Author Archive

SF DA Candidate Forum on Immigrant Rights

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Title: SF DA Candidate Forum on Immigrant Rights
Location: Mission High School ~ 3750 18th St, SF
Link out: Click here

Start Time: 18:00
Date: 2019-10-07

Labor Unions Are for Safety and Creativity

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Amy Laura Hall September 13, 2019

Hands in Solidarity, Hands of Freedom
Terence Faircloth

I do not go around asking people if they believe in God. But I frequently ask people if they believe in labor unions. I am genuinely curious about how people around me think about collective bargaining in workplaces. How do people who work for a living, or who have at some point worked for a living (meaning most of us) think about people being courageous, together, for the sake of the integrity of their work or the safety of their work or the dignity of their lives at work? Several men working for the fire department recently said, loud enough for people coming out of the grocery store to hear, “Oh, yes ma’am, we sure do need our union.” In a hotel elevator this summer, a man, carrying a poster noting his retirement as an airline pilot, said he is clear that people working in the industry, at all levels, need labor unions. He said it was a basic matter of safety.

This is one very obvious reason why everyone who walks around in the world needs labor unions. If you drive in a car, you want the people who put your car together to have the ability to stop production if they notice something is awry. If you ride around on one of those rent-by-the-day scooters, you want the people who put the scooter together to have been able to take the time to test whether or not the scooter is safe to scoot. (Same for the people who put together the helmet you should be wearing if you are scooting. Just saying.) People who work for the fire department need equipment that allows them to put out the fire safely and quickly if, by chance, you have overestimated your oven’s ability to be “self-cleaning.” (A real, and embarrassing, example.) Look up the cover of “The Berenstain Bears: Jobs Around Town” and tell me a job that Jan and Stan Berenstain feature that does not need a labor union? The man on the girder being lifted by a crane needs the person pulling the lever to be able to call in sick if necessary. The woman selling hot dogs does not want to sell Sister Bear a dog with, well…actual dog under the relish. The bear walking across the bridge with what appears to be a giant pumpkin relies on the fact that the bears who built the bridge had time off to eat lunches and sleep. And the bear with the pink shirt, up in the corner, painting on a canvas? They need a labor union, too.

This is one of the trickiest concepts for some people to grasp. Labor unions are about our safety as people living together in a town or city, and they are also about creativity. As a writer and a teacher, I need the committed, active support of other writers and teachers in order to write and to teach in my own unique, best, way. While I was a graduate student, collective bargaining allowed me to write what turned out to be a damn good dissertation (and eventually a book) without worrying that my adviser would punish me for writing something very different than what he had published. I needed the courage in common that was collective bargaining to formulate my own particular and singular way of thinking. Actors, photographers, journalists, sculptors—all have expressed a similar sense that labor unions allow for individual freedom in their craft. If you want to hear what music sounds like without labor unions, turn on your canned radio station and hear the same pop song every two hours, interspersed with a few others deemed by someone in marketing to meet the least common denominator of music. Alternatively, find the alternative station in the genre that helps you through your own workday, and consider periodically the teamwork behind the scenes that allowed those musicians to defy what some person in the number-crunching department determined would be passable as music.

There are no doubt some people in this world who manage to be remarkably creative without labor unions and the collective bargaining that comes with courage. I am frankly worn out from trying. I need a union as much as people putting out fires and people putting airplanes together. My labor is also important, and so I will keep asking people about their unions and their ideas about unions. And I will keep trying to find the best, most creative and unique ways to explain why I need a team.

Amy Laura Hall has taught ethics at Duke University since 1999. Her most recent book is Laughing at the Devil: Seeing the World with Julian of Norwich. This post originally appeared at the North Carolina State AFL-CIO.

SFO Passenger Service Workers Action

Monday, September 16th, 2019

Title: SFO Passenger Service Workers Action
Location: SFO International Terminal G ~ Departure Level
Link out: Click here
Description: SFO employees work hard in unhealthy and dangerous conditions and struggle with inadequate healthcare and wages that don’t keep up with the cost of living. That’s why Workers Are Fighting Together for Good Union Jobs, Respect and a Safer Airport. Unfortunately, employers are showing they are unwilling to talk about health and safety. Their bad practices are pushing passengers and workers into the line of danger. On Oct 2nd we’ll show the airlines and the airport that everyone cares about issues like broken wheelchairs and unsanitary airplane cabins.

