Ed Pilkington, chief reporter for The Guardian in the U.S., speaks with Amy Goodman and Juan González of Democracy Now! about his recent exclusive report on the $80 million dollar effort led by the State Policy Network to undermine unions. The upcoming Supreme Court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case will have a major impact on this effort. [Read more…]
By Peter Zschiesche
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the “Janus Case” and determine the legality of state laws that allow public employee union contracts to require all covered employees to pay at least a “fair share” fee to cover the union’s cost of negotiating and enforcing their agreement. There are 23 states that have such laws and California is one of them.
In 1977 the Supreme Court decided unanimously that yes, states could do that. But just a few years ago several of the current conservative Supreme Court Justices let it be known that they would be willing to revisit that 1977 decision. So the Janus case worked its way up the legal system. Now the Supreme Court has heard the Janus case and will announce their decision in the coming months. [Read more…]
By Tyson Siegele, SanDiego350
California will soon decide whether to combine its electric grid management with western states dependent on coal mining and coal based electricity. This massive change has been proposed in the form of Assembly Bill 813 and before that in Assembly Bill 726. If passed, either of those bills would provide an avenue for coal-fired electricity to gain access to the California market. This would make the transition to renewable energy even harder.
Unifying California’s grid operations with other western states would be a huge risk. Thankfully better options are available.
Updated 5/21/18 [Read more…]
From the Inequality Media website: Robert Reich takes a take an in-depth look at antitrust laws in the United States and explains how corporate giants have come to dominate the American economy and politics. [Read more…]
Good reporting on organized labor is hard to come by these days. The mainstream media all-too-often seems bound by the ‘everybody knows’ perspective about unions being an anachronism, interested only in getting higher wages on the next contract.
Coverage of this week’s limited strike throughout the UC system is no exception. I’ve noticed the focus on medical facilities in reporting, with an emphasis on questions concerning patient care, with the back and forth about demands for higher pay framing almost every story I’ve read.
There is a much bigger story here to be told; this work stoppage is reflective of growing realization about social and economic injustice going beyond the confines of the workplace. I’m going to do my best to cut through the haze and go beyond the bread and butter demands. [Read more…]
Electoral contests in San Diego County government are coming into the final stretch. Mail-in voting is just a month away. A politics column and editorial board interviews at the Union-Tribune, along with the release of depositions from the now-settled lawsuits against labor leader Mickey Kasparian, have all contributed knowledge to what I’ll share today.
First up: a column by Michael Smolens on the race for District Attorney. He describes the contest as insider/reformer (Summer Stephan) versus outsider/advocate (Geneviéve Jones-Wright.
Smollens accurately describes Jone-Wright’s candidacy as the local manifestation of a national movement seeking to address the race and class bias of U.S. criminal justice system and notes the differences in style between the candidates. [Read more…]
On December 9, 2016 Sandy Naranjo was unjustly fired by UFCW Local 135 President Mickey Kasparian and subsequently filed a lawsuit. That firing and lawsuit lead to a chain of events that will soon culminate in the end of Kasparian’s Machiavellian grasp on San Diego’s progressive body politic.
Kasparian settled five civil cases against him. Yet, after all of this, there are still many within the local Democratic Party and a dwindling few within labor that still support him.
Below you will find all of the depositions, in chronological order, that have been made public. Including ones from Kasparian himself, Richard Barrera, Lori Kern, Sarah Saez, and Melody Godinez. Read them for yourself and judge whether or not Kasparian is a detriment to women, labor, and progressive politics in San Diego. [Read more…]
By Rosy Miner, Isaura Garcia, Odett McAdams, and Debbie Principe
We are former employees who worked under Mickey Kasparian, President of UFCW Local 135. For more than a year, we have stood with our sisters: Sandy Naranjo, Isabel Vasquez, Anabel Arauz, and more recently Melody Godinez, who all filed lawsuits with serious claims involving our former boss.
We have firsthand knowledge of what it is like to work for Kasparian, and we have volunteered for several Democratic candidates over the years.
Our Party has failed us in its handling of – or refusal to handle – him. [Read more…]
The race for District 4 County Supervisor is heating up. And not necessarily in a good way.
Four Democratic candidates are seeking the seat: attorney Omar Passons, former Deputy Fire Chief Ken Malbrough, along with former Assemblypersons Lori Saldaña and Nathan Fletcher. Former DA Bonnie Dumanis is the sole Republican on the June 5 primary ballot.
Saldaña and Fletcher are the ones making the news this week, with stories in the Union-Tribune and the Times of San Diego. You’d need a scorecard to keep track of the charges and counter-charges between two camps. While I’m not going to detail every move and countermove, I will give readers a taste of what’s been happening.
In a nutshell, last week candidate Lori Saldaña was endorsed by a breakaway labor group scorned by many progressive activists. This news has triggered a war of words. [Read more…]
Industrial Workers Of The World (IWW) Returns To San Diego
The Industrial Workers of the World has (re)chartered a San Diego General Membership Branch. The IWW is a union for all workers, regardless of employment, status, race, or orientation, since 1905. From 1907 San Diego-Tijuana IWW members have been instrumental in the Mexican Revolution, the San Diego Free Speech Fight, and organizing in our region.
By IWW / new indicator
For the first time in several decades, the IWW, also known as “the Wobblies”, is organizing workers again in San Diego. The IWW’s General Executive Board has issued a new charter for a San Diego General Membership Branch (GMB). A “branch” is the IWW term for a union local.
“We are an international union with autonomous locals, independent of all political parties, with a bottom-up structure, by and for workers” says the new Branch Secretary, Preston Chipps. He continued, “The IWW was founded in 1905 and the first union in this country to welcome women and all races.” Chipps is an old hand in the labor movement in San Diego and is the retired chair of the San Diego State University (SDSU) Labor Council, the coalition of campus unions. [Read more…]
In the early days of the Trump administration, most savvy observers were quick to note that, populist bluster aside, Trump’s policies would be a disaster for America’s already historic level of economic inequality. As economist Charles Ballard wrote in The Hill, “the main thrust of policy proposals from President Trump is to maintain, and even accelerate, the anti-egalitarian policies of recent decades.”
A year later, it’s now abundantly clear that the anti-egalitarian nature of this administration has only poured gasoline on the fire. Thus, as Alex Henderson noted in an Alternet piece last week, “The reality is the United States is now home to some of the worst income inequality in the developed world, and thanks to the recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, this wealth gap will grow exponentially wider.”
Indeed, as Henderson outlines, the gap between Trump’s bogus populist rhetoric and this governing policy is breathtaking [Read more…]
So what’s up with the U.S. Supreme Court Janus v. AFSCME, a.k.a. Right-to-work (for less), case? NewsBroke’s Francesca Fiorentini provides some history, context and speculation on outcomes in her irreverent, witty and acerbic style. [Read more…]