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July 3, 2005 | James Flanigan
The Fourth of July weekend seems like a good time to examine some of the heat and rhetoric lately surrounding one of the basic building blocks of our society: immigration. There is widespread concern that too many immigrants are coming in and, worse, that waves of unskilled workers will form a permanent underclass and change the historic dynamic of American society. These are serious matters. Immigration is part of the DNA of America, and it's as necessary today as ever.
April 18, 2014 | Sandy Banks
Adria Ponsar and her son Rhyon are huddled over a child-sized table scattered with pieces of Mr. Potato Head. She is wearing an earpiece that the 4-year-old doesn't see. Rhyon is frantically sifting through the pile for the body part he needs. On the other side of a mirrored wall, social worker Aja Bryant murmurs into a mic, coaching Ponsar through the play session with scripted precision. The mother compliments her son on handling the toy gently. Good label praise, Bryant whispers into the microphone . Good reflecting.
July 13, 1994 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Study Links Weight, Height to Wages: Girls who were obese adolescents and boys who were short were found to have lower wages years later compared to their thinner and taller counterparts, a study shows. The Dartmouth College study of more than 12,500 people born in England, Scotland and Wales found girls who were fat at age 16 wound up with lower-paying jobs at age 23, even if they had since lost weight.
April 16, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla
Announcing that rapper Jay Z's popular Made in America music festival is coming to downtown, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday that the event will "shine a spotlight" on Grand Park, the city's up-and-coming Civic Center gathering spot. But what was billed as a coup for a reemerging Central City is also prompting debate about the idea and future of a refurbished and increasingly lively public venue that cascades from the edge of the Music Center to the steps of City Hall. The open space, expanded to 12 acres and relaunched in 2012, hosted free Fourth of July fireworks and a New Year's Eve party, events that each drew tens of thousands of visitors.
October 7, 2009 | Matthew Continetti, Matthew Continetti is the associate editor of the Weekly Standard. Penguin Sentinel will release his "Persecution of Sarah Palin" in November.
President Obama says the big problem in Washington is that politicians focus on pleasing special interests at the expense of the general public. But his curious definition of "special interests" exempts one key political force: organized labor. Even during a recession, the public is ambivalent toward organized labor. In September, a Gallup poll found that 48% of Americans approved of unions. This was an 11-point drop from the previous year's approval rating and the lowest recorded since Gallup started asking the question in 1936.
March 27, 2011 | By Kurt Streeter, Los Angeles Times
Alarmed by recent union losses in a Wisconsin labor battle, thousands of organized workers marched through downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, vowing to fight a similar fate here in cash-strapped California. Police estimated between 5,000 and 8,000 people attended the protest, which ended in a packed rally at Pershing Square. The event comes in response to the Wisconsin Legislature's approval of a bill this month that curtails the collective bargaining rights of many unions and follows a weeks-long battle.
October 17, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- African countries dominate a new global index on slavery, with 38 of the 50 nations where the scourge is at its worst found on the continent. The Global Slavery Index , released Thursday, estimated that nearly 30 million people remain enslaved globally, millions of whom are in Africa. Mauritania has the poorest record, with some 150,000 people in a population of 3.8 million held captive, many of whom inherited their status from their parents. Other African countries with particularly high prevalence of slavery are located in West Africa: Benin, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Gabon and Senegal.
October 11, 2012 | By Robert Greene
They didn't go there. Did they? Did the No on 31 campaign , funded mostly by organized labor and backed by the California Democratic Party, really invoke the "Tea Party" as being on the right (right as in “correct”) side of the issue? Did they really cite fringy populist conservatives who worry about a United Nations takeover of California? Yeah, they kinda did. How else would you interpret the Google ad that says “Learn why California Democrats and Tea Party both say vote No”?
July 25, 2013 | By Chris Kraul
BOGOTA, Colombia -- Work on Colombia's biggest-ever construction project, a $6.47-billion refinery called Reficar going up near the coastal city of Cartagena, has ground to a halt amid ongoing labor strife, the latest in a series of setbacks that has contributed to delays and billions in cost overruns on the megaproject.   The strike is only the latest in Colombia's fast-growing energy and mining sectors.  The most notable impacts have been a slowdown this year in the country's oil boom and a possible decline in coal exports for the first time in a decade, both partly the result of labor strikes.
February 9, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Cesarean sections are often performed when a baby is going to be born early. Likewise, sometimes labor is induced when a woman's water breaks too early in the pregnancy. However, two new studies suggest that these common practices may, in fact, not benefit babies. Both papers, presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, challenge conventional wisdom. The first looked at 2,560 babies delivered preterm because they were small for gestational age. The study found that those delivered by C-section before 34 weeks of pregnancy had 30% higher odds of developing respiratory distress compared with similar babies delivered vaginally.
