César E. Chávez (1927-1993)

March 31, 2023 by Source

Originally posted March 31, 2009

César Chávez is one of the greatest labor leaders and human rights activists in the United States history and the world. He fought for a better life for migrant farm workers, and founded the first successful farm workers’ union. César was the president of the United Farm Workers, AFL-CIO.

César Estrada Chávez was able to accomplish his goals through the philosophy of non-violence that he inherited and followed from leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King.

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‘If You Can Read This, Thank a Teacher’ – L.A. School District Teachers’ and Workers’ Strike Is On

March 22, 2023 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

More than 1,000 campuses were closed Tuesday and Wednesday, affecting about 420,000 students in the nation’s second largest school district, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

Tuesday at 4:30 a.m., more than 60,000 LAUSD workers and teachers began walking picket lines in the rain.

To which I respond, good for them.  It is long overdue.

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Jury Sides With Former News Anchor Sandra Maas on Gender Equity Pay Over KUSI

March 14, 2023 by Source

By CBS8 Staff / March 9, 2023

It took less than two days for the jury to come to a decision in the civil trial of former news anchor Sandra Maas against KUSI.

The jury was split on the claims but did award Sandra Maas more than $1.5 million for the difference in pay attributed to gender, past and future lost wages, and past and future emotional distress.

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How One Man Made Starbucks the Poster Child for Corporate Abuse

February 28, 2023 by Source

By Sonali Kolhatkar / Nation of Change / February 27, 2023

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, in a recent interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow, proudly showed off his newest invention: a tablespoon of olive oil added to a cup of coffee to bring out rich, complex flavors. The conversation took place in Italy and was meant to showcase Schultz’s commitment to the innovation and quality of Starbucks coffee as he gets ready to step down as CEO of the company for the third time.

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KUSI Tries to Bar Press and Public from Parts of Former Anchor Sandra Maas Equal-Pay Trial

February 3, 2023 by Source

By Ken Stone / Times of San Diego / February 2, 2023

In a rare move, lawyers for KUSI-TV are asking a Superior Court judge to prohibit news media and the public from attending “portions” of former anchor Sandra Maas’ pay-equity trial starting Friday. Last Friday, McKinnon Broadcasting Co., the Kearny Mesa station’s operator, asked Judge Ronald Frazier to close parts of the civil trial

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San Diego County Considers Minimum Wage for Traffic Control Workers

January 26, 2023 by Source

From 10News

The county Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Wednesday to advance a proposed minimum wage for traffic control workers on privately funded projects on county roads.

Wednesday’s vote, with Supervisors Joel Anderson and Jim Desmond opposed, was technically the first reading of the ordinance. Supervisors will consider the issue again on Feb. 8 for possible final approval.

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The Right to Strike Is on Trial at the US Supreme Court

January 23, 2023 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / January 2023

The right to strike is on trial in the Supreme Court. At stake is a 64-year-old precedent that shields workers and unions from state lawsuits while they pursue unfair labor practice claims in the federal National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). If unions have to defend against costly lawsuits, it will likely discourage them from going on strike.

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Teachers Union at High Tech High Reaches Tentative Agreement With School

January 19, 2023 by Source

The Voice of San Diego reports today that “after a year of bargaining, High Tech High’s new teachers union has reached a tentative agreement on a contract with the school’s leadership. The breakthrough comes after the charter network’s board of trustees declared an impasse a few months ago.”

Back in November 2022 there was an impasse with the board. But there has been progress, as VOSD reports:

The two outstanding issues on the table were who would make a final decision if a teacher appealed a firing, and how long of a probationary period new educators would need to complete before becoming established teachers.

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High Tech High’s Union Reaches Impasse With Board of Trustees

November 30, 2022 by Source

At a High Tech High Board of Trustees meeting in mid-November in Point Loma, the union that represents the school’s union and school management reached agreement on most points, including pay and health benefits, but deadlocked on the final points, according to Voice of San Diego.

It was the first board meeting since 89 percent of the union’s members approved a resolution of no confidence in the board as negotiations stalled. The union “no longer has confidence in the High Tech High Board of Trustees’ ability to lead our schools

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University of California Strike Enters 3rd Week — Some Tentative Agreements Reached

November 30, 2022 by Source

By Amy Graff / SFGATE / Nov. 29, 2022

After a grueling 15-day labor walkout by 48,000 academic workers at the University of California, two of the four groups striking announced Tuesday that they reached a tentative agreement that includes wage increases, officials said.

