In a dramatic turnaround to what only last month was described as a hopeless impasse, Los Angeles Mayor and L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Chair Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday that an agreement has been reached between Kinkisharyo International, LLC and labor and community groups to expand its L.A. County manufacturing operations for its next delivery of Metro light rail cars.
The mayor’s office said the agreement will net the county a total of 250 new jobs as Kinkisharyo expands the light rail car assembly and testing operations at its existing plant in Palmdale. The accord also includes a “neutrality agreement” (stating Kinkisharyo won’t contest attempts to unionize its workforce), as well as a commitment to explore additional skills training and assistance for disadvantaged L.A. County workers.
The agreement covers a total of 175 cars slated for assembly at the facility, including the 78 that Kinkisharyo is currently assembling under a 2012 Metro contract,
Last week a Superior Court judge dismissed a final attempt by community groups to score a victory against the Walmart grocery market that opened in Chinatown last year. The groups’ complaint against Walmart brings up a number of factors that undermine the validity of the Chinatown store’s permits. These include zoning and redevelopment requirements that have not been met, poor record keeping by the City, the lack of current California Environmental Quality Act information about the neighborhood, and the fact that the permits were issued the day before a City Council hearing that could have halted the project.
Walmart has long occupied center stage in the national debate about income inequality because of its low wage jobs and ruthless ability to undercut small local businesses. How, then, did the retail giant plant a 33,000-square-foot flag in the middle of Los Angeles’ urban core, despite long-established safeguards designed to protect the unique neighborhood character of places like Chinatown?
(Note: A Halloween-themed rally will take place Thursday, October 31, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., outside BYD’s office, 1800 S. Figueroa St. (at W. 18th St.), downtown Los Angeles.)
It was with great excitement that California elected officials welcomed the Chinese company Build Your Dreams (BYD) to build electric buses in places like Lancaster, Long Beach and Los Angeles. Hopes were high that BYD’s Zero Emissions buses would clean the air, and hundreds of Angelenos would go to work in BYD’s new downtown Los Angeles office, earning paychecks to support their families.
But this weekend, news reports revealed that the company’s promises of jobs and quality products couldn’t be more hollow. The California Department of Industrial Relations issued BYD numerous citations on October 10, fining the company $79,250 and requiring it to pay $20,000 in back wages to 22 employees.
City officials, according to the Los Angeles Times,
The AFL-CIO closed out its quadrennial convention in Los Angeles yesterday with a morning remembrance to the victims of 9/11 before delegates rolled up their sleeves and finished up with a day of internal housekeeping and policy chores.
The convention might be remembered most for debuting its highly popular afternoon Action Sessions. Comprising about 50 workshops and panels over three days, these sessions gathered together innovative thinkers, cutting-edge organizers and committed activists from around the country to share the lessons learned in hard-won battles to moved labor to the center stage of a 21st century economy.
Collectively they signaled the AFL-CIO’s seriousness about returning to the grass roots and leveraging one area where labor remains unrivaled and undiminished — its organizational power.
This commitment was especially clear at a Wednesday Action Session entitled “Policy Initiatives That Enable Organizing: Living Wage and PLA Campaigns.”
Moderated by James Elmendorf,
Readers who have fought for social justice while waging a home-front war with parents who hold views diametrically opposed to theirs will take heart in Madeline Janis’ op-ed in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times.
The opinion piece, “Dad, Rush Limbaugh and Me,” is a wry meditation on family and political beliefs that was prompted by the recent death of the author’s father. However, the story specifically springs from an incident that occurred when Janis, who is the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy’s national policy director, helped move her father to an assisted living facility several months ago. She writes:
On the day we were packing, with both of us understandably on edge, I came across a stash of Rush Limbaugh caps, maybe half a dozen of them, each with a different year printed on the front. I couldn’t let it pass.