Bottom confronts top

Walmart workers and their allies organize a movement that could ripple through the retail industry


On Nov. 2, a half-hour before the 6am grand re-opening of the newly remodeled Walmart store in Richmond, six workers on the late-night shift donned matching lime-green T-shirts and staged a sit-in next to the Customer Service desk.

"We're tired of mistreatment at work," explained Walmart worker Mario Hammod, "of not being treated with dignity and respect."

Outside, a small group of union members, clergy, and other supporters stood in the dark, holding a huge banner reading "Walmart on strike: End the retaliation."Read more »

School board incumbent victories could undermine UESF


San Franciscans this week saw the end result of long-running teacher union attacks on the re-election campaign of three SFUSD school board incumbents -- Sandra Fewer, Jill Wynns and Rachel Norton -- who were all reelected.Read more »

Workers celebrate launch of wage theft task force


San Francisco's wage theft task force, approved in June, had its first meeting today.

The wage theft task force formed to strengthen the city response to workers exploited by wage theft, which can include non-payment of the minimum wage or of hours worked, non-payment of overtime, illegal deductions from worker paychecks, or failure to pay a worker at all.Read more »

Guardian voices: Finally, rights for domestic workers


The national domestic workers’ movement is on the cusp of making history in California. Any day now, the state’s Domestic Bill of Rights (AB 899) – only the second such piece of legislation in the country – could be passed on the Senate floor, finally bringing respect and recognition to 200,000 workers who have been systematically excluded from labor laws for 74 years.Read more »

Country Country Club workers plan picket after step towards victory


Workers at Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton, represented by UNITE HERE Local 2850, received a favorable decision from Administrative Law Judge Clifford Anderson of the National Labor Relations Board on Monday. He found that the club owes all 61 union workers two years of back pay-- and their jobs back.

"For the workers it feels like a relief to be believed in some way," said Local 2850 organizer Sarah Norr. "The workers have been saying for two years that Castlewood was not really trying to reach a compromise." Read more »

Janitors continue pressure as negotiations' close draws near


As contract negotiations with several employers come to an end August 1, the SEIU Local 87 janitors union has been coming out in force. More than 1,000 rallied in Union Square and marched over the weekend. Today, 500 janitors marched through the financial district.

“If we don’t get no contract, you don’t get no peace,” the crowd chanted as it marched down Market, before turning on First towards Mission. The group periodically stopped to picket intersections. Read more »

Workers launch global Hyatt boycott, hundreds picket at Union Square


As shoppers scurried around Union Square yesterday, a picket that drew more than 300 people could be heard for blocks. The grand-scale noise-making was in front of the Grand Hyatt, where workers and supporters demonstrated against what they say is unsafe and unfair treatment of hotel workers.

UNITE HERE Local 2 has been supporting a boycott of a couple Hyatt locations in San Francisco for years now. But this week the national union, along with a broad coalition of supporters, has called for a worldwide boycott of the hotel chain.

Read more »

Two calls to investigate SF restaurant surcharges as consumer fraud


The surcharges that many San Francisco restaurants charge their customers – ostensibly to help cover their employee health care obligations, although in practice it has often just padded their profits – should be investigated by the District Attorney's Office as consumer fraud, according to Sup. David Campos and San Francisco's Civil Grand Jury, which recently issued a scathing report scrutinizing the practice.Read more »

Eat your veggies and join a union


Mom and the AFL-CIO have an intriguing new message for America's working people: "Eat Your Veggies  – and Join a Union."

Many moms know, of course, that unionized workers are paid better than their non-union counterparts, have better benefits, better working conditions and stronger voices in what goes on at their workplaces, as well as in off-the-job political activities. Read more »

Corporations are people, but I guess unions aren't


So seven of the Supreme Court Justices, including all of the ones who voted for corporate free speech in Citizens United, have decided that unions aren't the same as corporations and don't have the same political rights.Read more »