Labor

Workers celebrate launch of wage theft task force

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San Francisco's wage theft task force, approved in June, had its first meeting today.

The wage theft task force formed to strengthen the city response to workers exploited by wage theft, which can include non-payment of the minimum wage or of hours worked, non-payment of overtime, illegal deductions from worker paychecks, or failure to pay a worker at all.Read more »

Guardian voices: Finally, rights for domestic workers

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The national domestic workers’ movement is on the cusp of making history in California. Any day now, the state’s Domestic Bill of Rights (AB 899) – only the second such piece of legislation in the country – could be passed on the Senate floor, finally bringing respect and recognition to 200,000 workers who have been systematically excluded from labor laws for 74 years.Read more »

Country Country Club workers plan picket after step towards victory

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Workers at Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton, represented by UNITE HERE Local 2850, received a favorable decision from Administrative Law Judge Clifford Anderson of the National Labor Relations Board on Monday. He found that the club owes all 61 union workers two years of back pay-- and their jobs back.

"For the workers it feels like a relief to be believed in some way," said Local 2850 organizer Sarah Norr. "The workers have been saying for two years that Castlewood was not really trying to reach a compromise." Read more »

Janitors continue pressure as negotiations' close draws near

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As contract negotiations with several employers come to an end August 1, the SEIU Local 87 janitors union has been coming out in force. More than 1,000 rallied in Union Square and marched over the weekend. Today, 500 janitors marched through the financial district.

“If we don’t get no contract, you don’t get no peace,” the crowd chanted as it marched down Market, before turning on First towards Mission. The group periodically stopped to picket intersections. Read more »

Workers launch global Hyatt boycott, hundreds picket at Union Square

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As shoppers scurried around Union Square yesterday, a picket that drew more than 300 people could be heard for blocks. The grand-scale noise-making was in front of the Grand Hyatt, where workers and supporters demonstrated against what they say is unsafe and unfair treatment of hotel workers.

UNITE HERE Local 2 has been supporting a boycott of a couple Hyatt locations in San Francisco for years now. But this week the national union, along with a broad coalition of supporters, has called for a worldwide boycott of the hotel chain.

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Two calls to investigate SF restaurant surcharges as consumer fraud

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The surcharges that many San Francisco restaurants charge their customers – ostensibly to help cover their employee health care obligations, although in practice it has often just padded their profits – should be investigated by the District Attorney's Office as consumer fraud, according to Sup. David Campos and San Francisco's Civil Grand Jury, which recently issued a scathing report scrutinizing the practice.Read more »

Eat your veggies and join a union

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Mom and the AFL-CIO have an intriguing new message for America's working people: "Eat Your Veggies  – and Join a Union."

Many moms know, of course, that unionized workers are paid better than their non-union counterparts, have better benefits, better working conditions and stronger voices in what goes on at their workplaces, as well as in off-the-job political activities. Read more »

Corporations are people, but I guess unions aren't

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So seven of the Supreme Court Justices, including all of the ones who voted for corporate free speech in Citizens United, have decided that unions aren't the same as corporations and don't have the same political rights.Read more »

Meister: Walker won in Wisconsin, but so did labor

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By Dick Meister

Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for more than a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com.

Yes, labor lost its attempt to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, one of the most virulent labor opponents anywhere.  But as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka declared, the heated election campaign was "not the end of the story, but just the beginning."

The campaign, triggered by Walker all but eliminating the collective bargaining rights of most of Wisconsin's 380,000 public employees, showed that labor is quite capable of mounting major drives against anti-labor politicians, a lesson that won't be lost on unions or their opponents.

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Lee avoids budget drama, but other fiscal fights loom

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When Mayor Ed Lee unveiled his proposed $7.3 billion city budget today, it was a sharp contrast to the annual budget rituals of his predecessor, Gavin Newsom, both in style and substance. Not only did Lee present a budget without employee layoffs or cuts to critical social services, but he capped months of collaborative work with the Board of Supervisors by presenting his proposal in Board Chambers.Read more »