Important and good news: The pathway to provide health care for all of our people has survived. Since the Civil War, many attempts to extend health care for all have failed. As of today, June 28, 2012, the path has mostly been cleared.
Of course, the law is not an extension of Medicare for all, nor does it guarantee health care for all tomorrow. It certainly does not guarantee health care for all that is equitable, affordable and of the highest quality. Those struggles are still before us.
But, advocates for high-quality health care for all have been given a huge boost to build on the platform of the Affordable Care Act, which survived the political gridlock in Washington, D.C. Chief Justice John Roberts was the “swing vote” in the 5-4 decision that upheld the law.
When teachers are accused of misconduct, sometimes we’re outright fired or placed in “rubber rooms,” a.k.a. teacher jail. According to LA Unifed School District policy (Bulletin-5168.0), if no impropriety is discovered, we’re supposed to return to our assignment within 120 days. Yet teachers routinely languish away in rubber rooms for years while the District places blame for this exile on the time it takes to conduct police investigations.
In fact, not only has it been longer than 120 days for the 85 teachers removed from Miramonte Elementary in February—not only have they not yet been allowed to return—they were never suspected of any wrongdoing. Well, what happens when those who work at LAUSD’s central offices are suspected of misconduct? Does a different standard apply?
It began in 2009, when Business Manager Tom Dalzell reached out to younger members and began involving them in our union as shop stewards, unit officers, and committees, including major bargaining committees.
Inspired by the first national AFL-CIO Next Up Young Worker Summit in 2010, ten members of our local established Youth Engaged in Solidarity (YES). The goal: educate and motivate other young members to step up and get involved. YES organized a conference at IBEW 1245 headquarters, expanding the number of young members involved in this program.
Yesterday, hundreds of Teamsters, community members and politicians came to rally in support of workers fired by ice cream manufacturer Paleteria La Michoacana, based in Modesto with distribution centers in Sacramento, Sunnyvale, Castroville and Gardena. Last month, the company fired long-time drivers, merchandisers, warehousemen and office staff just days before their election for Teamsters representation was scheduled to take place.
At yesterday’s rally, hosted by Teamsters Local 386, 572 and 853, participants wore t-shirts emblazoned with artwork that said, “WANTED: Ignacio Gutierrez for Unlawful Acts Against Latino Workers” and carried matching rally signs.
Thousands of quality construction and warehouse/operations jobs are coming to Oakland’s hardest-hit communities, thanks to a recent Oakland City Council decision to redevelop an army base that closed decades ago.
Josie Camacho, executive secretary-treasurer of the Alameda Labor Council, which helped lead a labor-community campaign for jobs, said, "The redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base is a surefire way to kick-start job creation in the construction sector, while also creating a wealth of new jobs to maintain operations on the base. And the vital labor standards that are guaranteed by last night’s vote will benefit all Oakland residents and communities."
“Our power is in people. We can beat the other side by getting people in the streets and getting them to talk about what we really believe in.”
This quote from Mike Casey, president of UNITE HERE Local 2, struck a chord with me this weekend as I participated in California Labor Federation’s 2012 Campaign School in Burlingame, just one of more than a dozen Campaign School trainings going on around the state this month. Nearly 500 union and progressive activists attended a Campaign School this week alone, and by the end of the month, as many as 2,000 or more volunteer activists will have participated in the same intensive and exciting training, as part of California Labor’s coordinated grassroots effort to Stop the Special Exemptions Act on the November ballot.
People from southern California and throughout the nation are preparing to greet trade negotiators and corporate lobbyists as they gather for the 13th major round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations from July 2 -10 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.
The San Diego-Imperial Central Labor Council, Citizens Trade Campaign (CTC) and others are holding a kick-off rally to welcome trade negotiators on Monday, July 2 at 12:00 noon at the park adjacent to the Hilton Bayfront and the Convention Center. The broader Stop TPP Coalition, led by Occupy San Diego and others, is also planning a series of actions and educational events, the details of which will be announced online at StopTPP.org.
