By David Dayen
We can now see why the imminent Walmart strikes on Black Friday have spooked the company.
Walmart has engaged in a two-prong PR strategy, dismissing the strikes as being carried out by a small faction of its 1.4 million associates, while also seeking National Labor Relations Board relief to block the strikes as illegal union-based activity. The thinking here is that the strikes have gained in strength over the month of October, with wildcat walkouts ongoing at both stores and warehouses, and that they want to nip this in the bud. In the Internet age, actions like this hold the potential for going viral.
By Robert Reich
I wish President Obama and the Democrats would explain to the nation that the federal budget deficit isn't the nation's major economic problem and deficit reduction shouldn't be our major goal. Our problem is lack of good jobs and sufficient growth, and our goal must be to revive both.
Deficit reduction leads us in the opposite direction - away from jobs and growth. The reason the "fiscal cliff" is dangerous (and, yes, I know - it's not really a "cliff" but more like a hill) is because it's too much deficit reduction, too quickly. It would suck too much demand out of the economy.
By Jackie Tortora
As you prepare to head to the grocery store to pick up your Thanksgiving dinner ingredients, double check your shopping list to make sure your Turkey Day fixin's are all union made in America. Check out some highlights from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor's resource site, Labor 411. Here are some of the best union-made Thanksgiving eats and tools from the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), Machinists (IAM), United Steelworkers (USW) and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).
By Anthony Wright
Since the election, we've heard of fast food and chain restaurant owners protesting the continued implementation of Obamacare, and the costs of having to provide health coverage to their workers. Some have threatened to cut worker hours, or add a surcharge to their meals.
Some of these claims have been walked back once they got media scrutiny, as owners of Denny's or Papa John's or Applebee's have to defend the dubious figures that they initially present. Even Jon Stewart could see their math didn't quite add up.
But the revolt of the chain restaurant owners is real - they have a business model that depends on low-wage workers with no benefits, leaving the cost of care for those workers to themselves, their families, and in many cases, the taxpayer.
By Dan Bacher
Much recent media attention has focused on Walmart's announcement that it is canceling Thanksgiving plans for many of its employees. These workers will now have to work on the holiday as the retail giant kicks off its holiday sale at 8 PM on Thanksgiving Day, rather than waiting until midnight on "Black Friday."
By Lisa Schiff
California's public education community has been breathing sighs of relief following the results of last week's voting extravaganza. Not even considering the historic re-election of President Barak Obama and the related repudiation of the Republican Party's effort to further restrict our civic and social rights, the results for California were immense. For our public schools, the most critical result was the passage of Proposition 30, which through leveraging a sales tax increase and raising income taxes on the wealthy will raise revenues to the General Fund and stop the automatic budget cuts to all levels of public education that were set to be enacted come January if Proposition 30 had not passed.
By Linda Leu
With last week's election result ensuring the continued implementation of the historic Affordable Care Act, the board of the newly-named "Covered California" Health Benefit Exchange met Wednesday to finalize its start-up operations and roll-out over the next two years.
Covered California will be the new marketplace under the Affordable Care Act to help California families and small businesses shop for health insurance and get subsidies to make such coverage affordable. The expansion of coverage through Medi-Cal and Covered California to millions of Californians starts January 1, 2014, with an "open enrollment" period to sign people up in the third-quarter of 2013.
By Danielle Tipton
California Labor Federation
Raley's and Nob Hill workers returned to their jobs Tuesday after a nine-day historic strike. Thanks to the solidarity and strength of the workers, activists and boycotting shoppers, the UFCW Local 5 and Local 8 were able to reach a tentative agreement with Raley's-Nob Hill management preserving health care for all workers, including retirees. This settlement now goes on to the workers for ratification.
Ron Lind, President, UFCW 5 and Jacque Loveall, President, UFCW 8:
By David Dayen
Backed by a larger caucus, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will stay on in the post for another two years. She made the announcement this morning before gathered press. Nobody will challenge her for the Democratic leadership position.
By John M. Simpson
Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz has given Google what Bloomberg News Service describes as an ultimatum to settle the agency's antitrust investigation in the next few days or face a lawsuit.
Citing unidentified sources, Bloomberg reporter Sara Forden on Monday wrote:
"Google has been in discussions with the agency for about two weeks and hasn’t put any remedy proposals on the table, said the people, who declined to be identified because the negotiations are private."