Serious contract negotiations are now underway between the University of California system and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents nearly 14,000 clerical workers and administrative support staff.
Tony Sheldon, an internationally known trade unionist and the national secretary of Australia’s Transport Workers Union, recently attended a Las Vegas convention of world labor representatives, hosted by the Teamsters. Capital & Main caught up with him later in Los Angeles.
Self-employed independent contractors in the Golden State can neither form unions nor negotiate collective bargaining pacts, but part of those conditions could soon change, according to Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego). Gonzalez, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Women in the Workplace, introduced Assembly Bill 1727 on January 28 as an amendment to the state’s Labor Code. Gonzalez’s bill, which will be updated today, is called the California 1099 Self-Organizing Act. It would allow independent contractors to form employee associations that could negotiate working conditions and pay, though not to form labor unions.
“All workers should have the right to organize and collectively bargain,” Gonzalez said in an email to Capital & Main. “Our laws need to catch up to the innovation happening in our economy to ensure independent contractors have a pathway to these workplace rights as well.”
Two days ago, with truck driver strikes expanding at Los Angeles-area ports, Capital & Main shared a conversation with a pair of drivers who detailed safety concerns about a trucking system that imposes long hours and unaffordable maintenance burdens. As the strikes spread among trucking companies and into port warehouses, those safety concerns took center stage with a shocking accident.
On Tuesday afternoon a shipping container slipped from a truck and killed a bicyclist in Carson. The container had struck a railroad bridge, though a witness said that the truck may not have been appropriate for the job.
“I’m assuming that they’re hiring those flatbeds because yesterday it was a flatbed too,” David Alva told ABC7 News. The day before, Alva saw a similar accident that did not involve injuries. “Those containers weigh from 40,000 [pounds] and up. They just strap them on with straps,
Capital & Main recently sat down with actor Ed O’Neill, best known for his role as Al Bundy in the Fox TV Network sitcom, Married With Children, and currently starring in ABC’s award-winning comedy, Modern Family, which will be honored in December at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy’s 2014 City of Justice Awards Dinner.
What are your thoughts on the direction of the country after this last election?
I voted — I had to vote absentee because I was working. But these midterm elections are always puzzling to me because usually not many people come out for the vote. But obviously the country goes back and forth about so many things. I personally think Obama’s doing a pretty good job. Then again, I don’t follow it every day. For me,