Labor

Protests, Boycotts, Walk-Outs and Possible Impeachment Face Trump as his Inauguration Approaches

January 17, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

President-elect Trump faces a barrage of opposition as he gets set to be inaugurated this Friday, January 20th.

Protests, boycotts, school walk-outs and possible impeachment will engulf the least-popular president-elect in American history as he takes the oath of office.

Over a half-dozen national networks are mobilizing to protest the inauguration, while on the day after, on the 21st, a massive women-led march in Washington DC promises to be the largest protest that the Capitol has witnessed in years.

Students are organizing school walk-outs across the country.

And a boycott of the inauguration by Congressional representatives has now reached 52 Democratic lawmakers who have pledged to forego the event.

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A Dozen-Plus Opportunities in San Diego to Protest Trump’s Inauguration

January 14, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

San Diego gets it. Lots of us are unhappy with the incoming administration.

There are community gatherings. There are rallies. There are protest marches. There are teach-ins. There are press conferences. There is art. There are even dance parties.

People from all walks of life find are finding ways to express their displeasure with the incoming administration. Check out the calendar below for events over the next ten days or so. Events related to the inauguration include the Trump/NOPE graphic.

Americans don’t think much of the President-elect’s transition performance, according to a Gallup poll released this week. It’s historically bad with 51% of those surveyed disapproving, as opposed to 12% (Obama/2009), 25% (Bush/2001) and Clinton (18%/1993).

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City Attorney Targets High-End Restaurants in Ocean Beach and Point Loma for Adding Surcharges

January 12, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

We’ve been following the developing story of how the new San Diego City Attorney, Mara Elliott, is targeting high-end restaurants for adding illegal surcharges to customers’ bills – or misrepresenting the additions – all due to the January 1st increase in the minimum wage within the city.

A number of these restaurants are located in the Ocean Beach and Point Loma communities, as they are part of larger chains. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that –

“restaurant industry officials … estimated that about 30 local operators are adding surcharges of about 3 percent to bills in response to the minimum wage hike. They include … the Brigantine chain [and] Cohn Restaurant Group….”

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Big Questions Loom for Local San Diego Labor in 2017

January 10, 2017 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

2017 awaits us fierce as a tiger with major assaults looming on multiple fronts. As I have written here quite recently, it is not an overstatement to say that we face existential threats . With so many things to worry about in the near future, what should labor and progressives be focusing on in anticipation of the coming storm?

Let me start by saying that our first order of business should definitely not be whether you are with or against the imperiled San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council President.

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Councilman Alvarez: “I am disgusted by the allegations” About Sexual Harassment by Labor Leader

January 9, 2017 by Brent Beltran

sexual harassmentRespected Latinas Step Forward with Shocking Claims Against UFCW President Mickey Kasparian

By Brent E. Beltran /San Diego Free Press

On December 17, 2016 NBC 7 San Diego broke the news that former UFCW Local 135 organizer Sandy Naranjo had filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against UFCW President Mickey Kasparian.

A few days later on December 21 NBC 7 San Diego came out with another story on Kasparian. This time it was regarding allegations of sexual harassment filed by former employee Isabel Vasquez. Vasquez’s complaint was full of lurid details.

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Why Don’t OB and San Diego Restaurants Add ‘Free Market’ Surcharges to Customer Bills?

January 5, 2017 by Anna Daniels

High-end Ocean Beach and San Diego Restaurants Poised to Add Surcharge for “government mandated” Costs to Business

By Anna Daniels

Over the past ten years consumers have absorbed higher costs at the check-out counter for all manner of goods. Remember when gasoline costs spiked and affected more than gas at the pump?

Everything from the potted plants at the local nursery to grocery items reflected an attendant price increase. Remember when the cost of coffee went up? What about the shortage of cheese and how that was reflected in higher consumer costs?

These consumer cost increases reflect everything from volatility in the commodity market to shortages caused by natural disasters to price fixing. We weren’t handed restaurant checks or grocery bills with a surcharge added for “free market” or “act of god” or “corporate greed.”

