The stories of the more than 800,000 men, women and children working in California’s fields—one-third of the nation’s agricultural work force—are rarely heard. A new book, Chasing the Harvest, presents oral histories of people whose lives have been shaped by California agriculture.
Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, a social earthquake in which dozens of people were killed and over a thousand buildings burned. Even before it erupted, the combustible material was obvious to many living and working in South Los Angeles.
Interviews with a range of thinkers reveal the likely shape of things to come during a Trump presidency.
Maria Elena Durazo knows about immigrant workers, labor and civil rights. She has headed up the hospitality union UNITE HERE’s Immigration, Civil Rights, and Diversity program since 2014.
(Yesterday David Bacon examined a decades-long labor war being fought by Gerawan Farming against the United Farm Workers — a union against which the company has been accused of orchestrating a decertification campaign. His reporting concludes today with a look at Gerawan’s political allies and the company’s attempt to overturn a key California labor law.) […]
When hundreds of people marched to the Los Angeles City Council last October, urging it to pass a resolution supporting a farm worker union fight taking place in California’s San Joaquin Valley, few had ever heard the name of the company involved. That may not be the case much longer. Gerawan Farming, one of the […]
Nearly a decade ago, L.A. labor leader María Elena Durazo organized the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, a national caravan that brought immigrants and their supporters around the country to Washington, D.C., to push for immigration reform. In the ensuing years, there has been much talk but no action on extending legal protections to the country’s […]
María Elena Durazo announced today that she will leave the LA County Federation of Labor, which she has led for more than eight years. “I feel that the Los Angeles labor movement is very strong, very progressive, very proactive,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “Altogether, we have accomplished a lot. And there is a […]
The Partnership for Working Families Summit kicked off Tuesday in Los Angeles as activists from around the country convened at the Biltmore Hotel for three days of workshops and talks focused on creating good jobs, sustainable industries and strong unions. The Partnership includes such groups as the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), […]
There was a time when we listened to science, leaned forward when its experts spoke about smoking, clean air and water, or the need for something called a seatbelt. But that was long ago, before corporate interests convinced us that the best policy for just about any social crisis was to do nothing. Today research […]
In 2004, after a long string of Republican governors and the shockingly narrow defeat of Prop. 72—which would have ushered in the most progressive health care reform ever implemented in the United States—California labor leaders got mad. And then they got organized. “We said, we’re never going to lose that bad again—what do we have […]
Maria Elena Durazo serves as Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, which represents more than 600,000 union workers. She is also the Chair of the National AFL-CIO’s Immigration Committee and recently spoke to Frying Pan News about the pending immigration bill in Congress, as well as a new student film competition […]
Seven years ago María Elena Durazo, the head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, stood on a stage erected at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, facing a sea of demonstrators who had just paraded miles in support of immigrant rights. In the twilight of that May Day, as Durazo […]
James Rainey’s L.A. Times story, “Garcetti, Greuel Step Gingerly Around City Labor Issues,” shows the problem with the press’ approach to writing so-called “balanced” stories. Rainey’s story is generally a good one, filled with facts and figures. He’s even careful to use his data to set the record straight when it contradicts what one of his […]