Living Wage

Contrary to common belief, teens represent less than 12% of the low-wage work force. Over 60% of low wage worker are between 25 and 65 years old. We need a living wage.

Anti-Union Politics Unites Volunteer State Republicans and Chinese Communists

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Anti-Union Politics: What do China’s communist rulers and some top Tennessee Republican politicians have in common? They don’t want free trade unions.

Getting Back to “Follow the Money”

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Follow the Money: Might it be time to start asking the public to pay attention to the specific people who steal from workers?

Walmart: Welfare Queen

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Walmart Food Stamps: The next time a conservative drones on about “entitlements”, remind them that Walmart survives on food stamps

We Need a “Living Wage”, Higher Minimum Wage, and Lower Taxes on Small Business

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Lower Taxes on Small Business: The Long Beach City Council lessened the burden on some workers. Now we must liberate small businesses.

Fast-Food Strikers Fighting for Us All

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RJ Eskow: In fact, if the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation, it would be more than $16 today. These fast-food workers have pitched their wage request exactly right.

Fast Food Workers Stand Up, Walk Out

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Jamala Rogers: They are not in a good mood and they certainly aren’t lovin’ it. If workers in the fast food industry really had it their way, they’d get a livable wage and better working conditions freaky fast.

How the One Percent Spends Its Money

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Vivin Rothstein: While the No on Measure N campaign charges that the living wage measure is backed by outsiders from Los Angeles, 66 percent of its money has come from hotel corporate centers in Oklahoma and Kentucky.

Living Wages Would Boost Long Beach’s Economy

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Vivian Rothstein: Most Long Beach hotel workers live, work and shop in the city. And if the hotel living wage passes, they’ll have more money to put into the Long Beach economy.

Saving the Post Office: Letter Carriers Consider Bringing Back Banking Services

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Ellen Brown: Expanding postal services and developing new sources of revenue are important to the effort to save the public Post Office and preserve living-wage jobs

Where’s the Sacrifice?

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Madeline Janis: Imagine if our government sponsored ads now likening riding alone in a car to taking a big old diesel engine, and dropping it onto the Alaskan wilderness, or a child’s face?

Friday Feedback: Attacks on Teachers

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This week, an article by Mark Naison, “How Attacks on Teachers and Government Workers Will Impact All Our Lives,” drew the following exchange between Ryder and Steve Wider.

Confessions of a Child Janitor

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Tina Dupuy: Gingrich has a dark vision for a Shining City Upon a Hill: where poor children work in place of union labor. It’s basically the 20th century played in reverse.

Friday Feedback: Real Social Security: A Just Distribution of Wealth

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Friday Feedback: This week, John comments on “Real Social Security: A Just Distribution of Wealth” by Charles Hayes.

Time for a Pro-Quality-of-Life Movement

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Tina Dupuy: The wedge issue of abortion is a red herring. It’s a giant distraction – a shiny thing we all focus on and a drain on resources which could actually be going to making “life” better for American children.

Behind the Kitchen Door

FOC-LA Staff

Diane Lefer: A comment last week on an LA Times blog argued that “working in a restaurant is not supposed to provide a ‘living wage’. It’s a job that teenagers and students use to get started in life.” Not so according to ROC-LA co-coordinator Cathy Dang who reported that nationwide, people tend to stay in the industry for a lifetime.

Crying Wolf – The Republican Playbook

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Peter Dreier: Now that the Republicans control the House of Representatives, expect to hear a lot more complaints from business, corporate-sponsored think thanks, and their political allies in Congress about “job-killing” government regulations.

The Struggle for a Workers’ Recovery

Shamus Cooke: The massive One Nation demonstration in Washington, D.C. proved that unions and other progressive groups can unite under a set of demands. But uniting for one demonstration is not enough.

Getting Progressive Voices in Congress: By Hook or By Crook

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Dick Price: LA’s progressive political community is rallying behind David Segal, a rising young star looking to capture the Congressional seat Patrick Kennedy is leaving in Rhode Island.

Student Anti-Sweatshop Activists Win Historic Breakthrough

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Randy Shaw: Numerous experts argue that the global “race to the bottom” is inevitable and beyond the power of activists to change. Fortunately, student anti-sweatshop activists ignored these claims, and have now defied the conventional wisdom.

Coal: There Is No Good Way to Get It

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John Peeler: The wrenching drama of the latest coal mine disaster, this one at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia, reminds us to be careful what we wish for. Just as the Obama administration is finally imposing a moratorium and stronger regulations on “mountaintop removal” as a means of getting at coal through open-pit mining, an explosion in a deep mine points up the hazards of getting at coal the traditional way.

Friday Feedback: Illegal Immigration Enemy of All Workers

Friday Feedback: Illegal immigration is the enemy of all workers, regardless of color. An open border and an endlessly enlarging pool of labor brings the value of all labor down. One of the many problems facing the state of California is the LOW WAGES enforced here by an open border. Supply and demand always works in the labor market. Increase the supply and the demand lowers.

The Living Wage, Affordable Housing, Subsidies, Public Works, and the Myth of Job Creation

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Ron Kaye: Antonio Villaraigosa once held the promise of being the leader who could bring us to this promised land. Maybe he still can but not as long as keeps on looking to enrich his friends and allies at the expense of others, not as long as keeps looking for his next job, not as long as travels the world rather than attending to his duties, not as long as he keeps thinking the people are fools who will fall for hollow promises.

Pardon Me, Scooter?

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On July 2, 2007 George W. Bush commuted the sentence of convicted felon and former top White House staffer Scooter Libby for his convictions on five felony counts of perjury, false statements, and obstruction of justice. He didn’t pardon Libby but, instead, issued a Grant of Executive Clemency before Scooter Libby even served a single [...]

Why We Need to Revitalize the Union Movement

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Sixty years ago, in the wake of Nazi genocide and World War Two’s unspeakable atrocities, Eleanor Roosevelt crafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This historic document, adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948, declared that rights adhered to all persons, no matter their place of birth, race, gender, or religion.

Why Union Organizing Often Fails

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lame for declining union membership is usually attributed to structural changes in the economy, increased globalization, and unions’ failure to devote adequate resources to organizing. But a recent union drive at a private college in South Florida tells a much different, and far too typical, story. It is an account of immigrant workers who got [...]

Slavery, American Style, Must Go!

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Who says there are no slaves in America? The greatest domestic issue facing President-elect Obama is not the bailout of the bankers and insurers but the task of lifting tens of millions of hard-working American wage-slaves out of dire poverty. These are the folks who hold one – and sometimes two or even three – [...]

Progressive Values Stories: Gavin Newsom on Inclusivity and Noah’s Ark

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We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out. — Franklin D. Roosevelt I interviewed San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom about what he personally feels are the most important progressive values. He mentioned several progressive values, such as, Interdependence, Stewardship, Empathy [...]

Fighting for Fair Wages

Maria Elena Durazo and Judy Chu

Fighting for Fair Wages While the subject of the vanishing middle class has gained traction in recent years, there is an equally unnerving phenomenon that is keeping step even though it doesn’t get quite the same level of attention. That’s the plight of the working poor. Until recently, the term “working poor” did not have [...]

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