Wei, Angie


Angie Wei is the Legislative Director of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, which represents 2.1 million members of 1,200 manufacturing, service, construction, and public sector unions.

Bringing Worker Power to the State Capitol

Angie WeiBy Angie Wei

Legislative deadline weeks in the Capitol usually bring out all of the well-heeled suits representing a cacophony of corporate interests. Every industry's got a lobbyist (or several) moving a bill or killing a bill at this time of year. The "gate" - where lobbyists can request to see a Senator or Assemblymember on a particular measure - is usually bursting with pinstriped suits.

As in politics, Labor is generally outnumbered at the gate. I'd say that at deadline time, it's at least a 25-to-1 ratio of corporate-side vs. union-side representatives. But that was not so on Tuesday, May 28th.

SB 863: Real Workers’ Comp Reform to Reduce Costs and Help Injured Workers

By Angie Wei
California Labor Federation

Arnold Schwarzenegger rode into the Governor’s office in 2004 on the campaign promise to “fix” the workers’ compensation system. Every day in 2004, the media hammered home Schwarzenegger’s talking points that California’s highest-in-the-nation workers’ compensation costs were driving employers, and jobs, out of the state.

In the face of a relentless media campaign and the threat of an extreme workers’ comp reform ballot measure, the Legislature passed SB 899 in 2004—a draconian bill that gutted the workers’ compensation system and created more pain and suffering for injured workers.

Payroll Debit Cards— Less Choice, Lower Wages

By Angie Wei
California Labor Federation

Bank of America’s new $5 monthly debit fee, unveiled Friday, sparked howls of protest from furious bank customers now threatening to walk away to more consumer-friendly banking options. No one knows exactly how many will follow through on the threat, but according to one poll, a $5 monthly fee will drive 66% of debit users towards alternative methods of payment—cash, credit cards, or “other.” Agree or disagree with the 66%, but at least everyone can agree that it’s good consumers can freely decide to spend however they want and bank wherever they choose, right? Wrong.

Job Training Critical to State's Economic Future

By Angie Wei
California Labor Federation

Over 2.1 million workers are currently unemployed in California. That’s not counting the underemployed, the part-timers who would like to be working full-time, the temporary workers, and those who are so discouraged that they’ve given up on work. One-third of the unemployed have been jobless for over a year; 25% have been out of work for more than two years.

This Great Recession is leaving millions of workers behind. Workers in especially hard-hit sectors like construction are facing unemployment rates as high as 40-50%. Workers have lost their jobs, their homes, their marriages and their community roots in the wake of this recession. Women and men who spent decades in the construction industry may never return to the same work. We’ve got to re-invest in these workers -- to train and arm them with new skills so they can embark upon new career paths.

GOP Needs to Offer More to Budget Crisis than “No”

By Angie Wei
California Labor Federation

Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway has an answer to just about any question directly relating to our budget crisis. “No.” No revenues. No vote of the people. No Republican budget proposal. No closing corporate tax loopholes. No spending cuts. No, No, No, No, No.

Conway explained her caucus’ flurry on “No’s” to the LA Times recently:

The reality of it is, if we put up a ‘budget’ of our own it will get picked apart, criticized.

That may be a good answer for a politician. But it’s the last thing we need to hear from a public servant.

A Deal is Never a Deal With Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

By Angie Wei
California Labor Federation

Arnold Schwarzenegger is holding a gun to the heads of over 300,000 California state employees. He’s salivating at the opportunity to drop state employee pay to federal minimum wage if a budget isn’t enacted by July 31st. He’s also announced that he won’t sign a budget unless it includes worker concessions on their pensions.

That’s right. The federal minimum wage at $7.25 an hour, 75 cents below CA’s $8 an hour minimum wage. Sacramento’s economy would come to its knees. Local restaurants, car repair, grocery stores, landlords, banks, would all lose revenue as a result.

Families would face further economic pressure, unable to pay their rent, their mortgages, their credit card bills, their student loans, their car and insurance payment. The crushing impact on families would dig them into a financial hole that they may never be able to crawl out of.

Assembly Democrats Put Up a Budget Worth Fighting For

By Angie Wei
California Labor Federation

Finally, there’s a budget proposal worth fighting for, and it couldn’t have come at a more critical time.

On Tuesday, Assembly Democrats, led by new Speaker of the Assembly John Pérez, proposed an innovative budget plan that closes the nearly $18 billion budget gap while focusing on jobs, as an alternative to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s job killing, all-cuts budget.