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.
May 17, 2013 |
Another tragedy at a Bangladesh clothing factory, another announcement by Wal-Mart about additional steps it will take to beef up worker safety, this time by inspecting all of its suppliers' facilities itself. Not that the retailing giant hasn't made real efforts already to improve employee safety in notoriously bad factories overseas, but the deaths of more than 1,100 people at the Rana Plaza factory last month should signal that a piecemeal, go-it-alone approach is insufficient, even for the biggest retailer in the world.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 5, 2013 |
San Francisco dodged a bullet with Gov. Jerry Brown's deadline maneuver to block a strike by BART employees that would have left hundreds of thousands of Bay Area commuters and tourists stranded and scrambling. But the temporary delay won't resolve an issue that goes deeper than benefits and wages: This high-stakes standoff has fed the perception that public sector employees are oblivious to other workers' economic pain. Last month's five-day strike by Bay Area Rapid Transit workers brought that notion into stark relief, in a region where economy and geography make public transportation a lifeline, not just a convenience.
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.
February 22, 2013 |
Ang Lee's acclaimed 3-D movie "Life of Pi" is a front-runner to win a top visual effects award at the Oscars. But some of the people who worked on the film's dazzling visual effects aren't celebrating. In fact, they're planning to stage a protest to call attention to their own plight -- and that of California visual effects workers in general. A group of visual effects workers has arranged to have a plane fly a banner over the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood during the red carpet Academy Awards pre-show to protest their circumstances.
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.