UNIONIZE CALIFORNIA!

Posted marzo 26, 2024

This year’s AFL-CIO California Joint Legislative Conference theme was UNIONIZE CALIFORNIA! The annual conference brought together labor leaders, union members, policymakers, and other stakeholders to discuss critical issues facing the labor movement and develop strategies for advancing workers’ rights and interests in the state. It serves as a platform for networking, education, and advocacy, providing a unique opportunity for participants to engage with state lawmakers, share best practices, and mobilize support for pro-worker legislation.

District Council 16 Regional Directors and Business Representatives had the opportunity to attend the conference as well as workshops, panel discussions, and networking sessions that provided valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing our members and the labor movement in the state. These interactive sessions covered a wide range of topics, including organizing campaigns, legislative advocacy, collective bargaining, and worker empowerment.

One of the primary objectives of the conference is to engage with state lawmakers and policymakers to promote pro-worker legislation and policies. By building relationships with elected officials, we can effectively advocate for laws that protect our members, support collective bargaining, and create economic opportunities for all Californians. Through lobbying efforts and grassroots activism, DC16 Business Representatives worked to influence decision-makers and shape public policy in favor of our membership and the working people. Certain assembly bills and senate bills were discussed with assemblymembers and senators in which we gained their support.

Currently working through the legislative process to ensure bills that will benefit our members and will get signed into law, such as:

AB 863 (Aguiar-Curry) – Make available up to 10% of those assessments for grants to apprenticeship programs for training apprentice and journey-level carpet installers in proper carpet recycling practices.

AB 2404 (Lee) – Right to Respect a Picket Line: Protects the right of public sector workers to stand in solidarity and not cross a picket line of other union members. Co-Sponsored with UAW, Teamsters, and CFT.

AB 3186 (Petrie Norris) – Provide oversight to publicly funded projects to ensure that Public Contract Codes, State Labor Codes, and prevailing wage requirements are being enforced on all public works projects that utilize public funds. This is a Co-Sponsored with the State Building Trades and IUPAT.

SB 399 (Wahab) – Ban Captive Audience Meetings: Prohibits employers from holding mandatory captive audience meetings that require workers to listen to the employers’ views on politics, religion, or unions. Co-Sponsored with Teamsters.

SB 1116 (Portantino) – Unemployment Insurance for Striking Workers: Makes striking workers eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits after two continuous weeks striking. Co-Sponsored with California IATSE Council, CWA, Entertainment Union Coalition, SAG-AFTRA, SMART – Transportation Division, Teamsters, UFCW, UNITE HERE, and WGAW.

SB 1303 (Caballero) – Regulate For-Profit Labor Compliance Groups: Increases regulation and accountability of for-profit entities contracted by local agencies to monitor compliance on public works projects. Co-Sponsored with Operating Engineers.

SB 1321 (Wahab) – Prioritize Union Training Programs in Public Funding: Prioritizes joint labor-management training programs and increases transparency for grants to employers at the Employment Training Panel. Co-Sponsored with SMART.

By bringing together union members from different sectors and backgrounds, the conference fosters collaboration, mutual support, and collective action, strengthening the bonds of solidarity that are essential for advancing workers’ rights and building a more just and equitable society!

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