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BUSINESS
October 15, 2013 | By Alana Semuels
More than half of families of fast food workers receive some sort of public assistance, costing the nation $7 billion a year, according to a new report distributed by a group that has been pushing for union representation and higher wages for fast food workers. Fast food workers earn an average of $8.69 an hour, and often work fewer than 40 hours a week, qualifying them for food stamps, Medicaid and tax credits, according to the report, written by economists at UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 2013 | By Paul Pringle
The former president of California's biggest union local was sentenced Monday to 33 months in federal prison for stealing from his low-income members to finance an expensive lifestyle that included being married to two women at the same time. Declaring that Tyrone Freeman betrayed the "sacred trust" of the workers he represented, U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins also ordered him pay to about $150,000 in restitution and barred him from holding office in any union for 13 years after he is released from prison.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
Hours after their labor contract expired, thousands of Los Angeles County workers took to the streets of downtown Tuesday morning, rallying for higher wages and accusing county leaders of failing to recognize the sacrifices they made during the recession. Linda Dent, vice president of a union that represents 55,000 county employees, said the workers did without raises during the recession to help the county stay afloat. "We sacrificed for the last four years for L.A. County," Dent told the crowd of SEIU Local 721 members gathered in front of the Hall of Administration and spilling into Grand Park.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2013 | By Ruben Vives and Seema Mehta
Several  streets in downtown Los Angeles were closed Tuesday morning as hundreds of county workers walked out of their jobs and marched to demand higher wages. As crowds massed outside the downtown Hall of Administration, demonstrators started chanting with music from Public Enemy's "Fight the Power," Snap's "I've Got the Power" and Aretha Franklin's "Respect" blaring in the background. One man yelled out: "We're getting ready to march down to the Board of Supervisors, where we're going to raise some hell!"
BUSINESS
September 26, 2013 | By Roger Vincent
Provisions of California's landmark Proposition 13 property tax measure are stoking ire again as reform activists say a high-profile commercial property deal is being structured to avoid tax increases by taking advantage of a loophole. A group of unions and anti-poverty organizations accuses real estate giant Brookfield Office Properties Inc. of trying to skate on potentially millions of dollars in new property taxes on downtown Los Angeles skyscrapers the company is buying by taking less than a 50% stake in a new entity that will take title to the properties and others now held by Brookfield.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 12, 2013 | By Abby Sewell
A union representing about 55,000 Los Angeles County employees called on its members to rally outside of county facilities on their lunch hour Thursday. Service Employees International Union local 721 encouraged its members to hold a "lunchtime picket" outside of county job sites. The union has been in contract negotiations with county management for several months. The county Board of Supervisors approved contracts including modest pay increases for public safety employees including sheriff's deputies and probation officers over the summer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu and Alana Semuels
Fast-food protests that started in New York spread to Los Angeles and other cities across the nation Thursday as workers called for higher wages and the chance to unionize. Dozens of fast-food workers and supporters marched outside a South Los Angeles Burger King at 6 a.m., chanting their demand for a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Holding signs with slogans such as “Burgers and Lies,” “Yo Quiero $15,” and “Lovin' a Living Wage,” they began moving into formation before sunrise, headlights speeding by on the 110 Freeway behind the restaurant in the Brodway-Manchester neighborhood.
BUSINESS
August 29, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu and Alana Semuels
LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK - In the aftermath of the recession, hundreds of workers in low-wage industries have tried to call attention to how difficult it is to survive on the minimum wage. Thursday might have been their biggest effort yet. Fast-food workers in an estimated 60 cities protested outside 1,000 stores, turning out at the crack of dawn to call for union representation and a wage of $15 an hour. Organizers of the effort, bankrolled largely by the SEIU and promoted by a slew of community groups, said it was the largest protest ever to hit the fast-food industry.
BUSINESS
August 21, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
The fight for higher fast-food wages is coming to Los Angeles. Just a few days before Labor Day, restaurant workers plan to walk off the job at big-name chains around Southern California to demand $15-an-hour pay, according to organizers. The protests, part of a nationwide day of strikes called for Aug. 29, would be the latest in a series of one-day, rolling walkouts that have occurred in major cities in recent weeks. Workers have picketed McDonald's, KFC and Taco Bell and other restaurants during peak mealtimes to demand better pay and the right to organize.
BUSINESS
August 2, 2013 | By Alana Semuels
Mechanics for American Airlines may soon check their mail and find a strange package: airplane vomit bags. They're part of a campaign by the Transport Workers Union to fend off a challenge from a rival union: the Teamsters, which wants the mechanics to defect to its ranks. The bag is part of a Transport Workers' defense campaign, which includes ads on billboards and in magazines with the slogan: "Teamster Air: More job departures to China than any other union. " Members are valuable to labor unions for the millions they pay in dues, as well as the clout that comes along with the potential votes members cast in U.S. elections.
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