struggling Veterans
"Thank you for your service." It’s a line we hear a lot around Veteran’s Day, especially in California, home to more than 1.8 million veterans, more than in any other state.
But if we really want to show gratitude for our veterans, then we need to do more than utter a simple “thank you.” We need to help these brave heroes find a middle-class life when they return from serving our country.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs annual survey of veterans, jobs are the biggest concern for our returning veterans, and for good reason -- the unemployment rate for veterans of recent conflicts is an unacceptable 10 percent, and 1.5 million young veterans -- many with families to support -- currently live under the poverty line.
More posts by Rebecca Band
California’s Unions Step Up for Veterans
My grandfather, a member of what Tom Brokaw coined the “greatest generation,” was a chief petty officer in the US Navy during World War II, fighting along so many others for nothing less than freedom itself. He made it back. Many of those he served with did not.
Upon returning home, he needed a job. While looking for work is never easy, he found meaningful employment first as a police officer in Washington state and then later at Caltrans in the San Joaquin Valley. Back then, putting veterans to work was a priority. Government partnered with labor unions and employers to create a pathway to careers for veterans who bravely served our country, defending the freedoms many take for granted today.
More posts by Steve Smith
Outside The Box: Corona Teacher Uses Popular Video Game to Teach Geometry
“People say, ‘Oh, they’re just playing video games,’” says Tristan Grandy. “But it’s much more than that.” He logs in to a computer and enters what he calls “a world without limits that holds infinite possibilities.” He is playing Minecraft, one of the hottest video games on the market, where anything can be built with cubes.
Grandy shows off a virtual, three-dimensional replica of their school’s gymnasium he and classmate Aiden Lawrence are building, while other student teams construct virtual classrooms, locker rooms and other areas of their Centennial High School campus in Corona.
More posts by Sherry Posnick-Goodwin
Veteran’s Day Should Mean Something More
Next week, America will take a day to honor the commitment of men and women who have served our country. In California, this day is significant because it is home to more returning veterans than any other state in the Nation.
But for too many veterans, the November 11th holiday is nothing more than a gateway to a stressful holiday season filled with cold months, high utility bills and empty plates. I know this because my dad is a disabled Veteran who suffered for years with untreated and debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We were never invited to a Veteran’s Day parade or a pancake breakfast, just left to find our own way, many times our basic needs going unmet.
More posts by Jessica Bartholow
Preserving Trust & Community Safety Through Fair Detainer Policies
The inability of Congress to address the broken immigration system is forcing counties and states to address the complexity of immigration issues in a piece meal fashion. In this context, Santa Clara County stands out. The most recent example is the Santa Clara County Detainer Policy No. 3.54. This present policy ensures that limited resources do not create a two-tiered system of justice. This current policy ensures that everyone in our system receives equal treatment regardless of immigration status. There is no justifiable reason to treat people’s criminal cases differently just because of their immigration status. The Santa Clara County Detainer Policy supports equal protection guarantees under the US Constitution, while avoiding due process concerns created by ICE tactics.
More posts by Jill Malone
Serving Those Who’ve Served Our Country
Without our armed service women and men, none of us would enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted every day. In an effort to thank our Veterans for their great service to each of us and our nation as a whole, the California Labor Federation is sponsoring a day of service on Veterans Day, November 11th, and at a number of locations around the state, union members and supporters will volunteer their time to help out veterans and military families in their own communities.
More posts by Connie Leyva
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