Most working people experience extreme financial hardship at one time or another. It’s the sad reality of an economy that prioritizes wealth-hording by the super rich over the basic needs of everyday people. Compounding the problem of so many of us living paycheck-to-paycheck is the largely unregulated market for high-interest loans.
The California Labor Federation released its Force for Progress legislative scorecard for 2018 today, applauding those in the state legislature who voted to support working people on key priorities like strengthening the middle class, fighting sexual and racial discrimination in the workplace, affordable housing, infrastructure investment, protection of immigrant workers and other worker issues 100 percent of the time during last year’s legislative session.
In last April’s landmark, unanimous California Supreme Court ruling in the Dynamex case, the court delivered one of the most pro-worker decisions in decades, enshrining a simple A-B-C test that employers must comply with to designate workers as “independent contractors.” The ruling was made necessary by the growing trend of corporations calling workers contractors just so they wouldn’t be on the hook to provide basic protections like unemployment insurance or workers’ compensation.
For those unfamiliar with the radical history of dockworkers leading the fight against economic and racial inequality for workers across color lines, Peter Cole’s book Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area will be a revelation.