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Today a global boycott of Hyatt Hotels was declared. As a server at the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood, not only do I personally condone it, but I also urge all my friends, family and online contacts to join me in voting Hyatt the worst hotel employer in America.
This is the first time in history that there has ever been a global boycott of a hotel chain, and I believe it is well deserved.
My personal journey to this decision started last September during our seven-day strike in front of the Andaz on Sunset Boulevard, where my coworkers and I were in a battle for decent wages and a fair tipping policy. A lot of us frankly were tired of working three or four different jobs while only getting paid for one.
I hadn’t yet heard of some of the stories from different Hyatt hotels across the country – like the one about Hyatt firing its entire housekeeping staff in Boston and replacing them with minimum-wage temp workers.
The voices of doom and decline say that high-speed rail cannot be built in California. They’ve tried to stop the forces of progress by calling high-speed rail “a boondoggle” and “a waste.” This is not a new phenomenon. Enemies of progress said the same thing about the Golden Gate Bridge, built in the middle of the Great Depression. They screamed “boondoggle” at every major public works project in the 20th century while California was constructing a world-class infrastructure of freeways, dams, bridges and aqueducts that fostered a golden age of middle-class growth.
The labor movement rejects the voices of doom, because we have a vision for California. We know it’s time to invest in California’s future, starting with construction of high-speed rail.
Wednesday, the voices of progress and investment won a significant victory — Governor Brown signed SB 1029 to fund construction of a high-speed rail system.
Within the padded walls of the House of Representatives, few agenda items consume more time than figuring out how to overturn President Obama’s health care reform law – and, looking down the road a little, how to scuttle Medicare as we know it. These two causes, along with countering the daily menace of Sharia law at the county courthouse, are what make certain conservatives get up early in the morning. Yet now a Commonwealth Fund survey shows that when it comes to Medicare, at least, most senior citizens are quite happy with the government-provided service they receive.
According to the survey, “Only eight percent of Medicare beneficiaries age 65 or older rated their insurance as fair or poor, compared with 20 percent of adults with employer-sponsored insurance and 33 percent of adults purchasing coverage in the individual market.”
Who would want to fix something so obviously not broken?
A day laborer falls off an unsafe scaffold and dies. A custodian gets work-related asthma from cleaning products. A painter is tested and found to have lead poisoning. Every year, thousands of California workers are injured on the job or become ill as a result of health hazards at work.
Twelve workers tragically lose their lives on the job each day in the United States, with 409 workplace deaths in California in 2009. Latino workers are particularly at risk. In Los Angeles County, where nearly one quarter of the state’s fatalities occur, Latino workers have a 50 percent higher fatality rate than non-Latino workers.
Work-related injuries and illnesses result in substantial human and economic costs, and can be prevented. Having the data necessary to understand the problem is the first step.
A health indicator is a numerical value or statistic that helps us measure the state of health in a community or group.
In the 1960s and ’70s, Saul Alinsky, often considered the founder of community organizing, was a popular figure among liberal activists, based primarily on his how-to manuals, Reveille for Radicals and Rules for Radicals, and his reputation as a tough-talking, street-smart agitator who helped poor and working-class Americans gain a voice in battles with politicians and corporations. Now the Republican Party and its right-wing echo chamber are trying to make Alinsky, who died at 63 in 1972, famous all over again, by linking him to Barack Obama and demonizing the president as a dangerous radical.
During his primary campaign, Newt Gingrich constantly invoked Alinsky’s ghost. “The centerpiece of this campaign, I believe, is American exceptionalism versus the radicalism of Saul Alinsky,” he said in stump speeches and television appearances. Or variously: “If you believe as we do in the Declaration of Independence and you think that’s a better source than Saul Alinsky,