So why are some San Diego restaurants considering a surcharge on bills to cover the most recent “government mandated” wage hike which raises the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour?

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San Diego City Council, Day One: New Faces, Old Politics

December 14, 2016 by Doug Porter

san-diego-city-council-chambersBy Doug Porter

Love rescue me, come forth and speak to me,” lyrics from a Bob Dylan/U2 song, echoed across Horton Plaza as current and newly-elected city officials, including the mayor, city council and city attorney, streamed into the Balboa Theater on Monday, Dec. 12th.

The Voices of Our City Choir, most of whom are homeless, were there serving as a reminder of the inhumane practices that are the end result of years of neglect, greed, and incompetence in local government.

Speakers at the People’s Inaugural, representing the voices of the dispossessed and downtrodden, called out for Emergency Humanitarian Action, urging the Mayor to suspend the ticketing, arrest of, and stay away orders for unsheltered homeless San Diegans.

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San Diego Labor Opposes Dakota Access Pipeline

December 12, 2016 by Jim Miller

nodapl02 DAPLBy Jim Miller

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and the heroic struggle against it have ignited a big battle inside of American labor. Earlier this fall an excellent article in Common Dreams outlined the split over DAPL at the national level with key trades unions and AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka backing the pipeline and criticizing the protests while other large national unions were issuing statements supporting the Standing Rock resistance.

Here in California and elsewhere, Trumka’s letter in support of the pipeline received strong condemnation.

For instance, a response to it that I penned as chair of the California Federation of Teachers Climate Justice Task Force challenges the AFL-CIO leader in the strongest possible terms:

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Will the Trump Presidency be an Extinction Level Event for Labor? We Better Hope Not

December 5, 2016 by Jim Miller

Unions vs Trump Presidency

By Jim Miller

Last week in the bluntly titled “Trump Presidency Could Kill Labor Unions,” distinguished journalist Harold Meyerson ponders the possibility that the 2016 Presidential election was “an extinction-level event for American labor.”

Noting the sad fact that a high percentage of union households (about 43 percent nationally) went for Trump, Meyerson wastes no time in outlining what the costs will be for working class folks in America:

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Justice Can’t Wait – Rally and March Downtown San Diego – Tues. Nov. 29th

November 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

justice-cant-wait-2-edjustice-cant-wait-1

The Nov.29th Justice Can’t Wait rally and march in downtown San Diego is on for Tuesday, November 29th, from 5 pm to 7:30pm.

From one of several facebook pages on the event, we find:

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From Mission to Microchip: An Interview with California Labor Historian Fred Glass. Part 3

November 28, 2016 by Jim Miller

California LaborBy Jim Miller

It seems like a million years ago now, but back in my Labor Day column, I gave a shout out to Fred Glass’s seminal new labor history of California, From Mission to Microchip: A History of the California Labor Movement. As Glass notes in his introduction, his history of working people in the Golden State is much broader than a narrow chronicle of unions:

California labor history doesn’t begin and end with union membership. Forming and maintaining unions is one part of a broader story, …

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San Diego 2016 Progressive Voter Guide

November 7, 2016 by Staff

go_vote

The editors of the OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press are pleased to present our 2016 General Election Progressive Voter Guide.

We believe this is a historic election, one that will set the course of the United States for decades to come. If there ever was an election where voting was important — this is it.

The candidacy of Donald Trump is no accident. It is a consequence of decades of building a constituency for a market-driven political economy by capitalizing on fear, bias, and ignorance.

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From Mission to Microchip: An Interview with California Labor Historian Fred Glass. Part 2

October 3, 2016 by Jim Miller

California Labor

Here’s Part 1

By Jim Miller

In my Labor Day column , I gave a shout out to Fred Glass’s seminal new labor history of California, From Mission to Microchip: A History of the California Labor Movement. As Glass notes in his introduction, his history of working people in the Golden State is much broader than a narrow chronicle of unions:

To learn more about this story and what about it is most important, I am pleased to present the second installment of my three-part interview with Fred Glass, author, teacher, union member, and long-time Communications Director for the California Federation of Teachers.

