By Doug Porter
On the eve of an assembly committee hearing, the California Fair Paycheck Coalition and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) have released a new video showing the link between human trafficking and wage theft.
The state Senate has already passed SB 588, authored by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, enhancing the ability of the state labor commissioner to fight wage theft and help workers collect stolen pay.
Currently only 17% of workers receiving judgements for stolen wages are able to collect payment. Research indicates low-wage workers lose, on average, 12.5% of their annual income to wage theft.
A recent survey by the Center for Policy Initiatives and SDSU’s Department of Sociology found persuasive evidence of widespread wage theft, labor law violations and widespread discrimination in restaurants throughout San Diego.
That study found more than three-quarters of restaurant employees surveyed said they’d been victims of wage theft by their employers during the past year, with a third saying it happens regularly.
An investigation by NBC7News found that, since 2010, hundreds of San Diego companies have failed to pay at least $800,000 in wages, overtime and meal breaks to employees
In over 60% of the cases where workers attempt collect back pay after winning in court, employers simply close their doors and become “non-active”, or defunct, to avoid payment.
The video documents the testimony of three workers brought to the United States on false pretenses, being forced to work seven days a week without pay, mistreated and ultimately escaping with the help of good Samaritans.
After finding jobs in the “legitimate” economy, they were victimized again—this time by by employers who refused to pay them for all of the hours they worked. Just like those who engage in human trafficking, employers who commit wage theft target those who they will believe will be most vulnerable: immigrants, women and people of color.
“Silence is bliss for traffickers and abusers,” said one worker, Flor. She described being locked in a factory, escaping, then going to work for an employer who disappeared before payday. “They know how to manipulate the system,” she said.
The bill is being heard by the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee.
Speaker Toni Atkins, along with Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez will participate in an upcoming forum on wage theft, its effect on San Diego, and efforts to strengthen statewide laws specifically SB 588, the anti-wage theft bill.
Organized by the Center on Policy Initiatives, the event at Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral (2728 Sixth Ave, San Diego) is slated for Saturday August 29th, starting at 10am. While there is no charge to attend, reservations for tickets are being accepted.
Pass the Lemonade…
According to preliminary data from NASA along with information from the Japan Meteorological Administration, July 2015 was the warmest month on record since instrument temperature records began in the late 1800s.
Research using other data, such as tree rings, ice cores and coral formations in the ocean, have shown that the Earth is now the warmest it has been since at least 4,000 years ago.
Don’t Get Sick. Don’t Be Poor.
Wisconsin Gov. and presidential candidate Scott Walker has released his replacement plan for Obamacare.
From the Union-Tribune:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker rebuked both Obamacare and the Republicans who have failed to repeal it in a speech Tuesday that was intended to recharge his campaign and attract some of the anti-establishment wave that has helped Donald Trump overshadow him and other rivals.
Walker’s proposal to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s health law hews to general conservative ideas for expanding health coverage with block grants to states and a simplified system of government aid to Americans to buy insurance.
But the plan is missing many key details, including specifics on how he would pay for it.
Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik’s take on the Walker plan can be summed up with its headline: Walker’s healthcare plan is perfect, if you want almost no insurance at all.
One of the extra special features of Walker’s plan is its generous tax credits to the not-poor. Oh, and it replaces Medicare with a voucher system.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who’s also running for president, accused Walker of proposing “Obamacare Lite.” And so the GOP health care Wars have begun, according to NewsMax.
Donald Trump is a Meanie
Assemblymember Rocky Chavez, who’s running for US Senate in 2016, has notified the world that he doesn’t agree with GOP front runner Donald Trump on immigration.
From the Times of San Diego:
Donald Trump’s comments on immigrants are mean-spirited — “and not characteristic of the Republican Party or our nation,” said Chávez, who represents the 76th Assembly District including Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside and Vista.
“California is a world leader in many categories, and it is crucial that we solidify our state as a leader in comprehensive immigration reform; it is clear to me that the ideologies of Mr. Trump will set our nation and our state back many years and damage our society for many years to come,” Chávez said in a statement Monday.
The Donald’s plan to ship ‘em all back will cost taxpayers $166 billion, according to an analysis in Politico.
The $166 billion price tag from POLITICO’s analysis tallied up the actual price tag for Trump’s plan. But those costs don’t even begin to calculate the hit to the economy Trump’s proposal would cause, pro-immigration experts say.
Trump’s proposal includes a wealth of ideas meant to restrict the flow of legal immigrants into the United States — such as a “pause” before new green cards are issued to workers and “control” of the number of low-skilled employees admitted to the country. That may get applause among many conservatives, but experts have long said reducing immigration would diminish the labor pool and ultimately hurt the economy.
… we had a gossip columnist in San Diego.
Then you would have a place to read about the local one percenter who’s hired a surrogate to carry a child for his second wife.
The surrogate is one this guy’s two personal assistants, which, when you think about it, is a great skill to be able to add to your resume.
He will be naming his daughter &***, which is already the name of his youngest daughter from a former marriage.
The word is &***1 is not too thrilled – about the name and about the fact that she’ll be having her own daughter at the same time her sister is born.
But we don’t have a gossip column.
On This Day: 1848 – The discovery of gold in California was reported by the New York Herald. 1909 – First edition of IWW Little Red Song Book published. 1964 – The first American tour by the Beatles began in San Francisco. The tour would cover 26 cities.
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