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Union Organizers

October 3, 1999
Once upon a time, low pay and no or few benefits were the automatic grist for a successful union organizing drive ["Nonunion-Market Trend Attacked," Sept. 29]. But now, apparently, a union is whining because it can't organize the employees of certain market companies who are thriving in areas where the unionized, big chain stores can't make it. So it turns to Democrat state legislators who can't do anything about it, either, but make dribbling noises. Next it will be whining about grocery sales over the Internet, which may really take away union jobs.
December 5, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Fast-food workers, union organizers and community supporters rallied nationwide for higher pay Thursday amid criticism from the restaurant industry that the campaign was "part of an ongoing effort to replace fact with fiction while ignoring simple truths. " The first protest in Southern California launched at 6 a.m. at a McDonald's in Florence, as more than 100 people gathered under a still-dark sky with signs and megaphones. "Keep your burgers, keep your fries, make our wages super-sized," they chanted, swaddled against the chill in beanies and hoodies.
April 4, 1989 | HARRY BERNSTEIN
Los Angeles Archbishop Roger M. Mahony is embroiled in an increasingly ugly local labor dispute with national implications, and he is using many tactics typical of anti-union campaigns. Mahony, who has long associated with liberal, pro-worker, pro-union causes, is waging a strong, though legal, campaign against unionization of 140 gravediggers in the archdiocese.
November 13, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
At a time when unions are struggling to organize workers in the private sector, the Supreme Court is being asked to make unionization more difficult even when an employer agrees not to resist it. The court should reject the notion that such "neutrality" agreements violate the law. On Wednesday, the court will be asked to allow a Florida casino to renege on an agreement it made with the Unite Here union under which management promised to remain neutral...
California's unions, bucking the continuing declines in membership nationally for organized labor, have started to attract more workers. New figures developed by a Florida State University economist, David A. Macpherson, show that union membership in California rose to 2.08 million during the first 10 months of 1997. That was up 21,000 from the 1996 level. Experts say California's increase comes mainly from the large pool of low-wage immigrant workers.
June 8, 1989
Union Election at Nissan Scheduled: Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corp. U.S.A. and the United Auto Workers have agreed to a union election at the Nashville, Tenn., plant on July 26-27. It will be the first vote on union representation since production began at the plant in 1983. The factory, Nissan's only one in this country, manufactures light pickup trucks and Sentra cars. Union organizers said about 2,400 of Nissan's 3,200 workers are eligible to join the union. Under the agreement, the collective voting unit will include all hourly production and maintenance employees.
March 1, 1989
Employees of AIDS Project Los Angeles, the county's largest AIDS services organization, voted 37 to 24 against affiliating themselves with the Hospital and Service Employees Union Local 399 after a bitter, emotional union drive. During the campaign, union organizers claimed that the agency's board of directors and management had grown increasingly out of touch with the needs of APLA staffers and clients.
May 14, 1997
More than 100 janitors working at the University of Southern California are planning to march from the campus to the nearby Coliseum today to demand the right to join a union. Almost 70% of the 200 workers who clean the university and the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center voted in an unofficial ballot to join the Service Employees International Local 1877 last month, according to union organizers.
June 20, 1997
An estimated 400 union janitors marched through downtown Thursday on their way to demonstrate against a maintenance firm that replaced union employees with workers receiving minimum wage. Workers of the Service Employees International Union, Local 1877 awarded their annual "Top Trash" award to T & M Maintenance, the janitorial service company that took over cleaning duties at the Pacific Bell building in February and released seven of the eight union workers, according to union organizers.
Nearly a score of union activists were arrested on trespassing and other charges Friday after refusing requests to leave the headquarters of Rebuild L.A., which they had occupied for more than 24 hours to protest the organization's "failure to address" the city's "despair and economic disintegration."
September 9, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez and Kate Linthicum
The leader of the nation's largest labor federation denounced several top American corporations and the U.S. Supreme Court for contributing to the erosion of the middle class. In a fiery speech to thousands of union members at the AFL-CIO convention in downtown Los Angeles, President Richard Trumka denounced the "powerful forces in America today who want our country to be run by and for the rich. " He singled out longtime union targets Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and McDonald's Corp., saying "their whole business model is about keeping the people who work for them poor.
