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Invest in California

California Labor's Plan for Good Jobs

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Californians are—and always have been— visionaries who see no limit to our future. The world looks to us for leadership and we must take that responsibility
seriously. Budget cuts, dwindling investment and a lack of vision for the future have imperiled California’s economy. We cannot cut our way to the future. The way to grow our economy and create good jobs is to invest in California again.

That means investing in the workers of the future—our kids— by giving them the kind of public education that creates the innovative workforce we need to compete in the 21st century. It means investing in worker training today that will give our workers the edge they need to compete. It means raising the revenue to invest in world-class infrastructure—roads, bridges and mass transit—and innovating clean energy technology. It means creating high quality jobs in high road industries that make California a good place to do business and a good place to raise a family.


California built some of the greatest highways, bridges, dams and infrastructure
marvels of the 20th century. That infrastructure served as the foundation for creating the eighth largest economy in the world. Decades later, that infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and is inadequate to support California’s growing population and economy. Now is the time to invest in repairing and retrofitting the infrastructure that made California great. To do so, we need bold, decisive action that puts Californians back to work immediately rebuilding our state and our economy.

Put Bonds to Work Now: Get the $9 billion in infrastructure bonds that
have already been sold by the state to shovel-ready projects and expedite the process to get projects ready.

Public Pension Investment: Increase investment by public pension funds in infrastructure projects in California to create jobs.

Transportation of the Future: Begin construction of a state high-speed rail system this year that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and boost the economy.



California is still the No. 1 technology state in the nation because we have a legacy of valuing education and fostering innovation. However, if we invent big ideas in California, we must manufacture them here. We can no longer afford to outsource our innovation to other countries. California needs to create demand for products built in California in order to re-establish ourselves as a leader in production.

Stop Outsourcing: Prohibit the state from using taxpayer funds to contract out public sector jobs.

Build it in California: Create a state program helping business startups to manufacture in California products invented here. Many of the technological innovations of the 21st century come from Silicon Valley, but very few of those products are manufactured there.

California’s Red Carpet for Jobs: Work with employers and legislators to streamline, simplify and speed up the ability of business to create jobs in California without weakening worker protections or environmental standards.

Fair Trade: Urge Congress to establish stronger worker protections and environmental standards in trade agreements to support good American jobs.



California cannot compete in the global economy if we do not have the most educated and skilled workforce in the world. Our top-notch public education system helped make California into an economic and innovation powerhouse. Now, the state is plummeting to the bottom by slashing funding and laying off teachers. Currently, California school funding ranks behind Mississippi and Alabama, as well as China and Korea. It’s time to recommit to our kids, our workers, and our future by making sure California has the best educated, most skilled workers in the world.

Fund Education: Restore $18 billion to K-12, as well as the billions slashed from community colleges and higher education. Increase access to higher education by building new and expanding existing campuses across the state.

Training for Quality Jobs: Create a preference for state training dollars to go to labor-management training programs and other programs that place trainees in high-wage jobs.

Education for Jobs: Expand career technical and vocation education in the K-12 public schools to connect students with quality jobs upon high school graduation.



California has a choice: we can invest in our future and rebuild our economy, or we can keep wasting billions of dollars on tax breaks for those who need it the least. The rich are raking in more money and paying less in taxes than at any point in decades. Major corporations are racking up record profits and using tax loopholes to get out of paying their fair share in taxes. As a result, California faces a perpetual budget crisis, forcing more cuts from the programs that our economy depends on.

Fair Taxation: Raise revenue to fund education, public safety and other essential services through fair taxation measures that include taxing the wealthiest Californians and corporate properties at fair rates.

Corporate Accountability: Require “clawback” provisions on corporate tax breaks to discourage companies that take tax breaks from shipping jobs out-of-state and out of the country.

Create Jobs, Not Special Tax Breaks: Make every new tax break require
the net creation of new high-quality jobs, and include a sunset date and annual review for effectiveness. Require a simple majority vote to repeal wasteful tax breaks.



For decades, California has been ahead of the curve in developing renewable
energy technologies and instituting efficiency standards. As early as the 1970s, California emerged as a leader in clean energy and the development of solar, wind and advanced battery technology.

Clean and Green Revolving Loan Fund: Create a state loan and loan guarantee fund for manufacturers that create union jobs in California to meet the environmental standards of AB 32. Extend loans to manufacturers to build clean-energy products, such as solar panels and related energy efficiency end-products.

Meet Energy Efficiency Standards: Retrofit public buildings using union labor to make them energy efficient and to capture energy savings for the public. By redirecting tax breaks or increasing pension fund investment, cities and counties could retrofit existing buildings, save money and create jobs.

Green Schools: Invest in rebuilding, repairing and retrofitting schools to be energy-efficient using existing state funds for clean energy. Ensure high quality standards using skilled union labor.



We cannot fix California’s economy by slashing wages, eliminating health care and taking away retirement security. Californians should be working their way into the middle class, not falling out of it. Economic recovery starts when workers have enough money in their pockets to buy products made in California. The creation of living-wage jobs with benefits and retirement security will allow California to reclaim our place as a global economic powerhouse.

Keep Workers on the Job: Require worker retention clauses in all state contracts so that if a new contractor takes over, workers’ jobs are protected for 60 days during the transition.

Create Middle Class Jobs: Require companies that receive state contracts,
grants or tax breaks to pay a living wage with health benefits and respect a workers’ right to organize without employer interference. Index the living wage rates to inflation to ensure wages increase with the cost of living.

Jobs that Build our Communities: Preserve the right of state and local governments to use Project Labor Agreements on public works projects. Require payment of prevailing wages on any project funded all or in part by public dollars.


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