Band, Rebecca

Rebecca Band (formerly Rebecca Greenberg) works for the California Labor Federation.

Kids These Days: Unions, Workers' Rights and the "Now" Generation

Rebecca Band, California Labor FederationBy Rebecca Band

California Labor Federation

You’ve probably heard it from a colleague, or maybe from a friend or family member:

“Kids these days… they’re just too ambivalent to care about labor unions or workers' rights.”

But as it turns out, that’s just not true. Young people are actually big fans of unions. Fully 61% of young people view labor unions favorably – and that’s more than 10 points higher than the national average, according to a new Pew poll. In fact, young people are the only age group that views unions more favorably than they view corporations.

Sen. Jerry Hill Announces New Legislation to Reform Flawed "Enterprise Zone" Corporate Tax Giveaway

By Rebecca Band

Imagine a system that gives companies enormous tax breaks for firing workers - and then forces those jobless workers to pay for those tax breaks themselves.

It might sound outrageous, but in California, that's the reality. Just ask Joan Beighley, who worked at VWR in Brisbane for 14 years before her job was eliminated when her employer decided to take advantage of the state's wasteful "enterprise zone" (EZ) corporate tax giveaway program. Thanks to this flawed program, VWR is able to collect up to $37,000 for each worker the company fired and replaced when they shut down their Brisbane facility and relocated to Visalia - even though no new jobs were created, and the jobs in Visalia pay a fraction of what the Brisbane workers earned for the same work.

Foreclosures Drop 75% Following Passage of Homeowners Bill of Rights

By Rebecca Band

This time last year, hundreds of California families were losing their homes to foreclosure every day. 700,000 families were on the brink of foreclosure, and one-third were underwater in their mortgages, due in large part to shady lending practices that Big Banks employed to rob families of their homes.

But a lot can change in a year, and a new report released this week has found the number of foreclosures in California has dropped dramatically.

Prop 39: Closing a Corporate Tax Loophole and Bringing Jobs Back to California

By Rebecca Band

Why does California reward ultra-rich companies that move jobs out of the state?

I'll tell you why. In 2009, during secret, behind-closed-doors budget negotiations, a handful of state legislators and Gov. Schwarzenegger snuck in a colossal but little-known corporate tax giveaway into the budget in the dead of night. This loophole, known as the "elective single sales factor," gives corporations the option to reduce the taxes they pay to California by keeping jobs and investment in other states – giving companies a huge incentive to hire outside of California.

Corporate Tax Loopholes: The REAL Waste, Fraud and Abuse in California’s Budget

By Rebecca Band
California Labor Federation

One BILLION Dollars. That’s how much California gives away every year to big corporations, thanks to a wasteful tax loophole that actually incentivizes companies to close up shop in California and move those jobs elsewhere.

According to LA Times columnist George Skelton:

You might think a tax law that rewards companies for killing California jobs and resurrecting them in another state would be dumped. Very quickly. Especially if it also rewards them for selling off property here and rebuilding elsewhere. Or, put another way, if the law provides a tax incentive not to hire or invest in California in the first place. You'd repeal it. A no-brainer.

Separating Fact from Fiction: The Truth About the Right-Wing Attacks on the Postal Service

By Rebecca Greenberg Band
California Labor Federation

The US Postal Service is the second largest employer in the United States, after the Department of Defense, employing more than half a million workers in good union jobs. It’s also the second largest employer of military veterans; more than 22% of all postal employees have served in the U.S. armed forces. But if Republicans in Congress get their way and succeed in ending Saturday mail delivery, as many as 200,000 Post Office jobs would be lost. With Veterans Day coming up, it couldn’t be a more fitting time to draw attention to this deceptive effort by the right wing to strip thousands of our brave service men and women of their jobs, and leave our troops returning home from war with even fewer employment options.

For Sacramento-Area Seniors, Saving Medicare is a Life-or-Death Matter

By Rebecca Band
California Labor Federation

It’s tough to decipher political rhetoric from reality, especially when it comes to the Medicare debate. But for seniors who rely on Medicare as a lifeline, the concerns about GOP proposals to drastically reduce or eliminate the program are crystal clear.

“Will I be able to find health insurance? I’m 71 years old!”

“How can Medicare be considered an ‘entitlement’ when I paid into it all my working career?”

“Will my wife and I receive a refund of the money we have put into Medicare?”

These are just a few of the tough questions voiced by Sacramento-area seniors at Thursday’s community town hall in Rancho Cordova, in Republican Rep. Dan Lungren’s district. More than 200 seniors, worried about the GOP Medicare-killing proposals being debated in Congress, came out to make their voice heard and seek answers to their burning questions.

Labor, Business and Government Agree: Building Workforce Partnerships is Key to Economic Recovery

By Rebecca Greenberg
California Labor Federation

When was the last time you saw a labor advocate, a government representative and a corporate CEO still down and hash out ways they can work together towards a common goal of renewing our workforce and reviving our economy? If you’re thinking, “that would never happen,” you’ve obviously never been to the California Labor Federation’s “Building Workforce Partnerships” conference.

Sponsored by the Workforce and Economic Development (WED) Program, this unique and groundbreaking conference has exploded in popularity in recent years, drawing the best and brightest economists, labor activists, environmentalists, workforce experts, business leaders, government representatives and others from all across the state and country. Even though the participants came from a wide variety of backgrounds, they all share a common goal – to build a new, sustainable economy fueled by advanced manufacturing and renewable energy jobs.

From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend

By Rebecca Greenberg
California Labor Federation

Most of us are familiar with the popular bumper sticker, “Labor Unions – The folks who brought you the weekend.” And yes, unions did play a pivotal role in the creation of the five-day work week. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Over the last 170 years, labor unions have done a whole lot more than just establishing the weekend. We’ve effectively served as the first line of defense against the corporations and politicians that seek to exploit working class families. We’ve fought tirelessly for better treatment for workers from all walks of life. And we’ve won some major victories along the way on issues that affect working families every day.

From improved wages to safer working conditions to fairness and equality in the workplace, the policies championed by labor unions benefit all working families, regardless as to whether they themselves belong to a union.

More Than 10,000 Californians Hit the Streets to Say ‘We Are One’

By Rebecca Greenberg
California Labor Federation

“Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared these inspiring words in Memphis on April 3rd, 1968, while standing in support of striking sanitations workers -- workers who were fighting for the same basic rights that are under attack in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and dozens of other states across the nation. The next day, April 4th, 1968, Dr. King was shot and killed.