02/2010 Labor's Edge Blog Articles
Toyota NUMMI Closure Would Kill Jobs, Destroy Communities
by Rebecca Greenberg
For more than 25 years, thousands of workers in northern California have committed their lives to producing high-quality Toyotas at the Bay Area’s New United Motor Manufacturing Inc (NUMMI) auto plant, and hundreds of thousands of car-buying Californians have made Toyota the #1 car company in the state. So when Toyota announced last year that it plans to close down the NUMMI plant on April 1, 2010, the company dealt an undeserved punch in the gut to California’s workers and consumers, not to mention our state’s already faltering economy.
More posts by Rebecca Band
Fasting For Justice for 2,000 Disneyland Hotel Workers
by Jorge Iniestra
Since our contract expired more than two years ago, some 2,000 Disneyland hotel employees and I have been fighting to maintain affordable health benefits. One of the most frustrating parts is that in past contract negotiations, we've given up significant wages raises in order to maintain these affordable benefits. Now, we're on the verge of losing them.
Because of this struggle, we decided to risk our own health to protect that of our co-workers and families and engage in a water-only fast. For seven days and nights, seven fasters and I refused food and slept in tents outside the Grand Californian Hotel.
More posts by Jorge Iniestra
Teamsters Victory at Continental Airlines Underscores Need to Reform RLA Union Elections Process
by Carl Finamore
While air transportation remains among the most heavily unionized industries in the country, Continental ramp agents were also among the largest single group of non-union employees. Now they have made the nation’s fourth-largest airline a union shop from top to bottom.
Workers at Continental spoke for millions who so desperately need collective bargaining rights. Modernizing and democratizing RLA election rights for rail and air transportation workers will greatly advance opportunities for working people to organize themselves and to express their demands and desires for a better life.
More posts by Carl Finamore
Schwarzenegger’s Jobs Record ‘As Bad as His B Movies’
by Steve Smith
California has been devastated by record unemployment of more than 12 percent, leaving more than 2 million workers out of jobs. Nearly 35 percent of California’s unemployed have been looking for work for six months or more. To make matters worse, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has shown no leadership on job creation and his budget cuts have shredded the state’s safety net at a time when workers need it the most.
More posts by Steve Smith
Record Profits Don’t Stop Health Insurer’s Record Rate Hikes
by Mike Hall
There’s a theory that trends happen first in California before spreading to the rest of the nation. If that’s true in health insurance, we’re all in deep trouble.
Last week, Anthem Blue Cross—whose parent company WellPoint posted a record $4.7 billion profit in 2009—announced it was gouging even more money from its 800,000 California customers by raising premiums as much as 39 percent.
More posts by Mike Hall
600 Miners Locked Out at Rio Tinto Mine Near Boron
by James Parks
Some 540 workers were locked out of the giant Rio Tinto Borax mine in Boron, Calif., Jan. 31 after the workers, members of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 30, unanimously rejected the company’s latest contract offer. The company shut off further contract talks and brought in replacement workers.
More posts by James Parks