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Thousands of Researchers and Student Workers Out on Strike at All University of Calif Campuses

November 14, 2022 by Source

Edited From KPBS

Thousands of researchers and student employees at the 10 University of California campuses have gone on strike as of 8 a.m. this morning, Monday, Nov. 14, in an effort to secure improved pay and working conditions.

Contract talks affect 48,000 workers, including 17,000 student researchers, at the 10 schools in the UC system, including UC San Diego. They voted to authorize a strike in October. UC officials are in contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers regarding four separate academic bargaining units

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Teachers Unions Are Selfless

August 2, 2022 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / July 27, 2022

Dr. Keith Benson wrote the research paper “Teachers Teach and Do the World Good ….” In this scholarly piece published by Scientific Research, Keith, an inspirational young man and community leader, described the world wide neoliberal attack on public education highlighting the often dangerous stand teachers take to save public schools.

In the introduction, Benson writes, “To be sure, teachers have a rich and valuable history of standing up and pushing for the best interests of their societies, and it is my intent to discuss just some of that here.” (Benson 218)

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Tentative Agreement Reached Between Grocery Workers’ Union and Large Markets

April 5, 2022 by Source

From the United Food and Commercial Workers Union:

Tentative Agreement Reached between UFCW and Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions and Ralphs

A tentative agreement was reached by the bargaining committee representing seven UFCW Locals across southern California and Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions, and Ralphs.

Once our members have had an opportunity to review and vote, we will release more information on this historic and transformational deal. Nothing is final until our members decide.

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Union Grocery Workers Overwhelmingly Vote to Authorize Strikes at Ralphs, Albertsons, Pavilions and Vons

March 28, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

Over the weekend, unions representing grocery workers announced that their memberships had voted to authorize their Locals to strike against major grocery employers.

Members and their leadership of United Food and Commercial Workers are fed up with the tactics employed by Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions during the current contract bargaining process and are ready to strike against them if agreements are not made. The major employers’ tactics became so onerous that the seven union locals filed unfair labor practice complaints

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San Diego Labor Is Split Over Redevelopment Proposals for the Sport Arena Project

March 24, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego labor is divided over which proposed redevelopment for the Sports Arena – Midway area is best. Five developer teams have stepped forward and as we enter the elimination phase, endorsements from groups like unions and labor councils are extremely important.

Yet, only two teams have received laudatory praises from San Diego labor.

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Grocery Workers Voting This Week on Whether to Strike

March 21, 2022 by Source

Thousands of union grocery workers at Ralphs, Albertsons, and Vons, from Central California to San Diego, will be voting the week of March 21 on whether to authorize an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike against their employers.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135, along with sibling UFCW Locals in the bargaining unit, have filed multiple ULP charges with the National Labor Relations Board against these companies for violating the rights of members. These unfair labor practice charges range from trying to influence members by providing gifts and bonuses while negotiations are ongoing

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Union Grocery Workers to Rally for New Contract Monday, Feb.28 at Ralphs on Sports Arena Blvd

February 28, 2022 by Staff

Union grocery workers are rallying today for a new contract at Ralphs on Sports Arena Boulevard today, Feb. 28 at noon. The union contract for almost 9,000 San Diego workers expires on March 6 and the rally is to show the companies and public at large that these workers continue to be essential and that they deserve a new union contract that reflects the service and sacrifices that they have made.

The union that represents the workers is United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 135, and the contract that expires covered workers at Albertsons, Gelson’s, Ralphs, Stater Bros, and Vons in San Diego County. The union contracts covered approximately 60,000 workers in Southern California.

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Stand With San Diego Kaiser Healthcare Workers

October 14, 2021 by Source

By Todd Walters and Grant Tom / Times of San Diego

The essential frontline healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente deserve more from their company. These unionized workers have given their all during the pandemic to provide the best care possible to their patients. Yet Kaiser Permanente has taken an inflexible and shameful position towards their employees.

Over the last few months, labor organizations that are part of the Alliance of Health Care Unions have been negotiating new national and local agreements with Kaiser to no avail. UFCW Local 135 is part of the alliance, as well as United Nurses Association of California/Union of Health Care Professionals, United Steelworkers, and others.

