Fewer employers today provide defined-benefit pensions for their workers—and among those that do, many are offering “defined-contribution” (like 401[k]s) rather than traditional “defined-benefit” pension plans.
That’s why Social Security insurance is essential for millions of retirees. Nearly two-thirds of retirees count on Social Security for half or more of their retirement income and for more than three in 10, Social Security is 90 percent or more of their income. It is a safety net that keeps retirees out of poverty.
A growing coalition of labor unions, environmental groups and tribes made clear that protecting the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), our state’s landmark environmental protection law, is essential to California’s future.
Like many people who come from other countries to work in the United States, Juan José Rosales came to the U.S. to make a better life for himself, trading the prospect of a better financial situation for a temporary amount of time away from his homeland of Mexico. He said that a recruiter promised him that he would get between $7 and $8 an hour while working in the fair and carnival industry on an H-2B visa.
Let’s be honest. Sometimes, outside of election campaign seasons, even progressives wonder what’s so great about unions. Sure, we had a role to play before job safety laws, the eight-hour day, Social Security and civil rights laws were passed. But today?
Even our friends aren’t immune to the relentless attacks on unions from the right and the stereotypes that come with them: union thugs, lazy workers, relics of the past, self-absorbed, yadda, yadda, yadda.
To explain the contrast between the trend in California and the United States as a whole—where union membership dropped last year by 400,000—Semuels turned to some credible sources, including Steve Smith of the state labor federation who cited “an appetite among these low-wage workers to try to get a collective voice to give themselves opportunity and a middle-class lifestyle.”
Brace yourself. In coming weeks you’ll hear there’s no serious alternative to cutting Social Security and Medicare, raising taxes on [the] middle class and decimating what’s left of the federal government’s discretionary spending on everything from education and job training to highways and basic research.
“We” must make these sacrifices, it will be said, in order to deal with our mushrooming budget deficit and cumulative debt.
We're fighting back against the negative stories the national news media is putting out about our movement by establishing a Message Movers team—folks who are willing to push back against biased stories about unions through social media and email.
Can you join in? You're a powerful voice in making sure that the great work of the union movement is being spread far and wide. Become a message mover.
California is famous for several reasons. In the last fifty years, the state has spawned two presidents. It is far and away the most populous state in the union, and it is also the ninth largest economy in the world, besting India and Canada. Every year, tens of millions of international and domestic visitors come to California. Many of the visitor come as tourists who come to the Golden State to explore the vast beaches in the south, the beautiful bay in the middle or the largess of the redwoods in the north.
Protecting Families from Foreclosures. This year, California became the first state to enact reforms that ban the practice of foreclosing on a family seeking a loan modification (AB278, SB900). These bills also increased penalties for “robo-signing,” or the filing of false mortgage documents, and required banks to create a single point of contact for those seeking a loan modification.