Start Time: 12:00
Date: 2019-10-02

Pathway to Progress: The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Friday, September 13th, 2019

Kenneth Quinnell September 6, 2019

Rustin and Cleveland Robinson
Wikimedia Commons

History has long been portrayed as a series of “great men” taking great action to shape the world we live in. In recent decades, however, social historians have focused more on looking at history “from the bottom up,” studying the vital role that working people played in our heritage. Working people built, and continue to build, the United States. In our new series, Pathway to Progress, we’ll take a look at various people, places and events where working people played a key role in the progress our country has made, including those who are making history right now. Today’s topic is the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

We recently marked the 56th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The full title makes it clear that the historical touchstone was about civil rights and worker rights. And the labor movement was key to the success of the march.

By any account, the march on Aug. 28, 1963, was a success. More than 250,000 people participated in what was then the largest demonstration for human rights in U.S. history. The pathway that led to the march started much earlier.

A. Philip Randolph, a leader in both the civil rights movement and a labor organizer with the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, began pushing for a march on Washington as early as 1941. Randolph, labor activist Bayard Rustin and others nearly pulled off a march that year, but it was called off late in the organizing. From then until late 1962, Randolph got little response from civil rights leaders. Changing this would be a key to pulling the march off. He worked with the heads of the “Big Six” civil rights organizations, which included not only Randolph’s Sleeping Car Porters, but also the NAACP, the National Urban League, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Conference of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

That began to change once Randolph and Rustin got together to plan a march commemorating the centennial of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. In early 1963, Bull Connor became national news when he turned fire hoses and attack dogs on children and then attitudes about the march quickly changed. Rustin was to originally direct operations for the march, but when some activists balked at having a homosexual man as the face of the march, he was replaced by Randolph.

Rustin continued to organize the event, however, and leading up to the march, they faced tough challenges, including bringing together civil rights leaders, defending against attacks from segregationists, moderates who wanted a slower approach to progress and the logistics of the largest peaceful protest in the country’s history. 

The influence of Randolph and Rustin on the agenda of the march was obvious. Among the list of demands the marchers presented were: a massive federal jobs and training program for unemployed workers, a national minimum wage that provided for a decent standard of living, an expansion of the Fair Labor Standards Act to include all areas of labor and a federal Fair Employment Practices Act barring discrimination in government hiring at all levels.

Labor’s influence on the march wasn’t limited to leadership. The UAW provided much of the funding for the march. Randolph’s Sleeping Car Porters helped transport thousands of demonstrators to and from the event. And many unions participated in the march, either officially or unofficially, as their members joined the cause.

One of the most important and memorable events in American history was not only a civil rights event, but from beginning to end, a demonstration on behalf of working people. We face many of the same issues in our current political climate, and the efforts that led to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom provide us with inspiration to continue building an America where all working people can thrive.

Rally at Laguna Honda Hospital with SEIU 1021 for Adequate Staffing

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

Title: Rally at Laguna Honda Hospital with SEIU 1021 for Adequate Staffing
Location: Laguna Honda Hospital ~ 375 Laguna Honda Blvd, SF
Description: Rally at Laguna Honda Hospital with SEIU 1021 for Adequate Staffing
Thursday, September 12th at 11:30 AM
375 Laguna Honda Blvd, SF
Start Time: 11:30
Date: 2019-09-12

March for Rent We Can Afford!