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Cannabis Workers in Mission Valley Join Union

June 23, 2021 by Staff

Enough workers at the flagship Mission Valley location of cannabis retailer March and Ash signed authorization cards that now they are all part of a union. They joined the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 which has been organizing cannabis workers all over Southern California lately.

Brent E. Beltrán, Communications Director for Local 135, sent out the following statement:

SAN DIEGO – On the heels of last month’s announcement that employees at cannabis retailer March and Ash in Vista, City Heights, and Imperial chose to join United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 and voted on their first ever union contract, enough workers at the flagship Mission Valley location signed authorization cards to bring themselves into the bargaining unit.

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San Diego Cannabis Workers Vote to Ratify First Union Contract

May 14, 2021 by Source

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 135 just announced that they have successfully completed union bargaining agreements for workers at cannabis retail outlets owned by March and Ash.

Cannabis workers at March and Ash locations in San Diego and Imperial Counties voted on May 12, 2021 to ratify their first ever union contract. It’s also the very first cannabis industry union contract originating in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

The outlets are in the City Heights community of San Diego, the City of Vista, and the City of Imperial. The City Heights and City of Imperial locations offer recreational cannabis products, while the Vista location is medicinal only.

Union officials believe this contract will set “the gold standard in the unionized cannabis industry,”

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Good News on the Library Funding: The Municipal Employees Association Does Not Support Library Cuts

May 11, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Sometimes, I am happy to be wrong. And this is one of those times.

In my article, “Save the Libraries: Throw Books at the Mayor: Part II,” I implied that the Municipal Employees Association supported the Mayor’s cuts to the libraries.

Specifically, I asked:

“Is it the Municipal Employees Union that is blocking the Library funding? Surely, their membership includes families and friends who use the libraries. Or people who want jobs. Or just rational individuals who understand that depriving library users in every neighborhood free access to knowledge is just plain stupid.”

The MEA’s, General Manager, Mike Zucchet, was kind enough to respond and correct that impression.

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San Diego Creating Its Own Municipal Utility Opposed by All the Usual Suspects

April 29, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

It’s really no surprise that a study recently released by a business institute at Point Loma Nazarene has come out strongly opposed to the City of San Diego creating its own utility company, which would be then publicly-owned.

The study by Nazarene’s Fermanian Business & Economic Institute claims it would cost the city nearly $9 billion in taking over SDG&E’s assets – way too costly – and there would be no benefits to the process called “municipalization.” At a recent press conference, Nazarene chief economist Lynn Reaser and primary author of the study, stood outside a SDG&E substation. Reaser was joined by all the usual suspects:

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Blue-Collar Frontline Heroes Are Being Neglected in Vaccine Rollout

February 16, 2021 by Source

By Colleen E. Putzel / Times of San Diego / Feb. 16, 2021

Like most tragedies, the onset of the pandemic produced a call for unity with sentiments ensuring “we’re all in this together.”

Every outlet, from the daily news to hand-made window signs, offered appreciation for those on the front line: health care workers, grocery store clerks, public transportation workers, and truck drivers. My father, a truck driver, and my mother, a seamstress, suddenly became heroes.

My father goes to work every day delivering construction materials and my mother paused her Etsy sales to make masks for her local hospital. I feared, especially early on, that my father’s company would begin laying off workers. As that threat seemed less imminent, it was replaced by the fear that he would be exposed to the virus.

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Labor Day in the Midst of a National Crisis: Dreaming of a Just Recovery

September 7, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

This weekend we celebrate Labor Day, but how many of us have any idea where the holiday came from or what it celebrates?

The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5th, 1882 in New York City and was proposed by the Central Labor Union (CLU) at a time when American workers were struggling for basic rights such as the eight-hour day. The CLU moved the “workingman’s holiday” to the first Monday in September in 1883 and urged other unions to celebrate the date as well. The movement grew throughout the 1880s, along with the American labor movement itself with 23 states passing legislation recognizing Labor Day as a holiday. By 1894 Congress followed suit and Labor Day became a national holiday.