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The Debate Over San Diego’s Measure A

September 27, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for The Debate Over San Diego’s Measure A

Editor: Yesterday, we posted an unequivocal statement by our regular columnist Jim Miller, who along with Nicole Capretz, and Nick Segura, advocate progressives should not vote for Measure A. Today, we publish South OB Girl’s report of a debate on A at last Sunday’s Point Loma – OB Democratic Club event.

Gretchen Newsom and Anthony Montalvo discuss Measure A … and the Democrats (and Republicans) aren’t so sure about it

By South OB Girl

Let’s take a look at Measure A. Measure A proposes a plan for transportation infrastructure changes in our city.

The Republican Party of San Diego County and the San Diego County Democratic Party both agree on one thing – vote No on Measure A this November. BOTH parties are opposed to Measure A. Labor is divided and City Councilmember endorsement is also divided.

A presentation of both sides — “Yes on A” and “No on A” — occurred on Sunday Aug 25th, at the Point Loma-OB Democratic Club’s monthly meeting.

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Debate Over Measure A at Point Loma – OB Dems – Sunday, Sept 25th

September 22, 2016 by Staff

pl-ob-dems-debate-a-gretchen

Opponent Gretchen Newsom Squares Off with Anthony Montalvo

From Point Loma – OB Dems

There’s a Measure on the ballot this November that could determine how we’ll get around San Diego County for the next 40 years. Transportation affects the quality of lives – how we get to work, how we get to the beach. It shapes the growth of our cities, and the health of children and seniors.

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Does SANDAG’s ‘Measure A’ amount to Bold Action on Climate Change?

September 20, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Does SANDAG’s ‘Measure A’ amount to Bold Action on Climate Change?

By Doug Porter

Of all the local measures on the ballot, none has split local Democrats, labor, and environmental groups more than Measure A.

It proposes to fund transportation and open space projects throughout San Diego County over the next 40 years via a half-cent sales tax increase. Questions about its environmental and social consequences have been raised.

The plan, crafted by the staff of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), will raise $18 billion over its lifetime, with $4.3 billion doled out to local communities for upgrades and repairs.

Just about everybody agrees that work on local and regional infrastructure needs to continue. It’s how we get there that’s causing disagreement.

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From Mission to Microchip: An Interview with California Labor Historian Fred Glass – Part 1

September 19, 2016 by Jim Miller

mission-to-microchip-cover CaliforniaBy Jim Miller

In my Labor Day column , I gave a shout out to Fred Glass’s seminal new labor history of California, From Mission to Microchip: A History of the California Labor Movement. As Glass notes in his introduction, his history of working people in the Golden State is much broader than a narrow chronicle of unions.

To learn more about this story and what about it is most important, I am pleased to present the first installment of my three-part interview with Fred Glass, author, teacher, union member, and long-time Communications Director for the California Federation of Teachers.

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News and Notices from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-September 2016

September 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for News and Notices from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-September 2016

OBcean Partners with National Geographic to Get Plastic Out of the Oceans

OB Home Broken Into and Robbed During Fumigation

Belching Beaver Opens

Azucar’s Owner Gets a Plug at San Diego Mag

R-Rated Puppet Show at OB Playhouse

Jensen’s in Point Loma: Hiring Fair and Block Party

Gretchen Newsom in the News and It Wasn’t About OB

AND MUCH MORE … COME INSIDE FOR THE STORIES ABOUT OB AND PT LOMA

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With No Contest in 4 San Diego Council Races, District 9 Matters

September 14, 2016 by Doug Porter

council

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

What was supposed to be an epic, high-dollar struggle for the partisan upper hand on the San Diego City Council never came to pass. Odd-numbered districts elect representatives in 2016, and Republicans were hoping to gain a majority on the theoretically non-partisan body.