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

Title: March for Rent We Can Afford!
Location: One Bust Street, SF (Market & 1st Streets)
Link out: Click here
Start Time: 12:00
Date: 2019-09-24

Speaking Event with Javier Bravo on Trade Unionism in Mexico

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

Title: Speaking Event with Javier Bravo on Trade Unionism in Mexico
Location: Unite Here 2 ~ 209 Golden Gate Ave, SF
Start Time: 18:00
Date: 2019-09-17
End Time: 20;00

Join AFT 2121 to Protest $100,000 Raises for Administrators amid Massive Class Cuts, Faculty Layoffs

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Title: Join AFT 2121 to Protest $100,000 Raises for Administrators amid Massive Class Cuts, Faculty Layoffs
Location: Conlan Hall ~ CCSF Ocean Campus
After months of shrinking our curriculum, cancelling classes, laying off counselors, and cutting library hours, Chancellor Mark Rocha handed out enormous raises to college administrators, increasing some salaries by over $100,000, and pushing the pay of Senior Vice Chancellors Tom Boegel, Dianna Gonzales, and Rueben Smith to well over a quarter million dollars!
These raises were built in to the budget approved by the Board of Trustees on August 22nd. Board members contend they did not explicitly approve these administrative raises which means there is still time for the Board to

push the Chancellor to put a stop to this!
Right now, admin are cutting fully enrolled sections. Library and Counseling hours have been slashed. This decision to prioritize raises for top administrators comes immediately after Rocha, citing budget constraints, cancelled over 100 Fall semester classes, laid off numerous academic counselors and instructors, and cut library hours and other student services. This is forcing over-crowding of the sections that remain. How can our chancellor justify using the college’s funds to line the pockets of the same people who are making these cuts?

Faculty and students are justifiably incensed, and we will not stand for it!
AFT 2121 calls on all members to join us on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 11:00 a.m. at Conlan Hall to show our outrage and demand:
o An immediate, emergency meeting of the Board of Trustees Budget Committee on the proposed administrative salary scale
o Cancellation of these increases
o Redirection of these funds to recall laid off counselors & instructors and restore cancelled classes and library hours.

We know that many of you are teaching during that time. Never-fear! You can still stand with us:
• Wear your #RedForEd AFT T-shirt or a red outfit on Thursday.
• Take a solidarity selfie with your colleagues and students. If possible, make and hold a sign that describes what other priorities at our college the hundreds of thousands of dollars in these raises could be used for.
o Send to James and Athena
o Post and share on social media and, if you’re able, tag Rocha and Trustees.

More info: 415-585-2121

Start Time: 11:00
Date: 2019-09-12

Yes on E — Affordable Communities Now Kickoff

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Title: Yes on E — Affordable Communities Now Kickoff
Location: 1530 43rd Ave, San Francisco
Link out: Click here
Description: We all know that San Francisco is in an affordable housing crisis, and we desperately need to create more affordable housing in every party of the city. On November 5, voters will have a chance to address the number one barrier to affordable housing: funding.

Prop E will complement the $600 million affordable housing bond (Prop A) placed on the ballot by the Mayor and Board of Supervisors by rezoning lots over 10,000 square feet and publicly owned lots (except parks) to allow for development of 100% affordable housing. Prop E will also create an educator housing pilot program with $20 million in dedicated funding.

Join us for our official kickoff outside Francis Scott Key Elementary to hear from Prop E’s authors and supporters, then stick around for our first lit drop! Check out the Facebook Event Page for more info.
Start Time: 11:00
Date: 2019-09-15
End Time: 15:00

Discussion Panel: Careers in Labor and Social Justice Movements

Monday, September 9th, 2019

Title: Discussion Panel: Careers in Labor and Social Justice Movements
Location: UC Berkeley Career Center 2440 Bancroft Way, 3rd Floor Berkeley, CA
Description: Discussion Panel: Careers in Labor and Social Justice Movements
Thursday, October 1, 2019, 5:00-6:30 PM
UC Berkeley Career Center
2440 Bancroft Way, 3rd Floor
Berkeley, CA
The Labor Center is co-sponsoring this event with the UC Berkeley Career Center
This discussion panel and networking event is for students interested in careers working towards social and economic justice. This event will highlight the different kinds of jobs and pathways to working as community and labor organizers, researchers, and political advocates. Speaker backgrounds will include a variety of issues related to labor and social justice movements.
Space is limited. Please register for the event.
Start Time: 17:00
Date: 2019-10-01

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