05/2010 Labor's Edge Blog Articles
California Fines Carwashes $700,000
by Chloe Osmer
The California labor commissioner’s office investigated 247 carwashes in California, after the CLEAN Carwash Campaign reported numerous potential wage-and-hour violations based on complaints from workers.
The actions, which resulted in more than $700,000 in fines to the carwashes, made it clear that the carwash industry continues to violate even the most basic laws protecting workers. The industry’s widespread problems with compliance highlight the need for workers to have a union to help enforce standards in their workplace.
More posts by Chloe Osmer
Rants & Raves for the Week of May 24th
* Governor's flack ignores truth about the budget * House fails to vote on jobs bill * Report reveals deregulation and corruption contributed to BP oil spill * Sarah Palin gets $100k to speak at CSU *
* Assembly Democrats' new jobs budget combats Governor's cuts * Labor Commissioner charges carwashes for labor law violations * Bill to stop excessive health insurance rate hikes moves forward *
Arnold’s Budget To Increase Unemployment by 2 Percentage Points
by Robert Cruickshank
We've been arguing for a while that budget cuts merely worsen the state's real problem, which is the economic downturn. Instead of addressing unemployment, budget cuts are increasing the ranks of the unemployed. That further delays economic recovery and worsens the state budget deficit.
Now we have some academic backup for that common sense explanation. The UC Berkeley Labor Center has produced a study on the impact of Arnold's budget that shows just how much economic damage the governor's plans would do to the state, including eliminating 331,000 jobs and increasing the unemployment rate by nearly 2 percentage points.
More posts by Robert Cruickshank
Assembly Democrats Put Up a Budget Worth Fighting For
by Angie Wei
Finally, there’s a budget proposal worth fighting for, and it couldn’t have come at a more critical time.
On Tuesday, Assembly Democrats, led by new Speaker of the Assembly John Pérez, proposed an innovative budget plan that closes the nearly $18 billion budget gap while focusing on jobs, as an alternative to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s job killing, all-cuts budget.
This proposal takes the economic high road by saving hundreds of thousands of jobs for teachers, police, firefighters and other workers, and creating jobs in the private sector that will spur economic growth and new revenues for the state without raising taxes on working families.
More posts by Angie Wei
California Is Not Like Greece; Greece Is Like California
by David Dayen
By now, political observers have grown tired of the facile comparisons between the United States and Greece (they have a debt; we have a debt; exactly the same!). And that comparison is even more pronounced here in California, where I think it was part of the job description for our half-dozen remaining columnists to draw a parallel between the state’s budget woes and that of the European nation. Of course, these played out along the familiar lines (for high Broderist columnists) of “runaway spending” and “overwhelming debt.”
Now, it’s not going to surprise anyone that these columnists know nothing about Greece. Because if you actually study what got them into their debt problems, you’d find that spending is a lesser concern. The Center for American Progress report on Greece shows that their problems are more on the revenue side of the equation.
More posts by David Dayen
Rants & Raves for the Week of May 17th
* Whitman uses bogus fraud claims to attack workers, seniors and the disabled * Schwarzenegger's slash-and-burn budget stymies job growth *
* Legislative Analyst's Office opposes Governor's plan to eliminate CalWorks * Senate passes Wall Street reform bill * Tesla and Toyota team up to re-open NUMMI auto plant *
Stop the Cuts, Close the Loopholes!
by Sara Flocks
California was once the envy of the country for our top-notch schools and universities, infrastructure and quality of life. Now California may become the only state in the nation to completely eliminate welfare-to-work assistance and job training for low-income families and their children.
The Governor’s May revision to the state budget proposes $17.9 billion in cuts to state programs, including eliminating welfare-to-work. Over the last two years, state programs have been slashed by $32.5 billion—and there is no relief in sight from this Governor.
More posts by Sara Flocks
Rants & Raves for the Week of May 10th
* Budget revise targets most vulnerable Californians * Schwarzenegger ignores plight of injured workers *
* Corporate accountability bills move forward * Locked out mine workers reach tentative agreement with Rio Tinto * Wal-Mart workers win multi-million dollar victory *
Prop G Stands for Ground Zero in Chula Vista
by Lorena Gonzalez
If passed by voters, Proposition G would ban the City of Chula Vista from funding or contracting on any public works or construction project that included a project labor agreement, used union construction workers, or included prevailing wage requirements.
To California’s Labor movement, the fight over Proposition G is about more than the impacts on one city. For the first time that anyone can recall, a city’s voters are being asked whether they should ban a group of workers who live, pay taxes and are part of that city’s community from working on public works projects just because they joined a union. It’s wrong and it’s dangerous for our workers.
More posts by Lorena Gonzalez
Going Gaga Over Workers’ Rights
Lady Gaga recently made an unexpected appearance at the Westin Saint Francis hotel in San Francisco—in the form of a flash mob singing a pro-worker version of lyrics to her “Bad Romance.” Replete with tuba, trombone, snare drum and a couple dozen dancing activists, the group materialized in the hotel’s lobby to denounce the chain’s poor treatment of its employees and urge people to “Boycott, boycott,” this “bad, bad hotel.”
More posts by Tula Connell
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