June 15, 2012
Volume 1., Issue 234
Sutter RNs Strike for Patient Care and Nursing Standards
On Wednesday, registered nurses from nearly a dozen Sutter hospitals in the Bay Area walked off the job to protest the company’s excessive greed and efforts to impose some 100 different cuts to patient care and nursing standards.
While Sutter shells out millions of dollars to its top 20 executives, it’s shutting down much needed patient services, including child psychiatric services, breast cancer screenings for women with disabilities and bone marrow transplants for cancer patients. Additionally, the company is seeking to eliminate basic safety measures like sick days so nurses don’t have to work when they are ill.
Take Action to Protect Farm Workers from Heat-Related Death
Last week, yet another farm worker died while working in the fields. Maximo Lopez Barajas collapsed while pruning pomegranates in 100-degree heat, and later died at the hospital. This incident is one of many that demonstrate that the 2005 emergency heat safety regulations have done little to reduce the number of heat-related fatalities among farm workers.
More must be done to stop these needless deaths. That’s why the United Farm Workers union is sponsoring a new piece of legislation that would save lives by empowering farm workers to enforce mandatory shade and drinking water standards. Take action to protect farm workers from preventable heat illness by sending a message to the legislature today.
Thousands Rally in Sacramento to Oppose Cuts to Home Care Services
Over 5,000 caregivers and care recipients gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday to demand that home care cuts be taken off the table in the current budget debates. Hundreds of home care providers and the people they care for flooded the Capitol building and completely overtook the rotunda for 2 hours, filling the interior with chants and song, while thousands more outside lined up side by side in a circle around the building. 50 protestors were arrested.
Music Video Dancers Secure Historic Deal with Record Labels
On June 1st, SAG-AFTRA and the Dancers Alliance announced a historic industry-wide deal with major record labels to ensure that dancers in music videos have the same rights as dancers in other performance settings. Prior to this agreement, music video dancers often worked 20+ hours at a time in hazardous conditions with little or no workplace protections. Thanks to the agreement, these performers now have basic rights including wage security, sufficient rest breaks and safety assurance on hazardous sets.
“Our agreement with the labels gives performers the working conditions they deserve, while also recognizing realities of the industry,” said SAG-AFTRA Assistant National Executive Director of Sound Recordings Randall Himes. “I also want to recognize our members for leading the way. They were committed and mobilized to get this agreement and they have my total respect and admiration for their support and dedication.”
Commemorate the Life and Music of Woody Guthrie
Late musician Woody Guthrie is best known for his popular political folk songs, including “This Land in Your Land,” but his passion for telling stories through song first began back in the 1930s, when he joined thousands of working-class families as they migrated from Oklahoma to California, documenting their struggles through his music.
Guthrie passed away in 1967, but if he were still alive, he would be turning 100 next month. To commemorate Guthrie’s life and songs, musicians Anne Feeney, Mark Ross and Adam Moss are putting on concert featuring a collection of folk songs written or inspired by Guthrie. The “Hard Travelin’ Tour” will take place on Sunday, July 1st from 7-9pm at 1153 Chess Drive in Foster City.
This Week on “Labor’s Edge”
South Bay Labor Council’s Ben Field detailed the conservative hypocrisy that underlies the ongoing pension debate.
Calvin Miaw of UNITE HERE 19 shared highlights from the landmark strike at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose.
Emily Johnstone of the AFL-CIO’s Housing Investment Trust celebrated the quality construction jobs created by union pension capital in San Francisco.
Barbara Easterling of the Alliance for Retired Americans lambasted Alan Simpson’s baseless attacks on seniors and Social Security.
Sarah Cecile of the California Nurses Association posted a preview and shared highlights from the RN strike at Sutter hospitals.
Maria Elena Durazo of the LA county Federation of Labor exposed the truth behind the abhorrent working conditions at Walmart.
Tula Connell of the AFL-CIO shared a new video about LA carwash workers finally securing health care through their new union.
Author Christina McCale contemplated how a new sort of reality show could help lawmakers get in touch with everyday working families.
South Bay Labor Council’s Ben Field also spoke out against the San Jose City Council’s rampant obstructionism.
AFL-CIO's Mike Hall shared President Obama's announcement that he will stop the deportation of young immigrants who could be eligible for residency under the DREAM Act.