In a victory for workers, health and safety, the environment and democracy, a motion to bring Trade Promotion Authority to the Senate floor failed to garner the necessary votes, halting the effort to fast track the secretive, job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal….for now.
“If we’re serious about fighting inequality, we need to understand it and track it to see how we’re doing,” Dr. Annette Bernhardt tells Capital & Main. Bernhardt is the lead author of Low Wage Work in California: 2014 Chartbook, the first of what will be an annual report from the University of California, Berkeley Labor Center. “Our goal was to show that the story of inequality isn’t just about the top one percent; it’s also about the millions of low-wage workers and their families who struggle with economic insecurity every day.”
May 6 through May 12 is National Nurses Week. What better way to celebrate and show nurses we appreciate them than to take action against workplace violence and help make the workplace safer for nurses everywhere.
It’s been a rough couple of days for Congressman Ami Bera. Bera, representing communities in the Sacramento region, announced his support for Fast Track legislation in an opinion piece to the Sacramento Bee on Saturday. In his piece, Bera claimed that “The Trade Promotion Authority also requires the strongest deal yet on labor and the environment.” Unfortunately for Bera, Buzzfeed broke the news that this statement and several others from the piece were copied and pasted straight from talking points disseminated by lobbyists of corporations who stand to gain from the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
Starting today, the minimum wage in San Francisco will increase to one of the highest in the nation. We’re joining together as San Franciscans — leaders in government, labor and business — to call on Sacramento and Washington, D.C., to follow our city’s lead, proving that it is possible to promote income equality while simultaneously creating America’s strongest economy. Promoting workers’ rights and creating jobs can go hand in hand, as we’ve demonstrated here in our City by the Bay. Together, we urge the nation to follow our lead, balancing the needs of America’s working poor and small businesses so that issues like minimum wage are not “us versus them,” but all of us together. At its core, minimum wage is a gender-equity issue. According to the White House, working single parents, most of whom are women, benefit when we raise the wage; it can help women work their way out of poverty and into the middle class. Estimates from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers suggest that increasing the minimum wage could also help close the gender wage gap.
May is Labor History Month. Signed into law as AB 2269 (Swanson) in 2012 by Governor Brown, its purpose is to encourage schools “to commemorate this month with appropriate educational exercises that make pupils aware of the role the labor movement has played in shaping California and the United States.”
They’re calling it “NAFTA on steroids.” The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be the largest international trade deal in history – with major economic and environmental consequences here in California – but the details have been veiled in total secrecy.
According to a report released today by the AFL-CIO, Latino workers are 19 percent more likely to be killed on the job than the national average, leading to nearly 800 deaths on the job in 2013. In California, Latinos made up almost 50 percent of all worker fatalities. 194 Latino workers died while on the job in California, an alarming increase of 42 percent from the previous year.
Worker’s Memorial Day is more than just an observance and a day to honor our friends and family who have suffered and died on the job, it’s also a call to action. Yesterday in our ThrowbackThursday post we highlighted life for workers before Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act more than forty years ago.
Can you imagine a time when you could go to work, get injured, and have no recourse whatsoever?! Until workers started to organize in the 20th century and push for safe standards on the job, this was the case for generations of men, women, and children. For decades workers across industries fought to have employers voluntarily adopt regulations to keep their workers safe and provide benefits in the event a worker got injured while working.
The Coalition to Stop Fast Track began airing television ads in Sacramento, Bay Area, and Fresno media markets to encourage voters to urge their Representatives to oppose Trade Promotion Authority, aka “Fast Track”, which Congress is expected to vote on within the next two weeks. These "Bad Deal" ads are part of a seven figure campaign running across the country and specifically target Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA 6th District), and Congressmen Ami Bera (D-CA 7th District), Mike Thompson (D-CA 5th District) and Jim Costa (D-CA 16th District) who have been non-committal about their position on Fast Track legislation.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors last night joined the growing chorus to stop fast track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by unanimously passing a resolution opposing Trade Promotion Authority for the TPP. San Francisco joins another major West Coast port city – Seattle -- in opposing a fast-tracked TPP that would have broad and potentially devastating consequences to California’s economy, environment and public health.
There’s been a lot of attention lately on California’s turnaround. As it turns out, that nonsense about all our jobs moving to Texas was a just Texas-sized whopper. Last year California created about 500,000 jobs to lead the nation in job growth, outpacing the conservative darling Texas.
Thousands took part in strikes and protests Wednesday in one of the largest mobilizations of underpaid working people in history. Actions across California from Los Angeles to Sacramento gave working people the opportunity to stand with low wage workers who bravely went on strike and walked out mid-shift to send the message: we will not stop until $15 and a union.