I’ve been reviewing various reports about the proposed ballot measure and special election that seeks to increase the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT). Proponents tell us this is needed to fund a Convention Center expansion, pave our streets, and provide shelter for homeless people- wow! [Read more…]
In a not-so-improbable dystopian future, forces loyal to fearless leader Donald Trump will have rounded up local labor leaders, only to be surprised to learn of a faction demanding a separate firing squad…
A breakaway group –the San Diego Working Families Council– led by deposed Labor Council President Mickey Kasparian includes seven local branches of some big-name unions.
Today, the San Diego Free Press offers up three perspectives of what this split means for local activists. [Read more…]
…there is no great philosophical debate over principle at stake here in San Diego. In fact, principle or coherent strategic thinking has nothing to do with the current state of affairs at all.
By Jim Miller
In one of my first columns of the year, I made a plea that San Diego labor should not allow itself to be distracted by the trials and tribulations of Labor Council President Mickey Kasparian.
With everything from a looming anti-labor shift on the Supreme Court and at the National Labor Relations Board, to “right to work” legislation in Congress along with a host of other perils, I argued that the Trump era simply holds too many dangers for labor to get bogged down in the petty drama surrounding one leader… [Read more…]
By Marcus Bush
With local attorney Dan Gilleon leading the ongoing litigation representing the three alleged victims of Kasparian (Sandy Naranjo, Isabel Vasquez, Anabel Arauz aka “Las Tres Hermanas”), a Department of Fair Employment & Housing Act complaint filed in March (filed by Nohelia Ramos Campos), and local media outlets covering the events that led to this point, we want to take a look at the courageous activists responsible for Kasparian’s downfall.
Who are these individuals that were willing to risk their own careers, fight for what they believe in, and face the inevitable political backlash from Kasparian and his supporters? [Read more…]
By Sher Watts Spooner / Daily Kos
This is not a good time to have a job in the retail industry.
If you’ve been to a shopping mall recently, you may have noticed that many storefronts are empty. Stores that are still open aren’t crowded, and there are plenty of spaces in the parking lot.
About one in every 10 American workers works in the retail industry, and one out of every three retail employees works part-time. A retail job is the first job experience for about one-third of Americans, so cutbacks block entry into the job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 15.9 million people worked in the U.S. retail industry in January 2017, but that number has been shrinking. Since October 2016, 89,000 retail workers have lost their jobs. The most recent BLS jobs report in early April showed that 30,000 retail workers lost jobs in March—about equal to the number of retail jobs lost in February. The March decrease alone was enough to lower the job growth numbers to just 98,000. The two-month job loss was the worst retail job loss since the Great Recession in 2009. [Read more…]
“About time we had a builder in the White House, right?” Trump told union members.
By Alexandra Rosenmann / AlterNet
The resistance movement met Donald Trump head-on at North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) National Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., Thursday, as protesters serenaded the president with a cacophany of boos. Demonstrators bearing placards were escorted out shortly thereafter. [Read more…]
By Sarah Anderson / OtherWords.org
Travis Bornstein never told his friends about his son Tyler’s drug problem. He was too embarrassed.
Then, on September 28, 2014, Tyler’s body was found in a vacant lot in Akron, Ohio. The 23-year-old had become addicted to opioid pain killers after several sports-related injuries and surgeries. Unable to afford long-term treatment, he ultimately turned to a cheaper drug — the heroin that killed him.
“Now I have no choice but to speak out,” the elder Bornstein, president of Teamsters Local 24 in Akron, told a crowd of thousands at the union’s convention in 2016. As he shared the unvarnished tale of how a middle-class, star athlete wound up in that vacant lot, Bornstein lit a fire under the 1.4-million-member organization. [Read more…]
This week (Wednesday, March 15), unions and community groups will appear before the County Board of Supervisors to urge them to begin negotiations on a new labor agreement.
What would normally be a matter of negotiating pay and benefits for 10,000 San Diego County employees has become another front in the battle for social justice, thanks to a strategy called ‘bargaining for the common good’ adopted by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local 221.
The SEIU has invited representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Policy Initiatives, the Community Advocacy Network and other groups to join them at the bargaining table and participate in negotiations. [Read more…]
I am afraid. And I am not the only one.
By Anonymous Is a Woman
A handful of Democratic women saw each other at the ADEM elections for the first time since the holidays. For some, it’s the first time they had come out for an event since the election. For others, this was their third event that weekend.
After a few minutes of small talk and “Holy-crap-the-world-is-ending” Trump commentary, the conversation becomes a bit more hushed when one of the women asked, “So what do you think about this Mickey Kasparian situation?”
Voices automatically lower. [Read more…]
By Ed Harris / OB Rag
On December 15th, 2016 San Diego Lifeguard River Rescue team members were holding a deployment briefing prior to an imminent storm.
Fifteen minutes before they were to deploy, they were given a new standard operating procedure. The new SOP was part of an executive order mandated by the new Fire Chief.
There were several changes that have a negative operational effect on the Lifeguards as well as a negative budgetary effect for all of us. [Read more…]
By Murtaza Baxamusa
There were about 185 thousand union members in San Diego, based on surveys by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016. About 110 thousand of these workers are in the private sector. There are additionally 20 thousand workers covered by union contracts in the region. The continuing employment recovery in the last two years contributed to an increase in union membership.
Union density is the share of workers that are union members. It is an important measure of union prevalence that determines the impact of collective bargaining agreements on area-wide labor wages and benefits. In 2016, union density was 12.9 percent for all workers in San Diego. It was about 6.2 percent in the private sector and 45.5 in the public sector in San Diego. Union membership rate in California stayed almost constant at 15.9 percent since membership grew by 65,000 members at the same pace as the overall employment. [Read more…]
As protests against Andy Puzder erupt around the country, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tells labor secretary nominee he has a “sneering contempt” for workers
By Nika Knight / Common Dreams
For the third time since anti-worker fast food CEO Andy Puzder’s nomination for Labor Secretary was announced, fast food workers flooded the streets in protest on Monday.
Days before Puzder’s confirmation hearing on Thursday, hundreds of cashiers and cooks ralliedin front of the St. Louis headquarters of Hardee’s and the Anaheim, Calif. offices of CKE Restaurants, the conglomerate overseen by Puzder that includes Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants. [Read more…]