February 25, 2013 |
Workers in California's beleaguered visual effects industry were left fuming Monday after a speech by Oscar-winning supervisor Bill Westenhofer was cut short -- by the ominous music of "Jaws. " Westenhofer, who led the team at Rhythm & Hues that won a visual effects award for their work on Ang Lee's "Life of Pi," had intended to talk about the plight of his industry, which has hit close to home. The El Segundo visual effects company recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors and laid off about 250 workers from its Los Angeles operation amid mounting losses.
September 18, 2013 |
Aerospace giant Boeing Co. announced plans to close its sprawling Long Beach plant and eliminate thousands of assembly-line jobs where the hulking C-17 cargo plane is built. The plant is one of the last vestiges of an era in which aviation and aerospace helped build Southern California's middle class, and it was a major employer in Long Beach for decades. The announcement Wednesday came just a week after Boeing delivered its 223rd and final C-17 to the Air Force. It has a few foreign orders to fill, but company officials have decided to shut down the assembly line for good in 2015.
October 25, 2010 |
Hiring a part-time worker can be a money saver for a small business, whether the company is growing or shrinking, but experts warn that the choice comes with possible downsides. An unwary business could wind up facing an expensive legal battle if it runs afoul of federal or state labor laws, which generally apply to part-timers as well as full-time workers. "I am getting more calls from small-business owners who are getting hauled into court or being audited by some agency because they are being accused of violating laws they didn't even know applied to them," said Teresa Tracy, a labor attorney in Marina del Rey. Too often, she said, part-time workers are not considered regular employees by their employers.
June 17, 2013 |
Seven out of 10 workers have "checked out" at work or are "actively disengaged," according to a recent Gallup survey . In its ongoing survey of the American workplace, Gallup found that only 30% of workers are "were engaged, or involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their workplace. " Although that equals the high in engagement since Gallup began studying the issue in 2000, it is overshadowed by the number of workers who aren't committed to a performing at a high level -- which Gallup says costs companies money.
March 28, 2013
Re "Worker dies in line of duty," Column, March 26 Thanks to Gale Holland and The Times for bringing attention to the plight of workers who lose their lives doing work that many of us take for granted. Backhoe operator Gilbert Vargas' job was a dangerous one, and his death highlights the need for us to pay tribute to those who make our lives easier, including farm workers who enable us to put food on our tables. The Food Empowerment Project, where I am a board member, has focused on the unnecessary deaths in California of workers picking fruits and vegetables in 100-degree heat.
June 14, 2012 |
A worker at China's Foxconn, the manufacturer that makes most of the world's Apple devices, jumped to his death Wednesday, the most recent in a string of suicides that have plagued the factory chain for years. The employee leapt from the balcony of a company-rented building in the southwestern province of Sichuan, according to police reports noted by the Associated Press. Foxconn's suicides have inflamed workers' rights advocates around the world, who have pointed to what they see as harsh working conditions at Foxconn's factories, which in addition to iPhones and iPads produce electronics for many of the largest international device makers.