Selected Articles, Feb. 2013
The South San Francisco City Council voted January 23 to extend a moratorium on new permits for large format retail stores for another 16 months. The City Council voted December 12 to impose a 45-day moratorium—slowing a potential move by Walmart to bring one of its supercenter big box stores to South City. Read More
The New Priorities Network recently launched the Jobs Not Wars campaign. The effort includes an online petition calling on the President and Congress to end the Afghanistan war, bring the money home, and invest in good jobs, hurricane Sandy reconstruction, social programs, and diplomacy. Read More
Other Labor News:
California Labor Embraces Governor’s Bold Vision for Future
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis: A Champion for All Workers
“Gonna Take Us All”
Remembering Jon Fromer, May 11, 1946-Jan. 2, 2013
Selected Articles, Dec. 2012 - Jan. 2013
The South San Francisco City Council voted December 12 to impose a 45-day moratorium on new permits for large format retail stores—slowing a potential move by Walmart to bring one of its supercenter big box stores to South City. Read More
Walmart workers were joined by union members and elected officials at a rally at Walmart’s San Leandro store on Black Friday—the biggest shopping day for U.S. retailers. Read More
The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1574 held a day of action to promote public transportation and to urge people to “vote transit” in the November 6 election by supporting candidates and ballot measures that enhance transit. ATU 1574 represents more than 700 SamTrans bus drivers, mechanics, customer service representatives and Paratransit operators on the Peninsula, who serve thousands of the county's transit riders, including the elderly, disabled and youth. Read More
Members of the Pacific Media Workers Guild at the San Francisco Chronicle picketed the newspaper October 25 to call on the Hearst Corporation to bargain in good faith. The union, which represents reporters, editors, librarians, graphic artists, office workers, salespeople, and other SF Chronicle employees pointed out that “while our union’s negotiating team has presented proposals to Hearst Corp. in several meetings about our healthcare plan, Hearst Corporation negotiators have cancelled bargaining sessions FIVE times.” Read More
Selected Articles, Oct.-Nov. 2012
The Amalgamated Transit Union recently kicked off a campaign to urge voters to support ballot measures to fund public transit and candidates who support increasing access to mass transit. The union is part of the Votetransit coalition of transportation advocates and riders who have launched a national movement to promote public transit in the United States. Read More
Registered nurses at Sutter Mills-Peninsula have voted to accept a new collective bargaining agreement, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United announced October 4.
Key to the two-year agreement was the decision by local hospital officials to withdraw more than three dozen substantial reductions in patient care protections and nurses’ economic and contract standards, as well as agree to improvements in safe staffing, the RNs said. CNA represents some 750 RNs in the health system, which has facilities in Burlingame and San Mateo. Read More
Candidates for local office heard from union members at a candidate orientation meeting organized by the San Mateo County Central Labor Council and Building and Construction Trades Council August 29 at the IBEW Local 617 union hall in San Mateo. About 40 candidates for City Councils, School Boards and Special Districts attended. Read More
You may remember VWR International as the now-infamous chemical supply company in Brisbane that was bought by private-equity firm Madison-Dearborn, which promptly cut a sweetheart deal to move the company to Visalia. The deal meant the company would recieve numerous public subsidies and tax breaks, including hefty Enterprise Zone hiring credits, which put state taxpayers on the hook to pay for. Read More
Selected Articles, Aug. - Sept. 2012
Registered nurses at seven San Mateo and Alameda county hospitals operated by the Sutter corporation held a one-day strike July 3, once again protesting a long list of concession demands that they say would undermine patient care protections as well as health and living standards for the RNs. Read More
On July 24, I joined hundreds of California labor activists, along with U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Larry Cohen, in San Francisco’s Union Square, where we rallied, chanted and danced to get our simple message across: Bring Our Jobs Home. Read More
Hyatt Boycott Aims to End Worker Abuse
Hyatt “systematically abuses housekeepers and other hotel workers,” said UNITEHERE! President John Wilhelm this July 24 in announcing a worldwide boycott of the hotel chain.
A wide range of groups, including the AFL-CIO, NFL Players Association, Interfaith Worker Justice, Pride At Work and several civil rights and women’s groups, are backing the boycott.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called the Hyatt housekeepers and other Hyatt workers the “unsung heroes always in the background” who make sure hotel operations run smoothly. “We, the labor movement and our progressive friends, will make sure Hyatt does the right thing. We’ll be with you every day for as long as it takes,” he said.
