Organized labor spoke up on behalf of medical cannabis patients and workers in Los Angeles today. One hundred medical cannabis patients, workers, and advocates gathered on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall for a press conference hosted by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 770, which represents workers at more than twenty of the most reputable patients’ cooperatives and collectives in the city. UFCW Local 770 called the press conference to oppose a motion by City Council Members Jose Huizar and Mitchell Englander calling for an outright ban on patients’ associations. The motion will be before the Public Safety Committee tomorrow, and may be before the full City Council within days.
NELP Report Documents Walmart’s Stranglehold on Working Conditions in Southern California that Adversely Affect Latino Warehouse Workers
LOS ANGELES — Major retailers like Walmart are driving down wages and workplace safety standards on a scale far greater than understood before, a report released today by the National Employment Law Project shows.
Albertsons will lay off an estimated 2,200 to 2,500 workers at stores in California and Nevada, the company announced today, blaming the job cuts on a reduction in foot traffic and sales.
The company is among the leading supermarket chains in the San Diego region, where it operates more than 50 stores including a handful in Riverside County. The move comes 10 months after the chain agreed to a new contract with the grocery-workers union, which followed months of negotiations and strike threats.
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Terminally and seriously ill medical marijuana patients will gather on the steps of City Hall Thursday to protest ahead of a City Council meeting that could shut down pot dispensaries.
The Public Safety Committee meeting, planned for 8 a.m. Friday, will consider a preliminary ordinance to either ban medicinal cannabis dispensaries completely or allow a little over 100 to continue to operate.
The Democratic establishment, and even much of the mainstream media, have in recent years embraced Walmart, an unlikely paramour. But revelations about Walmart recently published by the New York Times, which found evidence that the retailer’s largest foreign operation, Walmex, had paid more than $24 million in bribes to Mexican politicians who could grease the wheels of its expansion in Mexico, are providing an opportunity for the company’s critics to break up this ill-fated romance.
MEXICO CITY — In September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an alarming e-mail from a former executive at the company’s largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico. In the e-mail and follow-up conversations, the former executive described how Wal-Mart de Mexico had orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance. In its rush to build stores, he said, the company had paid bribes to obtain permits in virtually every corner of the country.
Statement of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 770 President Rick Icaza:
Yesterday's front page story in the New York Times detailing Walmart's underhanded record of bribing its way into Mexico has direct parallels in Southern California.
Walmart will stop at nothing to get what it wants, and what it wants is entry into the Los Angeles market. In Mexico, they call them bribes. In Southern California, they are "donations" and "lobbying fees."
Rite Aid member Eric Gonzales and his sister, Ralphs member Monica Paz, are grateful to have their union benefits.
Four years ago Eric was an active 17 year old when he was diagnosed with a rare form of Kidney Disease. Doctors immediately started him on Dialysis three times a week for four hour sessions. His only chance of surviving was to get a kidney transplant, but his sister Monica could not stand by while he was put on a long kidney donor waiting list. That is when she decided to become his kidney donor. They had to go through a lot of tests and a very long process but it was worth it. On April 12, 2011 Eric got his new kidney.
Employees at LA Wonderland, a medical marijuana dispensary, recently agreed to join a union.
Brennan Thicke has struggled for years to keep his Los Angeles business open. Several months ago, he called a staff meeting to discuss what he thinks might be his last, best hope: starting an employee union.
"I told them, 'Here's the deal: This is an opportunity for you to save your jobs,'" Thicke recalled.
Rick Icaza, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770, speaks at a news conference announcing that employees of Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries had formed a union. (Gary Friedman, Los Angeles Times / March 22, 2012)
With the fate of the city's medical marijuana industry in question, workers at more than a dozen Los Angeles pot shops have formed a labor union in part to help ward off a proposed citywide ban on dispensaries.
The Venice Beach Care Center is among more than 10 local medical marijuana dispensaries now represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 union.
The local arm of the nation's largest retail workers union announced Thursday that it has successfully unionized more than 100 hundred workers at Los Angeles-area medical marijuana dispensaries, including the Venice Beach Care Center.
Rick Icaza, president of UFCW Local 770 in Los Angeles, talks with KPCC reporter Shirley Jahad following the announcement that medical marijuana dispensary workers are joining the United Food and Commercial Workers union, Thursday, March 22, 2012.
Some local medical marijuana workers are unionizing. The head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor says the union may help cut through the legal smoke surrounding the dispensaries.
Ever since the gas pipeline disaster in San Bruno, the Utility Workers at the Gas Company have been working tirelessly to make sure we never face such an accident in California. They worked to pass a safety bill, SB 705 that is on the Governor’s desk. They have taken action before the Public Utilities Commission. They have raised safety issues directly with the Gas Company at the bargaining table.
The Gas Company continues to reject the utility workers efforts to work cooperatively to insure the safety of our communities. Instead, the Gas Company’s response is to downgrade middle-class jobs.
Just like our recent battle with the grocery companies, the Gas Company is being greedy, Even though it is making billions in profits, the Gas Company wants to cut wages and benefits of the workers, just like us. UFCW Local 770 joined with Labor and community to rally in support of Gas Workers.