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Labor's Edge: Views from the California Labor Movement

Labor's Edge Blog Articles


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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Fred Ross Sr. selected for California Hall of Fame

By Eric Wolfe

Legendary community and labor organizer Fred Ross Sr. will be inducted into the California Hall of Fame, Gov. Jerry Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown announced.

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Caregivers defeat attempt to limit hours to 40 per week and ban overtime

By United Domestic Workers

Yesterday the Legislature voted to protect continuity of care for our clients and fund overtime pay for IHSS caregivers for the first time in history. It is expected that Governor Brown will sign the bill that contains the necessary provisions for caregiver overtime into law before the June 30th deadline.


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City College SF Takes Rogue Accreditation Agency to Task in Sacramento

This piece is an orginal AFT Local 2121 blog post.

Hundreds of faculty and community college advocates from around the state converged on Sacramento’s Citizen Hotel Friday, June 6th to mark the Accrediting Commission for Junior and Community College’s (ACCJC) semi-annual meeting. In a spirited protest outside the hotel, faculty and classified staff and students and alumni claimed their own colleges by pinning on personalizing “I am…” hearts.


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Raise the Wage: Historic Day in San Francisco for Workers

Minimum Wage, Healthcare, and Worker Retention

By Tim Paulson, San Francisco Labor Council

Raising the Minimum Wage – 11-0 with support of Mayor

The San Francisco Labor Council is proud to be part of an historic agreement reached yesterday with the Mayor and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors that puts a consensus minimum wage measure on the November ballot that gets all workers to $15 with the cleanest non-exemption path in the United States.

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Teamsters President Hoffa Joins Effort to Pass AB 1897, Curb Abuses Against Temporary Workers

By Steve Smith, California Labor Federation

Since he entered the workforce 10 years ago, Jose Gonzalez has been designated “temporary.” Companies like Taylor Farms, the salad processing giant, use labor contractors or agencies to hire workers like Jose to do the work that makes the company profitable. Instead of making Jose a permanent worker with rights and benefits, these big corporations suspend workers in a state of insecurity. And when rights are violated, the companies absolve themselves of responsibility, pointing the finger at a subcontractor. In Jose’s case at Taylor Farms in Tracy, it’s damaging his future and robbing him of the American Dream. And millions of workers nationwide are in the same sinking boat.

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UFCW States Council Releases Largest-Ever Study of California’s Grocery Industry Workers

This piece is an original UFCW Western States Council blog post.

United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council is pleased to announce the results of the largest and most comprehensive study of California’s food retail (grocery) industry to date.

Shelved: How Wages and Working Conditions for California’s Food Retail Workers have Declined as the Industry has Thrived is authored by Saru Jayaraman of U.C. Berkeley’s Food Labor Research Center and co-founder/co-director of Restaurant Opportunities Center United, and U.C. Davis Associate Professor of Community and Regional Development Chris Benner, and was commissioned by UFCW Western States Council. The report contains data expected to have broad implications for the state’s grocery industry.


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