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Labor's Edge: Views from the California Labor Movement

Labor's Edge Blog Articles


The Healthcare Transparency Bill that has Big Insurance Reeling

By Rachel Johnson

There is a crisis in the healthcare industry harming workers and their bosses. Premiums for employer health insurance plans have risen 185% since 2002, more than five times the increase in the state’s overall inflation. As a result we’re seeing many workers giving up raises to pay for health care while also paying more and more out-of-pocket. Discussions about raising wages at the bargaining table are getting shelved as even more cash goes to the pockets of giant corporate health plans. These skyrocketing healthcare premiums and costs are clearly taking a toll on workers and employers.

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More posts by Rachel Warino


This Labor Day Celebrate Unions: A Beacon of Hope for Millions

by Art Pulaski

In 1936, during the throes of the Great Depression, FDR addressed a deeply divided and economically insecure nation on the eve of Labor Day.

“There are those who fail to read both the signs of the times and American history. They would try to refuse the worker any effective power to bargain collectively, to earn a decent livelihood and to acquire security. It is those short-sighted ones, not labor, who threaten this country with that class dissension which in other countries has led to dictatorship and the establishment of fear and hatred as the dominant emotions in human life.”

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More posts by Art Pulaski


AB 219 Closes Wage Loophole on Public Construction Projects

By Steve Smith

California has long been committed to ensuring that anyone employed on a public works construction project earns a living wage. That just means the wages paid to women and men who build the public structures we all use aren’t driven into poverty. The wages are set by region based on cost of living and other factors to ensure that both workers and taxpayers are protected. It’s this kind of stability and fairness that ensures these important projects are completed on time by skilled professionals who do the job right.

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More posts by Steve Smith


AFSCME Local 3299 Fights for Equal Pay for All

by Kevin Brown

Historically, unions benefit all working people — union and nonunion alike — by relentlessly fighting for better wages, health care and retirement security for everyone. This couldn’t be more apparent than AFSCME Local 3299’s most recent fight to gather support for equal pay for University of California’s subcontracted workforce.

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More posts by Kevin Brown


Women Deserve a Voice on the Job and At the Ballot Box

By Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO and
Page Gardner, Founder and President of the Voter Participation Center

Today we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, a day that commemorates the 19th amendment being ratified granting millions of women the right to vote. In the 95 years since, women have used their votes to better their lives, strengthen their families and protect their communities. But women have yet to maximize their power at the polls – about a third of all U.S. women and close to 40 percent of unmarried women are not registered to vote -- or in the workplace. The labor movement provides nearly seven million women with a voice on the job through union membership and is a driving force in the fight for economic equality and security for women.

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More posts by Liz Shuler


Google Express Workers Choose Teamsters Representation

More than 150 Warehouse and Shipping Employees Gain Strong Voice on the Job


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More posts by International Brotherhood of Teamsters


Time to End Forced Arbitration – Urge Senators to Vote YES on AB 465

By Steve Smith

Whenever we start a new job, we expect to have a stack of paperwork to fill out, with documents to sign. But what we don’t expect is for the boss to demand that we sign a document that basically nullifies our rights. Under the latest scheme to cheat workers, that’s exactly what’s happening. Just ask car wash worker Yoel Matute.

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More posts by Steve Smith


Union-Made Labor Day Shopping List

Jackie Tortora, AFL-CIO

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer. While the day honors the hardworking women and men who make this nation go and grow, the weekend also gives us a chance for one more big backyard barbecue blowout. Here’s some union-made food and drink to get your barbecue off to a great start.

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More posts by Jackie Tortora


Film Tax Credit Brings Good Jobs Home to California

By Steve Smith

I’ll be honest…I’m not a fan of most tax breaks for businesses. More often than not, they add up to a massive giveaway to corporate CEOs that does little to nothing to create jobs or help workers. For evidence, look no further than Scott Walker’s Wisconsin.

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More posts by Steve Smith

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