Of the five City Council districts having primary contests in June, only one will have a meaningful contest for the general election. In three (3,5,& 7) of those districts, there won’t even be a choice on the November ballot.

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California Governor Signs Farmworker Overtime-Pay Bill

September 13, 2016 by Source

farmworker-handsBy Melody Gutierrez / SFGate / September 12, 2016

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that will give farmworkers in California overtime after an eight-hour day, a move advocates say will right a decades-old injustice.

The bill, AB1066 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, will give the people who work in California’s farm fields the same overtime rights that other workers were granted under federal law during the Great Depression. Gonzalez called it a “historic day” that was long overdue. “These workers are doing backbreaking work so that we can eat,” Gonzalez said. “The fact is, they are not treated fairly under the law and that’s wrong. This is a 78-year-old wrong, and there is nothing better than fixing that.”

The agriculture industry, business groups and Republican lawmakers said the bill will hurt farmers …

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Happy Labor Day, California Style

September 5, 2016 by Jim Miller

Labor Day Cardiff Kook

By Jim Miller

Last year my Labor Day column, “Happy Labor Day?: The Jury is Out,” began by starkly pondering the potentially devastating effects a bad Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association ruling at the Supreme Court might have had not just on public sector unions but on the labor movement as a whole.

Later, in the same column, I looked more hopefully at the potential for organizing contingent workers, like those involved in the Fight for $15 movement.

The twelve months that followed that column brought good news for labor on multiple fronts. First, with the long, strange journey of the Friedrichs case that came to the Supreme Court with a good chance of passing before everything was turned upside down by Justice Scalia’s death, a 4-4 split decision that was a victory for unions, and finally the Court’s refusal to rehear the case.

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Will Governor Brown Do the Right Thing for Farmworkers?

September 2, 2016 by Doug Porter

Via WineWaterWatch.org

By Doug Porter

After two years and more than five thousand proposed laws, resolutions, and constitutional amendments, the current version of the California Legislature wrapped up its session in frenzied fashion.

Wednesday, August 31st saw more than one hundred bills up for consideration. Now it’s up to the Governor to say yea or nay on legislation affecting all aspects of life in California.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-80), who successfully shepherded 19 of 20 bills through the legislature this year, is leaving nothing up to chance with her hard-fought victory on AB 1066, gradually phasing in standards for farmerworker overtime.

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The Plight of Adjunct Teachers

August 16, 2016 by Source

adjunct facultyBy Mimi Pollack / San Diego Free Press

Here in California, adjunct teachers are like the comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, in the community college world. They get some respect, but not a lot, despite being the backbone of the system.

More classes are taught by part-time teachers than full-time teachers. The ratio has been as high as 70% part-time teachers to 30% full-time teachers.

Part-time teachers are paid by the hour; whereas, full-time teachers receive a salary and if one calculates the hourly rate, it is higher. The various districts do this because it saves them money.

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On Love and Meritocracy – Part 2

July 28, 2016 by John Lawrence

There is No PhD in Love. Instead, there’s a ‘filtering out’ system

Love in San DiegoHere’s Part 1.

The educational system promotes “progress” in western terms that produces gadgets and labor saving devices while employing smaller and smaller numbers of highly educated people to do so.

Those people who have a high capacity to love or care for others are devalued as lesser human beings if they do not have high IQs and advanced degrees from prestigious institutions. They aren’t promoted in terms of the educational system.

There is no PhD in love.

The meritocracy is seen as deserving of billions of dollars. Highly educated professionals attain the highest reaches of government from which they declaim on the virtues of people like themselves.

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Immigration Tips And Terms From A To Z

July 19, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Immigration Tips And Terms From A To Z

Editor: With all the talk about immigration by politicians these days, it’s difficult to tell whether they know what they’re talking about. Here, immigration lawyer Carlos Batara lays it all out, A to Z with tips and terms.