Hyatt, says UNITEHERE!, has abused housekeepers and other hotel workers, replacing longtime employees with minimum wage temporary workers and imposing dangerous workloads on those who remain.
Wilhelm called it “unacceptable in 2012” that the housekeepers suffer high rates of debilitating injuries as a result of their work cleaning rooms. In May, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a formal Hazard Alert letter telling Hyatt that its housekeepers face ergonomic risks every day on the job. “We call on Hyatt to end its systematic abuse of housekeepers and adopt the recommendations made by the federal government to reduce the physical strain associated with housekeeping work,” said Wilhelm.
Along with the boycott, Hyatt workers and community supporters held demonstrations and other actions at Hyatt properties in 20 cities to shine a spotlight on Hyatt’s treatment of its workers and build support for the boycott.
Find out more at www.hyatthurts.org.
Selected Articles, June - July 2012
Elected officials and county transportation leaders spoke up in support of modernizing Caltrain at a press conference at Caltrain’s Sequoia Station in Redwood City June 12. The event coincided with the release of a new study by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute that found that electrifying the Caltrain system at a cost of $1.5 billion would generate as much as $2.5 billion in benefits to the region while creating thousands of new jobs. Read More
United Airlines’ Machinist union (IAMAW) members and retirees picketed an appearance by United CEO Jeffery Smisek in Burlingame May 9 to protest the company stalling contract negotiations for almost three years and to call attention to the airline’s cuts to retiree benefits. Read More
Registered nurses went on strike May 1 at eight hospitals that are part of the wealthy Sutter corporate chain to protest Wall Street-type demands for reductions in nurses’ standards and workplace conditions. The members of California Nurses Association had offered to call off the strike if Sutter agreed to withdraw the concession demands. In addition to the concession demands, the strikers protested Sutter’s reductions in patient care services throughout the region. Read More
Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 were joined by elected officials and other labor union allies for a day of action May 17. Read More
For previous articles, click on the Archives link.
CEO Pay and the 99 Percent
The 2012 AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch site—now called “CEO Pay and the 99%”—includes the most comprehensive data accessible on 2011 executive pay. CEO Pay and the 99% shows that a CEO of a company in the S&P 500 Index, on average, received $12.9 million in total compensation in 2011. That’s nearly a 14 percent raise over the previous year. And that’s on top of a 23 percent increase in 2010.
In stark contrast, the average wage for workers hovered at $34,000 in 2011. Median household income fell $3,700 over the past decade. And those who are employed received an average 2.8 percent raise—barely keeping up with inflation.
The new site also features data on:
• Swelling corporate cash stockpiles. Corporations have a record $2.2 trillion in cash on their balance sheets, according to the Federal Reserve. But rather than reinvest this capital to grow our economy and create jobs, CEOs are not deploying these resources.
• The widening gap between CEO and worker pay. Last year, this ratio of CEO-to-worker pay had widened to an astonishing 380 times. In 1980, CEOs of large U.S. companies made 42 times the average wages of workers.
• Mutual funds’ votes on executive pay. Mutual funds wield enormous clout on CEO pay issues in part because of the new “say-on-pay” requirement that shareholders cast an advisory vote on CEO pay. In this new section, investors can look up how their mutual funds voted and ask their mutual funds to vote against runaway CEO pay levels.
• The shady world of private equity, which Mitt Romney’s candidacy has brought to light.
All of the data available is searchable by industry, by state and by the top 100 highest-paid CEOs. See www.aflcio.org/Corporate-Watch/CEO-Pay-and-the-99/ for more details.
LABOR NEWS BRIEFS:
Nurses Premiere ‘A Nightmare on Wall Street’ Video
The National Nurses United has produced a dramatic short video, “A Nightmare on Wall Street,” to renew the push for a tax on Wall Street speculation to raise critically needed funds to heal America. The video, depicting a Wall Street executive’s imagined encounter with those who lost jobs, homes, businesses, educational opportunity and retirement accounts as a result of Wall Street’s misdeeds and “too-big-to-fail” government policies can be viewed on YouTube as well as www.ProtestInTheUSA.org. The nurses have been calling for a tax on Wall Street speculative trading as a starting point in generating revenue for distressed communities. Nurses have observed throughout the year that enduring economic hardship is doing serious harm to their patients and communities. A financial transaction tax could raise as much as $350 billion a year in the U.S.
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For previous articles, click on the Archives link.