Across the United States, 50 million adults and 17 million children lack sufficient food every single day. To combat this, the Letter Carriers (NALC), for the past 20 years, has collected and donated food from mailboxes across the country.
For the second consecutive year, IBEW Local 11 donated its Electrical Training Center in Commerce as the home base for all donated and collected food in Los Angeles County.
IBEW members have volunteered in the collection, sorting and distribution of food for more than a decade. But last year, Business Manager Marvin Kropke made the decision to donate the Training Center as a site to support what he calls a “great cause.”
In mid-May, the management at Palateria La Michoacana ice cream fired long-time delivery drivers, merchandisers, office workers and warehousemen at the Gardena and Modesto facilities, despite the fact that the boss, Ignacio Gutierrez, told employees earlier this year that his company is growing and profitable. The employee terminations occurred nearly on the eve of the scheduled Teamster representation election date.
Join Teamsters and labor union supporters at our rally on Tuesday, June 26th in Modesto to protest the unlawful firing of workers at Michoacana. The rally will be held at Michoacana's Modesto facility (2068 Lapham Drive, Modesto, CA 95354). In addition to union members and supporters, Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers and Jose Hernandez, the former astronaut and winner of the Democratic primary for US Congress, will be on hand to show their support.
A record-breaking 10-day campaign by thousands of IHSS providers and consumers from throughout the state reached its crescendo June 13th as some five thousand IHSS consumers and members of UDW Homecare Providers Union, SEIU, and California United Homecare Workers rallied at the State Capitol.
As thousands chanted and cheered outside in 95-degree heat, hundreds of providers and consumers inside rocked the Capitol Rotunda and the hallway leading to Gov. Jerry Brown’s office with an ear-splitting shout: “No More Cuts!” Nearly 50 consumers and providers, including a wheel-chair-bound woman who had just celebrated her 100th birthday, were arrested when they refused to leave the Rotunda. They were released shortly afterwards.
The analysis, conducted by Peter Dreier of Occidental College and Christopher R. Martin of the University of Northern Iowa, examined every occurrence of the phrase or one of its variants, like "kill jobs" or "job-killing," in articles by the Associated Press, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post going back to 1984. Of the 381 stories that contained the phrase -- usually in a source's quote -- fewer than 10 percent substantiated it.
"The news media's chronic lack of fact‐checking has only encouraged ramped up use of the 'job killer' allegation as a political strategy against the Democrats in recent years," the study says.
With California's unemployment rate at 11 percent, elected leaders should do everything they can to keep parents working and able to support their families. Instead, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed cuts that would devastate child care, leaving tens of thousands of children without a place to go, and forcing parents out of their jobs.
Communities across the state are speaking out against the cuts and arguing for a smart, fair state budget that protects child care. In San Diego, Oxnard, and Santa Maria, Calif., children, parents and child care providers rallied in recent days.
I’m one of them. I stand up and speak out because I’m a child care provider in Oxnard, Calif., and a leader of Child Care Providers United/AFSCME.
On Wednesday, June 13, Caroline, an organizer at a downtown press conference held by opponents of a proposed Chinatown Walmart store, noticed a young woman chatting to reporters. She’d seen her exactly one week before at another news conference. There, the young woman introduced herself as Zoe Mitchell, said she was a student at the University of Southern California and, somewhat vaguely, mentioned that she was interested in writing human interest stories.
More than 1,500 United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals members attended nine days of bargaining sessions in southern California in March, April and May. The overwhelming UNAC/UHCP showing was called “a sea of blue,” and showed Kaiser management UNAC/UHCP meant business.
On May 11 in the early morning, a tentative agreement was signed. On May 19, UNAC/UHCP affiliate officers and delegates from coalition unions met to unanimously recommend that members approve the contract. This victory was only possible through the hard work of UNAC/UHCP members, and their strong participation in the process.