By Carlos Batara

1. Immigration Tips And Terms A To Z is the knowledge gained after decades of practice here in San Diego and Riverside Counties.

2. Asylum is the protection granted by a nation to an immigrant who has left their native country as a refugee. To qualify for asylum, individuals must prove they have a legitimate fear of persecution in their home country based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

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Reflections on What July 4th Means to the Working Class – 2016 Summer Chronicles 3

July 5, 2016 by Jim Miller

class

By Jim Miller

As the Fourth of July is the day when we celebrate the Declaration of Independence, it’s important to remember Jefferson himself believed that each new generation needed to make the American creed their own.

And everyone from slaves to women to working people did just that as we see in Frederick Douglass’s great speech “What to the Slave is the 4th of July?”, the early feminist manifesto “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, Seneca Falls,” and the much lesser known “Working Men’s Declaration of Independence.”

This last is centrally important to remember because while Americans are largely aware that the battle for inclusion involved long and heroic abolition, civil rights, and women’s movements, struggles around issues of class have all-too-frequently been relinquished to the dustbin of history.

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Bernie Sanders: “Here’s What We Want”

June 24, 2016 by Source

Bernie Sanders wp shot

By Bernie Sanders / Washington Post – RSN / June 24, 2016

As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, “What does Bernie want?” Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want.

And the answer is: They want real change in this country, they want it now and they are prepared to take on the political cowardice and powerful special interests which have prevented that change from happening.

They understand that the United States is the richest country in the history of the world, and that new technology and innovation make us wealthier every day. What they don’t understand is why the middle class continues to decline, 47 million of us live in poverty and many Americans are forced to work two or three jobs just to cobble together the income they need to survive.

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OB People’s Organic Food Market – Worker-Owned Co-op – in the Gig Economy

June 21, 2016 by John Lawrence
Thumbnail image for OB People’s Organic Food Market – Worker-Owned Co-op – in the Gig Economy

The Gig Economy: Okay If the Profits Went to the Giggers

By John Lawrence

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of working a job here and a job there according to the worker’s convenience and other activities.

The problem is that the profits go to some centralized corporation rather than being spread out among all the giggers in proportion to their participation in the system.

gig economy

If Uber or Lyft were a co-op, the profits would go to all the worker/owners instead of a handful of investors.
Then the gig economy would offer not only a technique for working at one’s convenience and fitting into one’s schedule whether that schedule might be educational or child care or surfing or whatever.

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A Bad Climate? The State of Social Justice Efforts in the Labor and Environmental Movements

June 13, 2016 by Jim Miller

no bakkenBy Jim Miller

Among the stories that you may have missed during the stretch run of the primary season was some significantly bad news out of labor on the national front.

Several large unions in the building trades came out against a plan by some of the biggest public sector unions to join forces with environmentalist Tom Steyer in order to fund a major anti-Trump get out the vote operation in the fall. The New York Times noted that:

Two of the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituencies, labor and environmentalists, are clashing over an effort to raise tens of millions of dollars for an ambitious voter turnout operation aimed at defeating Donald J. Trump in the November election.

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2016 Primary Election Results and Analysis for San Diego

June 9, 2016 by Doug Porter

Election Returns

Editor: The following election results and analysis were put together by Doug Porter on Wednesday, June 8th, for his column at San Diego Free Press – and all vote tallies are as of yesterday’s numbers.

By Doug Porter

It ain’t over ‘till it’s over. But it’s mostly over in San Diego. Most of the ballots for the June 2016 primary election have been tallied. The remaining 285,000 ballots uncounted as of Wednesday morning are provisional and late arriving mail-in ballots. A few close races may change, but if history is any guide, what you see in the way of results the day after the election is what you get.

A multi-year campaign for an increase in the local minimum wage came to a close as voters overwhelmingly approved City Proposition I. For me personally, and for tens of thousands of San Diego workers, the last item on the ballot was the most important one.

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