September 9, 2013 | By Meredith Kleykamp and Jake Rosenfeld
Over the next few days, the largest national group of unions, the AFL-CIO, meets in Los Angeles to look at ways to stem the long-term decline of American unions. African Americans and other people of color have a lot at stake. Many people think of a union member as a white, blue-collar male, and historically that was true. In the early 1900s, nearly all U.S. unions discriminated against African Americans and refused to let them join. In 1935, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Wagner Act into law - guaranteeing American workers the right to bargain collectively with their employers - fewer than 1 in 100 union members in the U.S. was an African American.
August 27, 2013 | Ricardo Lopez
At least 15 port truck drivers with a Carson-based trucking firm went on a 24-hour strike scheduled to culminate in a Tuesday rally, alleging their employer is trying to thwart their efforts to unionize. The action against the company, Green Fleet Systems, began late Monday when truck drivers and their supporters picketed outside the company's Carson facility. Truckers contend that company supervisors have been illegally dissuading them from joining a union -- an allegation Green Fleet denied.
January 24, 2013 | By Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
The latest snapshot of the U.S. working class shows that unions are in trouble, their ranks thinning amid a backlash against organized labor and a still sputtering economy. But California and a few nearby states in the Southwest are showing a vastly different picture - labor's ranks are on an upswing. The Golden State's union organizers signed up more than 100,000 new members last year, while the nation as a whole shed 400,000, according to data released Wednesday. The reason: Latino workers.
November 21, 2012 | By Ari Bloomekatz and Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
The day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year for Los Angeles International Airport, and union organizers knew it would likely send a message if they could snarl traffic by marching through the streets and clogging a heavily used intersection near LAX. So while travelers hurried to their terminals Wednesday afternoon, about 1,500 protesters carrying signs that read "Living Wage & Affordable Health Care" and chanting "Respect, respect,...
July 24, 2012 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
The fight over the future of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles drew patients, union organizers and even a priest to City Hall on Monday on the eve of a major City Council vote on whether to outlaw pot shops. The merits of the proposed ban, which would prohibit storefront sales of marijuana while still allowing small groups of patients and caregivers to grow it collectively, were hashed out at dueling rallies. At one, a few residents and local leaders who favor the ban complained about the crime and nuisance wrought by dispensaries.
After a year of labor tension, subcontracted janitors at USC and USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center have gone on strike to gain recognition for their union and protest what they say are unfair labor practices against workers trying to organize. The strike began late Tuesday night and continued Wednesday. Strikers plan to march near the campus today.
May 13, 1987 | H. G. REZA, Times Staff Writer
A group of 100 janitors and their union supporters held a brief but noisy demonstration Tuesday at the downtown Home Federal Savings & Loan Assn. building to protest what they say are low wages and bad working conditions. The rally was sponsored by the Service Employees Union, Local 102, after union officials charged that two janitors who worked in the building were illegally fired by the maintenance company that contracts to clean the building's offices.
April 12, 2012 | By Melanie Mason
A "super PAC" created by an influential labor organization will focus its efforts on motivating voters on the ground, rather than financing television commercials. "It's not going to be about FEC deadlines, television ads or the usual super PAC activity. It's about building a new way for workers to connect,” said Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer for the AFL-CIO, at a news conference Thursday morning detailing the super PAC's strategy. Unlike past union efforts, the Workers Voices super PAC will be able to reach out to all workers, including nonunion ones.
October 30, 2011 | By Dennis Lim, Special to the Los Angeles Times
With parts of the country in the grips of a newly radicalized mood, it's tempting to wonder what an American political cinema would look like. As it is, the most prominent model we have is Michael Moore, a lightning-rod figure whose agitprop bluster can be both cathartic and frustrating. Most of what we think of as political documentary is strictly content over form, determined above all to get across the stakes surrounding a particular issue. The picture is even less encouraging in the fiction arena, where openly political filmmakers such as John Sayles or even Oliver Stone are very much outliers.
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