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Michael Zucchet: ‘Troubled Ash Street Building Is the Taj Mahal of City-Owned Buildings’

August 18, 2020 by Source

Editordude: Michael Zucchet – a resident of Point Loma – who used to represent Ocean Beach and most of Point Loma in District 2 on the San Diego City Council, and who now is the general manager of the San Diego Municipal Employees Association, has stepped into the debate about the troubled City-owned building at 101 Ash Street, and has made a startling claim. He says compared to the work offices and buildings his union members work in, 101 Ash Street is the “Taj Mahal” of the city’s buildings. Here is his Op-Ed piece from today’s U-T.

By Michael Zucchet / San Diego Union-Tribune / Aug. 17, 2020

These days the most famous address of a city building is 101 Ash Street. Based on all the publicity, you might think it is the crummiest building the city owns or leases — riddled with asbestos and saddled with plumbing, electrical and air systems that are past their useful life. In fact, 101 Ash is the nicest, most modern, functional office space the city controls.

That’s right. Warts and all, 101 Ash is the Taj Mahal compared with the current work environs of city workers.

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What Should Post COVID-19 Crisis America Look Like?

August 10, 2020 by Jim Miller

The American Federation of Teachers Lays Out a Bold Vision of a Just Recovery as San Diego Green New Deal Alliance Launches

By Jim Miller

This summer I was proud to see that my national union, the American Federation of Teachers, was thinking big at its biennial convention in late July. Clearly, the activist spirit sweeping the country was in the (virtual) air.

Building on some of the work my brothers and sisters and I did here in San Diego along with others in our statewide union, the national AFT followed the lead of California and passed both a resolution endorsing the Green New Deal and a wide ranging call to move beyond the necessary but narrow bread and butter response we have seen from the national and local AFL-CIO to thinking comprehensively about how we should pivot and seize the opportunity that this crisis presents to build a better future.

The resolution in support of a Green New Deal calls on the 1.7 million members of the AFT

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May 1st – A Day to Remember the Folks Who Brought You the 8-Hour Day

May 1, 2020 by Jim Miller

Originally posted April 29, 2019

By Jim Miller

The majority of Americans don’t know much about May Day or they simply associate it with the state sponsored holiday in the former Soviet Union. For the most part, it’s lost down the memory hole. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll discover a whole forgotten history of American workers and their struggle for basic dignity and rights in the workplace and in society.

The truth of the matter is that May Day has deep American roots. It started in 1866 as part of the movement pushing for the 8-hour day.

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Medical Staff Protest Layoffs of Nurses by Palomar Hospital in the Middle of the Pandemic

April 13, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Monday morning, April 13, nurses and other medical staff staged a work action to protest the layoffs of nurses by Palomar Medical Center.

At least 83 registered nurses and 63 health care workers were given temporary layoffs by the Palomar Health management. This seems like such an outrageous act by Palomar in the middle of this public health crisis.

The action was sponsored by Palomar Health registered nurses and health care workers and members of California Nurses Association and Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union. The protest was at Palomar Medical Center in Poway, at 15615 Pomerado Road.

The protesting medical workers also spoke of the lack of PPE and other protections for frontline health care workers.

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Amazon’s Poor Treatment of Workers Is Catching Up to It During the Coronavirus Crisis

April 1, 2020 by Source

A big surge in orders isn’t the only reason Amazon is struggling to keep up

By Casey Newton / The Verge / April 1, 2020

It’s been clear for weeks that Amazon faces an unprecedented challenge in coping with the fallout from COVID-19. With tens of millions of Americans now dependent on online delivery for their food, medicine, and other essential items, the nation’s No. 1 e-commerce company is buckling under increased demand.

And as fulfillment center employees are diagnosed with the virus across the country, Amazon’s already-restive workforce has escalated its efforts to win better pay and safer working conditions. Among other things, employees at affected locations have simply walked off the job.

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San Diego Union Calls for Action in Support of Grocery, Pharmacy and Other Healthcare and Retail Workers

March 27, 2020 by Source

UFCW Local 135 demands that their essential members be designated as emergency frontline personnel in the state of California

Working long hours and exposed to large volumes of customers and patients, essential retail store workers, and pharmacy and other healthcare professionals are unsung heroes on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, leadership from the state, county, and cities in San Diego, must do everything in their power to support and protect them.

UFCW Local 135 calls on the state of California to designate their essential members as emergency frontline personnel. This must include, at a minimum:

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