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Labor's Edge: Views from the California Labor Movement

Labor's Edge Blog Articles


My family was undocumented

by Angie Wei

We’ve been holding our breath all of June, waiting for yet another Supreme Court decision that could change the lives of millions of Californians.  Heartbroken, disappointed, but not surprised, this Court denied our dream of opportunities for the millions of immigrant workers who are at risk every day.  At risk of getting separated from their families, at risk of employer exploitation, at risk of returning to a country they hardly remember, at risk of losing their children.

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The Invisible Silicon Valley

by Maria Noel Fernandez

Invisible. That’s how Nahima Aguiniga feels at work. She works as a cashier in the cafeteria run by food service company Eurest at Intel, one of the world’s most visible tech brands. She rings up free food for the “blue badges” – direct employees of the company, many earning six figures – and collects payment from the other “green badges” – the subcontracted workers like her.

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Can You Feel the Heat In Sacramento?

This week, temperatures have reached over 110 degrees in Inland Southern California. Thousands of workers are toiling in steel shipping containers across Southern California delivering goods to all of us from companies like Amazon, Walmart and Target.  These workers, like millions of other workers in California, have no protections from the heat under the law. Employers do not have to have a plan to deal with indoor heat, even as these workers make millions of dollars for massive multinational corporations that employ them

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Everyone wants transparency…except Big Pharma

By Rachel Warino

Senate Bill 1010 (Hernandez) will likely be up for a vote next week in the California State Assembly Health Committee before heading to the floor for a vote. The bill has already passed the CA State Senate, and everyone – except Big Pharma – seems to be coming out in favor of this commonsense, pro-transparency bill.

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A Day for Dad

A step-by-step guide to a union-made Father's Day

By Michael Messina

steak bbq

Our dads have done a lot for us over the years; from carrying us on his shoulders when we were small to guiding us through life’s lessons as we became adults. Once a year we give a little back to Dad on Father’s Day, and Labor 411 has put together a union-made day that will put a smile on his face.

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Working People of the AFL-CIO Endorse Hillary Clinton for President

Working people in the AFL-CIO's affiliate unions have chosen to endorse Hillary Clinton for president of the United States. The endorsement reflects a comprehensive, democratic process initiated one year ago to capture the interests of the 12.5 million working people the federation represents.


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Strengthening the State of Women

by Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of AFL-CIO 

In 2016, women are rising to the top in every field and industry, and breaking down boundaries that held former generations back.

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16 Million Kids Experience the Indignity of Hunger in America

Speaker Ryan’s Proposal to Block The School Meal Program will Make that Worse!

By Jessica Bartholow 

This year, Congress has been considering the reauthorization of the Nation’s Child Nutrition programs.  With insight from the Congressional debate during the reauthorization of the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the federal Agricultural Act of 2014, we knew this debate would be meager, not include the voices of families experiencing hunger and, in the end, fall far too short to offer a meaningful response to the crisis of millions of Americans, 16 Million of them children, experiencing hunger.

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Pride Month: Why Working People in Unions Are Fighting LGBTQ Discrimination in the Workplace

by Jerame Davis

Pride Month: Why Working People in Unions Are Fighting LGBTQ Discrimination in the Workplace

The strongest protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer working people are found in a union contract. Working people in unions have fought hard to make sure that employers cannot discriminate against people. This includes helping pass laws that protect LGBTQ working people, especially transgender people.

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Arsenal of democracy:  fighting racism in Bay Area shipyards during WW II

by Fred Glass

This installment of the California labor history series is excerpted from the forthcoming book on University of California Press, From Mission to Microchip: A History of the California Labor Movement by California Federation of Teachers Communications Director Fred Glass.


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Questioning Candidates for Elected Office is Central to Democracy

By Steve Smith

Every year around election time, a media outlet writes about organizations asking candidates to fill out questionnaires, insinuating that there’s something unethical – if not downright sleazy – about the practice. The stories are full of loaded language calling questionnaires things like “covenants” hammered out in “secret backroom deals.”

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IBEW, CWA Reach Tentative Agreement with Verizon

IBEW, CWA Reach Tentative Agreement with Verizon

Negotiators from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA), representing nearly 40,000 striking Verizon workers, announced they have reached a tentative contract with Verizon.

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SB 1010: Shining a Light on Drug Prices

By Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D. (D-West Covina)

New and innovative drugs have brought about life-saving medications that have revolutionized the treatment of many diseases. Unfortunately, more and more often these treatments more and more come with budget-busting price tags. The Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, priced at $84,000 for a regular course of treatment, is one of those examples.

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AB 2395: A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

by Robert Longer, Legislative-Political Director, CWA Local 9421

Today 50+ members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), District 9, packed the California Assembly Committee on Appropriations hearing room, complete with bright orange t-shirts and CWA logos. What was normally a boring committee meeting turned into quite a show of unity, and certainly caught the attention of lawmakers. Why such a big turnout? CWA members were present to oppose Assembly Bill 2395.

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