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Labor's Edge: Views from the California Labor Movement

Labor's Edge Blog Articles


New Grand Alliance Mobilizes to Save Our Public Postal Service

by Kenneth Quinnell

In the face of aggressive attacks on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), a wide range of national organizations are standing up and fighting for one of the more widely used and important public goods in the United States. The Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service unites more than 60 groups in opposition to weakening the USPS for the sake of private investment and profit. Actor and activist Danny Glover supports the alliance and explains why, in a new video (see above) sponsored by the organization.

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Scheduling Ahead Can Keep Working Families from Falling Behind

by Jessica Bartholow

Six out of every ten Californians with incomes below the poverty line (less than $25,000 for a family of four) live in a working family.

Working for low-wages not only leaves working families with not enough money to last the month, it also means they go without their basic needs met. According Shelved: How Wages and Working Conditions for California’s Food Retail Workers have Declined as the Industry has Thrived, authored by Saru Jayaraman of U.C. Berkeley’s Food Labor Research Center and co-founder/co-director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and U.C. Davis Associate Professor of Community and Regional Development Chris Benner, many low-income workers in the retail industry and food retail industry were paid so little that they were unable to afford enough food to prevent hunger for them and their family.

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Californians Stand Up to Texas Judge

by Rachel Johnson, California Labor Federation

Yesterday Judge Andrew Hanen, a district court judge in Texas, issued a politically-charged injunction to block the implementation of immigration initiatives designed by President Obama to improve our system for millions of immigrants living and working in the United States. Today was supposed to kick-start the planned expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, granting immigrants at least 30 years old who came to the US as children and teenagers the right to apply for deportation relief and work authorization. 

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Long Beach Resident-Physicians Vote to Join Union!

Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare welcomes housestaff from St Mary Medical Center

The Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare (CIR) hit the ground running in 2015! Within the first month of the year, our Southern California region welcomed 37 resident-physicians from St Mary Medical Center in Long Beach. It is thrilling to be a part of a union that continues to grow and thrive in spite of the many challenges facing unions in our country today, particularly a union largely comprised of young and notoriously busy healthcare professionals.


By Dr. Joanne Suh, Southern California Regional Vice President

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Standing together to address violence in CA hospitals

Unions are driving force for new workplace violence standards for healthcare providers and patients

by Rachel Johnson

Delivering compassionate and efficient care to Californians is something that should be appreciated and regularly applauded. When our doctors, nurses, and hospital staff stand up to bring attention to unsafe working conditions, it’s imperative for our state leaders and regulators to listen.

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Unions call for a new chapter in US-Honduras relations

by David Bacon

A new report by US trade unions has strongly criticised the US government’s policies in Honduras.


AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre led a delegation of US labour leaders to meet with their Honduran counterparts. “What we witnessed was the intersection of our corporate-dominated trade policies with our broken immigration system.”

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The New Heartland: “We’re Like the India of the U.S.”

Q&A with Rob England

By Maria Bustillos

Rob England, the statewide political coordinator for the Communication Workers of America, has an easy laugh and a perceptive expression; he is 31 with dark hair, a plaid shirt and a neatly trimmed short beard. I interviewed him on Thursday at Dagny’s, an unassumingly cool downtown Bakersfield coffee house that serves good coffee in colorful, mismatched ceramic mugs.

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California caregivers stage daily vigils at Governor’s office

By Margitte Kristjansson
When Governor Brown announced that he was stopping implementation of overtime pay and other wage protections for hundreds of thousands of IHSS homecare workers, the caregivers of UDW/AFSCME Local 3930 launched into action.

Yesterday marked the start of just one of their many statewide actions in the fight to win back their rights: every day in February, homecare workers are staging a vigil starting at 10 AM outside of the governor’s office.

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Happy 22nd Birthday, FMLA!

We've got work to do before you turn 23...

By Rachel Johnson

FMLA was a game changer - millions of families in America have been protected since its adoption in 1993. There is no question that FMLA deserves much celebration.

However; save for a few changes, FMLA has gone largely untouched for decades. This historic legislation was adopted nationally the same year pilots aired for X-Files and Boy Meets World. Fast forward to 2015: Girl Meets World is now on the air but we're still waiting on necessary improvements to FMLA.

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Speaker Atkins Unveils Critical Plan to Rebuild Transportation Infrastructure, Create Good Jobs

by Steve Smith

About 1/3 of all the bridges and overpasses in our state are showing signs of deterioration (i.e. crumbling). Seventy percent of our urban roads and highways are congested. California has the second-highest share of roads in “poor condition” in the nation.

Today California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) announced a long-overdue proposal to rebuild our run-down roads and bridges, ease traffic congestion and create a lot of good, middle-class jobs doing it.

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Organizing Stewards Gear Up for an Action-Packed Year in 2015

by Rebecca Band, IBEW 1245

IBEW 1245’s ground-breaking “Organizing Steward” program has only been in effect for 18 months, but it’s already making a remarkable difference in the culture of activism in the union.

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More Than a Game: It’s Time We Put Our Money Where Our Values Are

by Cherri Senders, Labor 411








The Super Bowl reflects the best of America. Not just because we get to watch some of America’s greatest athletes participating at the highest level in their sport. Nor is it the glitzy, over-the-top halftime shows. It’s not even because the Super Bowl is one of this country’s last communal viewings, with more than 110 million Americans expected to tune in to witness the action in Glendale, Arizona.

No, the Super Bowl reflects the best of us because it epitomizes the Land of Opportunity that rewards hard work — from the athletes on the field, to the broadcast crews, to all of the stadium and support staff it takes to put on a show like this.

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California Nurses Ratify New Pact with Kaiser Permanente

by Mike Hall, AFL-CIO

California registered nurses, members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU), who work at 86 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics in northern and central California voted overwhelmingly (93%) to ratify a new three-year contract reached last week. The agreement covers 18,000 RNs and will give them a stronger voice on patient care and provide breakthrough improvements in workplace protections along with economic gains.

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Physicians to the University of California: Be Fair to Those Who Care

UAPD Doctors strike for the first time in 25 years












by Suzanne Wilson

Physicians across California are standing together today to send a message to the University of California (UC) today: respect your doctors! The Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) represents doctors who provide healthcare to students on UC campuses and are striking today in an effort to urge the UC to bargain in good faith.

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