February 15, 2013
Volume 1., Issue 264
Foreclosures Plummet Following Passage of Homeowners Bill of Rights
The labor-backed legislation to curtail home foreclosures that passed in 2012, known as the Homeowners Bill of Rights, just went into effect in January, and the number of home foreclosures in California has already begun to drop dramatically. A new report finds foreclosures down 60.5% between December of last year and January of this year when the law went into effect. Compared to this time last year, foreclosures have dropped nearly 78%, and are now at the lowest level since September 2006. The Homeowners Bill of Rights is just one of many examples that shows California’s labor movement is on the front lines fighting for all California families and a brighter future for our economy.
Take Action: Tell Walmart to Listen to Warehouse Whistleblowers
Late last month, the state of California ordered Walmart-contracted warehouse operator, Quetico LLC, to repay workers more than $1 million in stolen wages after the California Labor Commissioner determined the warehouse operator had shorted paychecks of more than 800 workers at its Chino facility. But the employer is still denying any wrong-doing, and instead is seeking to appeal the state’s ruling.
Now, those warehouse workers who blew the whistle on the employer worry about retaliation and are at risk of losing their jobs, and Walmart has failed to step in, despite the fact that the warehouse is clearly in violation of the company’s Standards for Suppliers. Show your support for the warehouse whistleblowers by signing their petition to Walmart today.
Sign the petition.
California Labor Unites to Protect California Environmental Quality Act
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has been safeguarding our environment and promoting smart and sustainable development for decades. But now a handful of corporate special interests are seeking to dismantle the state’s landmark environmental protection policy in order to increase their bottom line, prompting the California Labor Federation Executive Council to pass a resolution in support of CEQA.
"For decades, CEQA has been a firewall for California communities, protecting our environment and promoting cleaner, more sustainable development," said California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski. "Efforts by big corporations to roll back this important law put California families, workers and our natural resources at risk."
Report: Unemployment Insurance Fund Needs Overhaul
Unemployment insurance is a literal lifeline for California workers who find themselves jobless through no fault of their own, but according to a new report, the UI system is threatened by structural flaws that have forced the system billions of dollars into the red. Under the flawed current system, California has racked up more than $10.5 billion in debt to the federal government, forcing the state to borrow from the worker-funded Disability Insurance fund just to stay afloat.
The California Labor Federation’s new report, “Unemployment Insurance: Underfunded and Undervalued” details the problems with the system that have brought it to this precarious point, and presents a series of solutions to ensure the UI fund stays solvent for families who need it.
Learn more and read the report.
Urge the White House to Award Presidential Medal of Freedom to Fred Ross Sr.
Legendary union trailblazer Fred Ross Sr. revolutionized the way workers and unions organize, making him one of the most influential activists in American labor history. The first to organize people through house meetings, a mentor to both Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, and a pioneer in Latino voter outreach since 1949, Ross’ influence on social change movements remains strong to this day, more than 20 years after his passing in 1992.
The California Labor Federation joins activists, organizers and elected officials from all across the nation who are taking action to urge President Obama to award the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to Fred Ross Sr. Now is the time to send a message to President Obama and your members of Congress, urging them to confer the Medal of Freedom posthumously to Fred Ross Sr. You can write to President Obama c/o Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Associate Director of Latino Affairs and Immigration for the Office of Public Engagement: Julie_C_Rodriguez@who.eop.gov, and you can call your members of Congress at 202-224-3121.
This Week on “Labor’s Edge”
- “California Labor Unites to Protect California Environmental Quality Act” by Steve Smith, California Labor Federation
- “KTTV and KCOP Workers Say Turn Off Fox 11!” by Steve Ross, NABET-CWA local 53
- “Report: Unemployment Insurance Fund Needs Overhaul” by Steve Smith, California Labor Federation
- “Foreclosures Drop by More Than 75% Following Passage of Homeowners Bill of Rights” by Rebecca Band, California Labor Federation
- “Activists Urge the White House to Award Presidential Medal of Freedom to Fred Ross Sr.” by Randy Shaw, BeyondChron
- “An Invitation to Rick Perry to Come Back to California” by Angie Wei, California Labor Federation