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Labor's Edge: Views from the California Labor Movement

Labor's Edge Articles by Caroline O’Connor


7/5/12

Thousands March in Largest Wal-Mart Protest in History

by Caroline O'Connor

In the largest-ever protest against Walmart in U.S. history, thousands in Los Angeles demanded the world’s largest private employer start respecting its workers and communities or stay out of L.A. Union workers from every industry marched alongside Walmart and warehouse workers, Chinatown residents, community and civil rights groups, faith leaders and activists, and our sisters and brothers from the San Diego, Orange, South Bay and San Francisco labor councils who rode in on buses to stand up to Walmart and stop the “Walmartization” of L.A. jobs.


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5/4/12

On May Day in LA, Waste Workers Proclaim “We are Not Garbage! We are People!”

by Caroline O'Connor

On May Day in L.A., waste haulers and sorters at American Reclamation were joined by more than 500 Teamsters and union members from across L.A. Labor, from teachers and grocery workers to carwash workers and film crews in support of their efforts to form a union. American Reclamation treats is workers worse than the garbage they work with, paying poverty wages with no benefits, exposing employees to health and safety hazards on a regular basis and firing workers who filed a safety complaint with Cal/OSHA.

 


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4/17/12

Young Workers Charged Up at Voto Latino Summit

by Caroline O'Connor

Several hundred young people from California, Florida, Arizona and Texas took part in the Voto Latino Power Summit in Los Angeles this past weekend, joining local community leaders in a two-day event to empower young Latinos to create positive change in their communities. The AFL-CIO was a major sponsor of the summit.

Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, discussed the importance of the Latino vote in 2012 on a panel with the Voto Latino National Director Maria Teresa Kumar and actor Wilmer Valderrama. Other panelists, including Dolores Huerta, talked about past generations and organizing the Latino vote. The panel was broadcast on Telemundo.


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5/10/11

Listen to the First All-Union Radio Station!

By Caroline O'Connor

Los Angeles’ Professional Musicians Local 47 launches internet radio station, promotes union musicians.

The Professional Musicians Local 47 has launched the very first all-union radio station with internet Pro Music 47 Radio. The Los Angeles local of the American Federation of Musicians is the first to feature programming geared solely to promoting union musicians.


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3/28/11

Tens of Thousands March in LA to Demand Good Jobs and Stand with Wisconsin Workers

by Caroline O'Connor

The people of Wisconsin ignited a fire inside working people and students across the U.S. and that fire has spread to Los Angeles.  On Saturday, March 26, more than 20,000 people took to the streets of downtown L.A. to demand good jobs and stand with workers in Wisconsin and other states who are fighting to protect collective bargaining. This was the largest action led by L.A. labor in recent history.


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2/18/11

U.S. Department of Labor Addresses Workplace Flexibility at Pasadena Conference

by Caroline O'Connor

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor came to Pasadena for its 2nd National Women's Bureau conference on workplace flexibility, focusing in particular on dilemmas facing hourly workers. More than 400 participants from business, labor, government and the community were in attendance. The conference highlighted successful labor-management agreements where individual unions and coalitions of unions have negotiated workplace flexibility policies into their contracts.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis opened the conference by addressing the changes in our workplace and the need for flexibility. "The American workplace has truly evolved. We know workplace flexibility affects not only how we work and live, but how businesses and the country compete," she said.


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2/16/11

City Workers Are the Heart of LA

by Caroline O'Connor

On Monday, February 14, Valentine’s Day, more than 400 Los Angeles City workers rallied on the south lawn of Los Angeles City Hall calling on LA City leaders to work with them to fix the budget, and to preserve and restore front line services. They also rallied to cut all unnecessary spending and ending expensive contracting out. LA City workers held red picket signs that read, “We are the Heart of LA.” In the center of each sign was a big white heart where each worker could fill in the service s/he provides to the city. Signs read: “Parks and Recreation,” “I design sewage systems,” “Airports,” “Maintaining buses,” “Librarian,” “City Engineer,” “Fire Fighter.”

 


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7/29/10

Yes, LA Unions Are Still Going to Arizona on July 29

by Caroline O'Connor

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton to put a preliminary injunction on the most offensive parts of SB 1070 is a huge win for immigrant rights, workers rights, and our labor movement. However, it is only a partial victory. Not until we pass comprehensive federal immigration reform can we claim victory. So L.A. unions are moving ahead with our trip to Arizona today, the day SB 1070 was scheduled to go into effect. More than 575 Los Angeles union members, belonging to 32 different unions, along with Los Angeles faith leaders and students will board a long caravan of 11 chartered buses bound for Phoenix, leaving Dodger Stadium at 4:00 a.m. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO is sponsoring the event.

Follow us on Twitter for live updates from our trip to Arizona:
http://twitter.com/LALabor

 


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7/19/10

Hundreds of L.A. Union Members to Travel to Phoenix to Protest Arizona’s Immigration Law

by Caroline O'Connor

More than 550 union members from 32 different unions in the Los Angeles along with several leaders from L.A.’s community and faith organizations will travel to Phoenix on July 29. We will travel “without papers” or identification the day SB 1070, Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, is scheduled to go into effect.

L.A. Labor’s goal is not only to oppose SB 1070, but to participate in activities in Phoenix where we will pledge to support efforts to register and turn out Arizona’s Latino vote. We will also kick off a new campaign joining Los Angeles and Arizona working families around issues of workers’ rights, good jobs and sensible solutions for national immigration reform.


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