Selected Articles, May 2014
Union members protesting President Obama’s visit to the Mountain View Walmart included Julie Lind, SM Labor Council; Nadia Bledsoe, AFSCME Local 829; Rayna Lehman, SM Labor Council; and UFCW Local 5 members Mike Frenna, Efran Aguillera, Kenny Scanlon, and Julian Perez.
Unions, Low Wage Workers Protest Obama's Walmart Visit
Several hundred members of labor unions from throughout the Bay Area converged at the Walmart in Mountain View May 9 to protest an appearance by President Barack Obama. In California to raise funds for Democrats, Obama chose Walmart as the site for a talk on how companies can be more energy efficient, praising the mega-retailer’s record on clean energy use. Read More
Postal Workers, Supporters Ramp Up Stop Staples Campaign
Carrying signs and chanting, “The U.S. Mail Is Not for Sale,” members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and supporters rallied at the Staples store in Foster City April 29 to call attention to a deal between the U.S. Postal Service and Staples that threatens local post office jobs. The office supply retailer now displays a USPS logo on its façade and a knock-off post office inside staffed by low paid workers at many of its stores nationwide. The pilot program could expand, undermining the wages and benefits of the unionized USPS workforce and threatening jobs. Read More
Union Community Alliance Improving the Quality of Life for Workers
The San Mateo County Union Community Alliance (SMCUCA) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all workers and their families in San Mateo County. The San Mateo County Central Labor Council and Building Trades Council created SMCUCA in 2003. Read More
Shelley Kessler Appointed to Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation
Shelley Kessler was officially sworn in as a member of the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation by San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom at the San Mateo County Central Labor Council’s delegates’ meeting May 12.
Treasurer of the San Mateo County Central Labor Council, was appointed to the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation by Assembly Speaker John Perez last month. The Commission (CHSWC) is a joint labor-management body created by the workers’ compensation reform legislation of 1993. Commissioners are appointed by the Governor and the Legislature, with four members representing employers and four representing labor.
CHSWC is charged with examining the health and safety and workers’ compensation systems in California and recommending administrative or legislative modifications to improve their operation. The Commission conducts an ongoing examination of the workers’ compensation system and the state’s activities to prevent industrial injuries and occupational illnesses, and examines similar programs in other states. CHSWC also administers the Worker Occupational Safety and Health Training and Education Program (WOSHTEP), which sponsors workplace health and safety training programs and distributes educational materials on job safety.
Other Commission members representing labor are Angie Wei, Legislative Director, California Labor Federation; Doug Bloch, Political Director, Teamsters Joint Council 7; and Christine Bouma, President, Capitol Connection. Kessler replaces Faith Culbreath, Director of Strategic Partnerships, SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) as the fourth labor representative on the CHSWC.
Ms. Kessler was officially sworn in by San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom May 12 at the San Mateo County Central Labor Council’s delegates’ meeting.
Selected Articles, May 2014
South San Francisco Passes Ban on Big Box Retail Stores
The South San Francisco City Council voted unanimously April 16 to prohibit superstores city-wide and large-format retail stores with a grocery component East of Highway 101. The ordinance banning big box stores was recommended by City Staff. In January 2013, South San Francisco enacted a 16-month 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
Schools Superintendent Torlakson has Earned, and Needs, the Support of the Building Trades
The tenacious and overwhelming unity of California's Building Trades unions and workers during the past few election cycles has served us well, resulting in the elections of state officials who care deeply for working families, and who enact policies that reflect that concern. Read More
Labor Council Endorses Candidates in June 3 Primary Election
Vote for Carole Groom and Don Horsley
for San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
The San Mateo County Central Labor Council and Building Trades Council recommendations for the State Assembly and U.S. Congress were endorsed at the California Labor Federation’s convention April 10. Read More
Union Members Meet with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo
Representatives from the San Mateo County and South Bay Labor Council’s met with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo March 31 to discuss issues in the district. Read More
Labor and Covered California 2014
To date, more than 1.3 million Californians have enrolled in healthcare through Covered California, our “Obamacare” health exchange. The first Open Enrollment period officially closed on April 15. Read More
Selected Articles, April 2014
Teachers Union Brings Educators and Families Together for Student Success
The Jefferson Elementary Federation of Teachers, AFT 3267, hosted a learning festival March 8 to provide useful resources for students, parents, and teachers and promote collaboration between educators and Daly City area parents. The “Reclaiming the Promise of Quality Public Education” conference, held at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, featured workshops for parents and educators on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), improving literacy and helping students who are English language learners. AFT 3267 partnered with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), California Federation of Teachers, and the Jefferson Council PTA to organize the conference. Read More
