Labor

Lee benefits from vetoing health care reform

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Downtown groups that pressured Mayor Ed Lee to veto legislation that would have prevented businesses from raiding their employees' health savings accounts have been funneling big bucks into independent expenditure campaigns formed to keep Lee in the Mayor's Office.Read more »

As OccupySF attracts support, Oakland gets ready for a general strike

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At a rally of some 2,000 activists held in Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza Oct. 26 -- the day after a brutal police crackdown left 24-year-old war veteran Scott Olsen in critical condition from a skull fracture inflicted by a police projectile -- Occupy Oakland's general assembly reached a 96 percent consensus agreement to call for a general strike to be held Nov. 2. Read more »

Superviors and labor leaders challenge Lee's OccupySF stance

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Mayor Ed Lee has put the city and its police force on a collision course with not only OccupySF, but also several members of the Board of Supervisors and top labor leaders who support the movement and want the city to allow its encampment to continue.Read more »

The case against C and D

Public employee union members want to halt the assault on their jobs and benefits

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By Brenda Barros, Riva Enteen, Joe Jacskon, Renee Saucedo, Dave Welsh, David H. Williams and Claire Zvanski

OPINION The Guardian started out right on Proposition C and D:Read more »

A case for Avalos, Yee and Dufty

An SEIU 1021 political organizer explains his union's ranked choices

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OPINION Like all of us, SEIU 1021 can take three dates to the prom when it comes to voting for mayor, but narrowing it down in a field of so many candidates was still challenging. After a month-long process, we arrived at a dual endorsement of Supervisor John Avalos and State Senator Leland Yee for first and second choice, and Supervisor Bevan Dufty for our third choice.

It's a diverse slate, and the choices are representative of the constituencies, perspectives and priorities in our membership.Read more »

SF Labor Council makes surprising dual endorsements

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The San Francisco Labor Council made a pair of dual endorsements last night that reflect the wide ideological range of local unions -- stretching from the progressive SEIU Local 1021 that represents city workers to the more conservative members of the trade unions -- as well as the power of behind-the-scenes politicking.Read more »

Heroes who did their jobs on 9/11

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By Dick Meister

You know those public employees who are under seemingly constant attack? Who are being blamed for all sorts of governmental problems, financial and otherwise? Well, the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center is a good time to make clear how very important to the nation those unfairly maligned public employees have been for a long, long time.

I should think it would be very hard to argue against the pay and pensions negotiated by firefighters and police, for instance, given their often heroic and usually helpful acts in behalf of the people they serve.

Yes, they make demands for pay and benefit increases and better working conditions– and they should.  Just as they should be able to bargain collectively through their unions to try to realize their demands. That's called workplace democracy, and it should be their absolute right.

But anti-labor political leaders are looking for someone else to blame for the poor state of the economy that's at least in part due to their own ineptness. And who do they blame? Public employees, who are characterized as greedy, overpaid and underworked members of much too economically and politically powerful unions.   The employees are the cause of it all.  Certainly it's not the failed leadership and poor bargaining skills of the political leaders that's at fault. Or their refusal to adequately tax the wealthy. Of course not. Read more »

Workin' at the car wash

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Worker advocates with La Raza Centro Legal and the San Francisco Day Labor Program are partnering with city officials for a creative approach to addressing the pervasive issue of wage theft: A worker-owned car wash. Read more »

A song and dance at City Hall

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It was a lively scene on the steps of City Hall Aug. 2, as back-to-back press events featured live performances, lots of cheering, and support for new legislation that supporters hope will benefit low-wage workers, small businesses, and musicians.

Spirits were high at the Progressive Workers' Alliance (PWA) rally, as organizers anticipated strong support for an ordinance they helped craft which aims to prevent wage theft by strengthening the powers of the city's Office of Labor Standards & Enforcement (OLSE). Read more »

Wisconsin, unions, and defunding the left

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Mother Jones mag this month has a GREAT story about the battle in Wisconsin, the history of unions and the Democratic Party, and the real aim of the move to bust public-sector unions. Writer Kevin Drum notes:Read more »