Seaman, Mitch


Mitch Seaman is a Legislative Advocate for the California Labor Federation, representing 2.1 million union members in manufacturing, retail, construction, hospitality, public sector, health care, entertainment and other industries.

State Commissioner Cracks Down on Employers for Labor Law Violations

By Mitch Seaman

No one wins when employers break labor laws, but whenever California's star Labor Commissioner Julie Su announces the latest round of enforcement actions, it sure feels like a victory.

Case in point: This week, Commissioner Su hit three of the worst violators with over $1.8 million in backpay and penalty assessments for stealing employees' wages, defrauding the workers' comp system and willfully breaking a variety of other workforce protection laws.

'Unemployed' Doesn't Mean 'Unemployable'

By Mitch Seaman
California Labor Federation

In any recession, from any era, unemployed workers face challenges that are unique to the time but consistent across history. Finding new work is never easy, but during a recession the search can prove almost impossible, as greater numbers of unemployed workers fight over fewer available jobs. For example, at the peak of the current downturn, around seven unemployed workers existed for every open position. Though this 7-1 ratio has since improved to 4-1, the outlook remains bleak and the unemployed still struggle.

Making matters worse, the severity and structural nature of the current downturn means many jobs are gone for good, and idled workers need all the help they can get when finding new work.

Workers Memorial Day: A Time to Honor the Fallen, Protect the Injured and Prevent Future Fatalities

By Mitch Seaman
California Labor Federation

Every year on April 28th, working families nationwide gather to commemorate Workers Memorial Day and honor those who’ve lost their lives to work-related injury. The occasion commits every one of us to prevent additional fatalities and minimize workplace injuries -- and always call on others to do the same. April 28th also presents us, as workers, with a unique opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices we make and to renew the fight for the safety and respect we deserve at work.

In 2010, over 300 Californians lost their lives in work-related accidents, and about 6,500 died from chronic workplace exposure to chemicals and other toxins. Workers throughout every industry sector are affected, and potentially deadly hazards persist in every workplace.

New Website Helps Workers Enforce Workers' Compensation Law

By Mitch Seaman
California Labor Federation

On Thursday, March 1st, an exciting new website launched to allow California workers access to their employer’s workers compensation coverage status. With this website, any employee can now verify whether or not their employer carries valid workers compensation coverage—information that not only keeps workers safe but helps the public and regulators crack down on the underground economy.

Bank of America - A Unique Display of Corporate Greed

By Mitch Seaman
California Labor Federation

Forbes magazine as gutsy consumer advocate? Well, not really, but even the favored rag of corporate shills everywhere seemed stunned by Bank of America’s $5 debit fee announcement on Friday, accusing the banking behemoth of committing a common mistake large corporations make: taking the customer for granted, holding the belief that whatever products or services they offer are unique and indispensible, so their customers will always be there.

While we agree that Bank of America’s incompetence runs rampant throughout the banking industry, by several measures of greed and arrogance, this troubled corporation stands alone. Allow us to present Bank of America with the following uniquely dubious titles:

Putting Workers Before Wall Street

By Mitch Seaman
California Labor Federation

Lost in the debate California’s regulatory environment is a simple fact: regulations didn’t crash the economy. You can thank Wall Street banks for that.

Not only did greedy Wall Street bankers get us into this mess, they’re certainly not doing anything to help the middle class dig out. They’re even devising ways to exploit the economic crisis and the mass unemployment it’s caused to pad their pockets. That’s why the California Labor Federation partnered with consumer advocates and others on two key bills to protect workers from the worst Wall Street abuses.

Fighting for Fair Treatment for Farmworkers

By Mitch Seaman
California Labor Federation

A common refrain from anti-union politicians and pundits across the country is that workers “no longer” need unions. That unions outlived their usefulness by winning minimum wages, 8-hour days and OSHA, and that the right to collectively bargain for safe and humane working conditions is an outdated relic of a more dangerous time. Try telling that to the friends, family and loved ones of María Isabel Vásquez Jiménez.

Three years ago this Monday, María Isabel Vásquez Jiménez collapsed and died after spending 9 hours pruning grapevines in Farmington. She was 17 years old, engaged and two months pregnant. This tragic loss, however, was far from accidental.

An Open Letter to Representative Darrell Issa

By Mitch Seaman
California Labor Federation

Dear Rep. Issa,

Politico reported Tuesday that last month you delivered letters to over 150 corporations, trade associations and conservative think tanks, requesting a list of their least favorite “existing and proposed regulations” that you, as House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chair, could help eliminate. The article further highlights your appeal for “suggestions on reforming identified regulations and the rulemaking process.”