Bay Area Legislators Support Pro-Labor Bills
The San Mateo County Central Labor Council and San Mateo County Building Trades Council hosted a series of meetings with Bay Area legislators in Sacramento March 18 along with the San Francisco Labor Council and SF Building Trades Council. State Senators Jerry Hill, Leland Yee, and Mark Leno and Assembly Members Rich Gordon, Kevin Mullin, Phil Ting and Tom Ammiano were asked to support the labor issues and bills by representatives from the building trades, public sector, and private sector unions. Read More
Teamsters United Airlines Mechanics Join Labor Council
Airline Mechanics at United Airlines at San Francisco International Airport are again part of the San Mateo County Central Labor Council. The re-affiliation of the mechanics comes six years after they voted for representation by the Teamsters. Teamsters SFO 856/986 represents the over 3,000 United Airlines Mechanics and related workers at the SFO SFO Maintenance Base. Read More
Selected Articles, March 2014
Speier, Gordon, Mullin Discuss Income Inequality, Labor Issues
Income inequality was a major theme at a meeting with Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Assembly Members Rich Gordon and Kevin Mullin hosted by the San Mateo County Central Labor Council February 7. Read More
Bay Area Rallies Against the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Fair trade activists, workers, environmental activists and others rallied January 31 in San Francisco against the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Activists marched from the federal building where House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has her office to the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein to mark their opposition to the Fast Track legislation which would circumvent ordinary Congressional review and speed up the approval of the TPP. Read More
Selected Articles, February 2014
First Phase of SFO Terminal 3 Project Completed
San Francisco International Airport officials led a tour of the airport’s newly renovated Terminal 3 Boarding Area E January 17 for San Mateo County labor leaders and union members. The new T3 Boarding Area was built with union labor under a Project Labor Agreement. Union general contractor Hensel Phillips began work on the $138 million project in 2012 and completed work in December 2013. Read More
Dave Pine Elected as President of County Board of Supervisors
Supervisor Dave Pine was elected president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors during the Board’s first meeting of 2014. Pine was elected in May 2011 to represent District 1, which includes Burlingame, Hillsborough, parts of San Bruno and South San Francisco and the unincorporated San Mateo Highlands and Burlingame Hills neighborhoods. He made a brief speech at his swearing-in as Board president in which he called for “more risk taking, innovation and efficiency in 2014.” Read More
Stemming Income Inequality Hinges on Investing in California’s Middle Class
There’s a new narrative emerging from right-wingers like Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio on the growing problem of income inequality. Rubio and California Republicans like Assemblymember Dan Logue are blaming inequality on taxes on the wealthy and government regulations that protect workers and the environment. Problem is, this new narrative is pure fantasy. Read More
Selected Articles, January 2014
Unions Reach Deal with BART
The Bay Area Rapid Transit District’s largest unions, SEIU 1021 and ATU 1555, announced December 21 that a tentative agreement had been reached with BART Management’s negotiators on a disputed contract provision on paid family medical leave. Read More
U.S. Postal Service Can Survive with Your Support!
“Neither rain nor snow nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” This familiar creed has illustrated how our nation has trustworthily received its mail delivery service since 1775. Now what Mother Nature has been unable to hinder for over 200 years, some members of the United States Senate are trying their best to dismantle through deeply flawed legislation. Read More
Another Missed TPP Deadline Calls Pact’s Agenda into Question
As negotiators for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) missed yet another deadline for completing the pact in Singapore December 10, labor, environmental, consumer and Congressional leaders held a media briefing that called the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR’s) agenda for the pact into question. Pointing to the TPP’s significant threats to jobs, the environment and consumer safety, they called for release of TPP texts and voiced strong opposition to “Fast Track” authority for the pact. Read More
Northern California Court Interpreters Reach Deal with Courts
The California Federation of Interpreters Region 2 announced December 9 that the union, which represents courtroom interpreters in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, had reached an agreement with the courts that calls for raises and the ability to bargain over the impact of Video Remote Interpreting (VRI). Read More
The Fight Against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Heats Up
Opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement has increased over the past few months as some of the language in the proposed trade treaty has been made public and many members of Congress have expressed opposition to Fast Tracking the deal. The AFL-CIO also called for a “New Approach to Trade and Globalization” in a Resolution at its convention in September. 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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