California Labor Federation


Rants & Raves for the Week of June 20th, 2011

By California Labor Federation

RANTS

  •  Everyone likes “bipartisanship” -- except when the parties get together for the sole purpose of silencing workers. That's exactly what's happening in New Jersey, where the Democratic legislature is actually helping New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie dismantle collective bargaining rights when it comes to negotiating health benefits. This effort is all part of the attack on public employees, blaming workers for the budget crises our states are facing. When are they going to admit that it was the banks and Wall Street that crashed our economy, not the working people of this country? In New Jersey, firefighters, police, and other service workers are protesting the takeaways and reminding lawmakers that this bill will take away the voice of 500,000 workers. And there's nothing “bipartisan” about that.

Rants and Raves for the Week of May 30th, 2011

California Labor Federation

As pay skyrockets for corporate CEOs, workers see their pay stagnate as prices rise for basic necessities. Persistently high unemployment has put downward pressure on wages, and private sector workers have seen their pay decline as much as 9 percent in some areas of the state. If employers are hiring at all, more and more are paying minimum wage, barely allowing workers to eke out a living, let alone support a family. Yet at the same time, CEOs are raking in the big bucks. A recent report shows that executive pay was up 23 percent over last year at the top 100 California companies, which is consistent with national trends.

Rants & Raves for the Week of April 4th, 2011

By California Labor Federation

  • Wisconsin-style worker-bashing took a trip to California this week when Riverside County supervisors endorsed a measure to gut pension benefits for new hires. The proposal—which might not even be legal—creates a second-tier where new workers would not only fund pensions entirely on their own, but would also be forced into a stripped-down and non-negotiated plan. Now, we know what you’re thinking: How does attacking future employees—who will only be hired when our economy recovers—address immediate budget gaps? The answer is simple- this move is nothing but a vicious attack on public employee retirement security and a naked stab at union-busting.

Rants & Raves for the Week of March 14th, 2011

By California Labor Federation

  • A new Field poll out this week shows that an overwhelming majority of Californians want a say in how the state deals with the budget crisis, and a strong majority favors Governor Brown’s plan to extend existing taxes to help the state close the budget gap. Just one problem: Republicans in the state legislature obstinately refuse to allow Californians to vote on Brown’s proposal. Instead, the obstructionists have given Brown a list of demands that have absolutely nothing to do with the budget. Things like gutting retirement for teachers and protecting big tax giveaways for corporations. Maybe these Republicans need a primer in how democracy works. If the people want a say in our future, we should have it.

Rants & Raves for the Week of February 7th, 2011

By California Labor Federation

  • Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has a new way of dealing with people who take a stand for what they believe in – it’s called jail. In a major shift in city policy, he is seeking jail time for dozens of peaceful protesters, including students and veterans calling for educational opportunities and union members seeking help for laid off janitors. Previous prosecutors had treated the protest-related violations as infractions, but Trutanich wants the protesters to spend up to one year in county jail. Not only does this approach threaten our free speech rights, it also wastes city and county resources when we can least afford it. As LA City Councilman Ed Reyes put it: "We should be incarcerating those who are truly public threats as opposed to students who are raising their voices out of passion for a cause."

Rants & Raves for the Week of January 24th, 2011

California Labor Federation


  • A Wal-Mart on every corner? Sounds far-fetched, but it could be reality in San Diego if the retail mega-giant gets its way. This week, Wal-Mart launched an aggressive campaign to repeal San Diego’s Ordinance to Protect Small and Neighborhood Businesses (which simply requires big-box stores like Wal-Mart to complete an economic impact study before opening up shop)  in order to fast track the opening of 12 – yes, 12 – new Wal-Mart stores in the city of San Diego. It’s no surprise that Wal-Mart is bending over backward to avoid that economic impact study – the company is notorious for paying poverty wages to its employees, which causes a ripple effect through community, dragging down wages for all workers.