Cesar Chavez march – Sacramento 2012

Cesar Chavez at the Delano UFW rally.

Cesar Chavez at the Delano UFW rally. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Niesha Lofing

Managing Editor,  Sacramento Labor Bulletin

Thousands of workers, union members, labor advocates and elected officials braved torrential downpours on March 31 to pay tribute to the life and work of César Chávez during the 12th annual march and rally in Sacramento.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the United Farm Workers, and Chávez’s hard work continues today, noted Bill Camp, executive secretary of the Sacramento Central Labor Council.

Farm workers have recently won new protections through contracts with the largest strawberry grower and winery in the country, the biggest vegetable growers in the state and one of the largest dairies in the nation.

But the work isn’t yet done, he said. Continue reading

Thousands of farm workers march on Sacramento on Sept. 4

by Duane E. Campbell

  Over 3000  UFW farm workers and their supporters marched on the California Capitol in Sacramento on Sept. 4 insisting on Fair Treatment for Farm workers Now.   The march began August 23 in Madera. The march was organized by the United Farm Workers to reach Sacramento on Labor Day weekend.  Marchers  are pushing for the enactment of the Fair Treatment for Farm Workers Act and the right to be paid overtime after eight hours.

As the farm workers reached the capitol an apparent agreement was reached among legislators  to pass improvements of the existing Agricultural Labor Relations Act.  Gov. Jerry Brown and pro farm worker legislators  have struck a deal to give state regulators new powers that could help agriculture workers unionize.

The new  measures, introduced in the Legislature on Friday, would allow the state’s Agriculture Labor Relations Board to certify a union if it finds that a grower has acted illegally to affect the outcome of a labor election. Currently the ALRB makes 5-10 decisions per year and few of the decisions  result in elections. The legislation would also accelerate the mediation process for workers in disputes with their employers.

The Governor would not agree to the Fair Treatment for Farm Workers legislation already passed by the legislature  which would have permitted card check verification to hold a union election.  Governor Brown  and Republicans argue that the ALRB, passed in 1976, needs more time to be developed before changing a fundamental issue such as elections.

Clearly the current  law is not working as it was intended.  Few organizing attempts can get to an election due in significant part to the  aggressive  campaigns and hostile election climate created by corporate growers.  And, for the few that have elections, election victories seldom  lead to union contracts.  Continue reading

Thousands Take Stand in Sacramento for Workers’ Rights in Wisconsin

By Steve Smith, California Labor Federation

When Wisconsin’s new right-wing Governor decided to make it his personal mission to eliminate the rights of teachers, nurses, bus drivers and other public servants, he probably thought it would be a cakewalk. After all, Gov. Scott Walker has a Republican-controlled legislature that is on board with his radical plan to eliminate collective bargaining for public sector workers. What he didn’t count on was the extraordinary resolve of working people to stop his assault on our values. For more than a week, tens of thousands have protested at the Wisconsin Capitol. The fight back spread to Ohio, Indiana and other states where politicians are attempting to strip workers of their voice. And it didn’t stop there. All over the country, workers are standing in solidarity to beat back these attacks.

Last night, the spirit of solidarity was tangible in Sacramento, as more than 3,000 workers – teachers, Teamsters, nurses, ironworkers, janitors and many others – descended on the State Capitol to send a message loud and clear across California and the country: An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.

Continue reading

Thousands Rally in Sacramento


Sacramento Rally

by Duane Campbell Updated 2/23.

Over 2500 union members and supporters rallied at the State Capitol in Sacramento  on Feb. 22,2011, in a candle light vigil to support the working people in Wisconsin in their struggle to defend their  union rights. The financial crisis that began  2007  is an assault on organized  labor, working people, and our democracy.  To date the corporate class is winning.

While Wall Street has recovered and returned to profitability, working people continue to suffer  15 million unemployed with at least 10 million more under employed.   It is more than a crisis – the reality is that the financial class has looted the U.S. economy.  The Oligarchs  took 13 trillion dollars  out of the economy and caused 4 million people to lose their homes and  another 4.5 million to fall into foreclosure.   Now they want you and I to pay for their greed by forcing budget cuts on the states.

In 2010-2011 the crisis is hitting state and local governments hard.  The AFL-CIO is tracking this assault at http://www.aflcio.org/issues/states/.    Responding the  messaging of the Right many liberals stayed home on election day. Republicans and the Tea Party  won a majority in the House, took control of several state houses, elected governors, and now dominate the main steam media with their messages.  Conservative forces, the Republicans, the Tea Party, and others use the crisis in the states to launch aggressive campaigns against public sector unions and the salaries and pensions of public sector workers.

The Sacramento response, like rallies in other states condemned the anti union campaigns of Republican governors and legislators.  In Wisconsin Governor Walker’s immediate attack is aimed directly at some 200,000 public workers in Wisconsin.

As Rose Ann DeMoro Executive Director,  California Nurses Association said in a well distributed letter,

“Working people did not create the recession or the budgetary crisis facing federal, state and local governments, and there can be no more concessions, period.

It should be apparent that the right wants to scapegoat workers and their unions, and is trying to exploit the economic crisis for an all-out assault on unions, public employees, and all working people in a campaign that is funded by right-wing, corporate billionaires like the Koch brothers.

Who caused the economic crisis? Banks, Wall Street speculators, mortgage lenders, global corporations shifting jobs from the U.S. overseas. Continue reading

California Jobs Rally -Thursday

Join AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
Thursday, Feb. 11. 12 Noon.
State Capitol. Sacramento. 12 PM.

California’s jobs crisis is severe. The unemployment rate in California is among the highest in the nation. Come hear Labor’s agenda to create new jobs in California and throughout the nation!
Trumka was unable to make the rally. He was snowed in in D.C.
President Richard Trumka recently argued: “It’s not time to leave it to any political party to take care of us once we put them in office. It’s time to organize and mobilize as never before to make every elected or aspiring leader PROVE he or she will create the jobs we need in an economy we need with the healthcare we need. I know we are the people who can mobilize a massive army to force elected leaders to deliver.”

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Sacramento Faculty Union protests budget cuts

Bill Camp. Sacramento Central Labor Council

Bill Camp. Sacramento Central Labor Council

by Duane Campbell

Sept.2,2009: Over 400 students, faculty and staff of the California State University–Sacramento rallied against increasing fees and cuts to their classes today.  Across the CSU students returned to find that the 2009/10 academic year offers fewer class days as faculty are furloughed, much greater difficulty getting classes, and more limited services even as their fees have risen by one third.

In response to state budget cuts to the universities,  on July 21, the California State University Board of Trustees approved a fee increase requiring undergraduate students to pay $4,026 per year, an increase of about $1,000 over the previous year.  Over the last seven years, during the governorship of Arnold Schwarzenegger, student fees at the CSU  have increased 170%. The budget cuts were caused by the national and international economic crisis created by the financial crisis of 2008. Continue reading