Maybe it’s because he authored a book titled “Working”, maybe it’s because he was employed by the Works Progress Administration in his early years, maybe it’s just because he so obviously loved the work he did, but for me Studs Terkel personifies the idea of a labor of love, and of the good, caring and kind aspects of work. So, on Labor Day, here’s a brief clip of Studs relating with his disarmingly charming delivery, an anecdote with a Labor Day theme. [Read more…]
A little more music for the weekend, this selection in the spirit of the Labor Day holiday: Union Town by Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman. Don’t think there are any clips of San Diego in this video, so for us this may be aspirational rather than descriptive, but we’re working on it … [Read more…]
By Peter Zschiesche
For those who read Jim Miller’s recent articles recounting the unfortunate splits in the local Labor movement, it may seem they result from just personal differences among labor leaders. Jim reported the events that led the AFL-CIO, the parent organization of the Labor Council, to take over the council and restore it to functioning as it should.
However that came about, that is what the AFL-CIO as the parent organization is supposed to do. It will be hard work.
This work will pay off if San Diego’s Labor Council is restored to the level it maintained for over two decades beginning in the late 1990s when it helped union families leverage their collective strength in improving wages and benefits, as well as playing a key role in local elections. It can be said definitively that the lives of hundreds of thousands of people improved in this region because San Diego had a strong, unified Labor Council. [Read more…]
Study: Nearly 40,000 workers shorted on paychecks.
What happens if voters approve an increased minimum wage ordinance and government can’t be bothered? Short answer–people get ripped off.
A study by the San Diego State University Department of Sociology, the Center on Policy Initiatives, and the Employee Rights Center of San Diego estimates employers in San Diego and Imperial counties have failed to pay the legal minimum wage to 39,900 local workers.
One year ago today the San Diego Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance became law and established a local minimum wage (currently $11.50 an hour) applying to all work done within City limits. [Read more…]
Ever since Donald Trump announced he was running for president, reports began circulating in the press about all the various failures of his businesses.
These include the bankruptcy of his Atlantic City, New Jersey, casinos, the defunct Trump University here in San Diego where students successfully sued him, and, particularly, the troubles of his Trump Towers.
For instance, in the saga of the Trump Tower in Tampa, Florida, Trump sold the use of his name to developers of the $300 million condo project for $2 million. According to Rolling Stone, the developers collected down payments from investors but after the project went south in 2008, the snookered buyers sued Trump for misleading them. Trump did settle the suit, but plaintiffs lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. [Read more…]
California’s port truckers make it possible for the both the old and new retail economies.of the world to function. This week they’re calling strikes and staging picket lines at ports on the West Coast, including San Diego.
This work stoppage is about more than wages and benefits; it’s about an economic nightmare akin to involuntary servitude enabled by corporations like Toyota, Walmart, Target, and Amazon.
Companies like XPO Logistics, Inc.–the target of this week’s actions– are illegally misclassifying workers as independent contractors, forcing them into a debt peonage system of the sort most Americans think vanished a century ago. [Read more…]
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…]
Clothes Racks Not Allowed Outside Newport Avenue Storefronts
By South OB Girl / OB Rag
For many years there have been racks of clothing for sale outside the shops on Newport Avenue. I have memories of outdoor racks at Lola Luna, Miss Match, The Closet, Wahines, Dream Girls, Temptress, $2 Thrill, OB Surf & Skate, Wings, the souvenir shops, and the shell shop.
I recently learned that these racks of clothes outside stores are not allowed in the Public Right of Way (PROW). Shops can purchase a permit for $45 from the OB MainStreet Association to be able to use a designated area of sidewalk (for a distance of no more than 4′-0″ from the property line) in front of their stores as part of the PROW Enhancement Program. The PROW cannot be used for clothes racks but can be used for other things. [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…]