April 13, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
The continuing push for higher minimum wages across the country has much to recommend it, but the campaign shouldn't keep us from recognizing a truly insidious practice that impoverishes low-wage workers all the more. It's known as wage theft. Wage theft, as documented in surveys, regulatory actions and lawsuits from around the country, takes many forms: Forcing hourly employees off the clock by putting them to work before they can clock in or after they clock out. Manipulating their time cards to cheat them of overtime pay. Preventing them from taking legally mandated breaks or shaving down their lunch hours.
April 12, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
ON THE MOUND: Zack Greinke wasn't at his best as he gave up eight hits and threw 103 pitches in 5 1/3 innings. But he held the Diamondbacks to one run, which allowed him to depart the game with a 6-1 lead and earn his third victory of the season. As a result of Greinke's relatively short start, the Dodgers had to use five relievers: Paco Rodriguez, Chris Withrow, Paul Maholm, Brandon League and Kenley Jansen. That Jansen was forced to pitch in a game the Dodgers once led 8-2 was entirely League's fault.
April 9, 2014 | By Nathan Fenno
Northwestern assailed the decision of a National Labor Relations Board regional director that the school's scholarship football players are employees and can unionize in an appeal filed Wednesday with the full board. "In this unprecedented decision, the regional director set out to alter the underlying premise upon which college varsity sports is based," Northwestern lawyers wrote. The 50-page request for review repeatedly jabbed Peter Sung Ohr, the NLRB's regional director in Chicago who ruled in favor of former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter and the College Athletes Players Assn.
April 2, 2014 | By Larry Gordon
Twenty picketers were arrested Wednesday for blocking traffic at UC Santa Cruz as unionized teaching assistants and tutors began a strike at two UC campuses. The walkout at Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley is expected to extend for a second day Thursday and include the system's other seven undergraduate campuses as well, union leaders said. The United Auto Workers Local 2865 - which represents about 13,000 teaching assistants, tutors and readers - called the strike to protest what it said were unfair labor practices and intimidation by UC administrators.
March 31, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
Hoping to make Los Angeles a national leader in steering trash away from landfills, the City Council is poised to approve a sweeping and controversial transformation of garbage collection for tens of thousands of businesses and apartment buildings. The new system, which tightens city control over the commercial trash-hauling market, is expected to win approval Tuesday. Proponents say that the changes, backed by environmental and labor organizations, will keep more garbage out of landfills, cut down on truck traffic and make the industry safer for workers.
March 31, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - When prominent Latino activists meet with President Obama, there's one White House staff member present whom many of them have known since she was a child. Julie Chavez Rodriguez grew up handing out leaflets and knocking on doors with her grandfather, Cesar Chavez, whose campaign to organize farmworkers still inspires today's Latino leaders. As deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement, Rodriguez runs Obama's organizing efforts in support of immigration reform and supervises Latino outreach.
March 20, 2013 | By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times
Labor support and pensions for city workers continue to be a key issue in the Los Angeles mayoral contest, as Wendy Greuel faces fresh questions about her backing from public-employee unions and her stance on a City Council vote last year to trim retirement benefits for new workers. Greuel has long criticized rival Eric Garcetti's City Council vote to roll back pension benefits for new hires without engaging in collective bargaining with city worker unions. Recent statements that she would push to reopen talks with labor over the decision have raised concerns among some of Greuel's pro-business backers. The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday called on Greuel, the city controller, to appear personally to explain her position.
August 18, 2009 | Alex Pham
To their legions of fans -- Sasha Obama and Snoop Dogg included -- the Ugly Dolls are anything but ugly. With names such as Babo, Big Toe and Puglee, the creatures look more like impish cartoon monsters than adorable Beanie Babies. Millions of these odd, squishy misfits have charmed their way into buyers' hands since David Horvath began doodling them eight years ago on letters to his college sweetheart, Sun-Min Kim. Manhattan Beach residents Horvath and Kim had dreamed about creating toys that could tell stories and make kids happy.
March 29, 2014 | By Alana Semuels
Pastors and students in Mississippi are putting pressure on Nissan to remain neutral as the United Automobile Workers try to organize a 5,600-worker plant near Jackson. They're planning marches and protest events with the slogan “Workers' Rights are Civil Rights.” Many say the campaign for better working conditions at the Nissan plant, described in a story in the Los Angeles Times , is a new kind of civil rights struggle. Unions are increasingly turning to outside community groups to help organize workers, labor experts say, especially after the UAW lost a recent key vote at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee.
March 27, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Cesar Chavez, the man who became the face of disenfranchised California farmworkers, was many things: courageous, controversial, quietly charismatic, politically astute, singular in his focus. "Cesar Chavez" the movie, starring Michael Peña as the Mexican American activist and America Ferrera as his wife, Helen, could use more of those qualities. Chavez was loved, hated and feared, at times by friend and foe alike, for his impassioned fight to unionize immigrant pickers and pruners beginning in the late 1960s.
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