Category Archives: Unions

Feinstein loses California Demorat Party’s endorsement


More delegates voted for Kevin de Leon, the State Senate’s current President pro tempore. More about de Leon:

In December 2016 (after the death of Kate Steinle), de Leon proposed a bill that would prohibit state and local law enforcement, including school police and security departments, from using their resources for immigration enforcement. From my post:

Senate Bill 54 would also create “safe zones” at public schools, hospitals and courthouses where immigrant enforcement would be banned, and require state agencies to update their confidentiality policies so that information on individuals’ immigration status is not shared for enforcement purposes.

“To the millions of undocumented residents illegal aliens pursuing and contributing to the California dream, the state of California will be your wall of justice should the incoming administration adopt an inhumane and overreaching mass-deportation policy,” de León said in a statement. “We will not stand by and let the federal government use our state and local agencies to separate mothers from their children.”

In July 2015, de Leon was caught on film making a racist comment. From Dr. Eowyn’s post:

“The WND reports, June 3, 2015, that an independent undercover journalist has secretly filmed Democrats being racist about blacks.

The undercover video (posted by Ryan Sorba), dated May 2, 2015, is posted at It captures Democrats and homosexual activists calling conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an “Oreo cookie” (black on the outside, white on the inside) or race traitor, who doesn’t know he’s black.

He (Sorba) turns to California State Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon and asks: “On the question of the marriage issue, if we use watermelon, can we get Thomas to side with us on one case?”

De Leon laughs hysterically and turns to another man: “Hey, John, he’s got a good question right here!”

De Leon’s web site, which claims he is a “progressive voice for California,” touts his achievement/plans for California:

  • In 2016, Senator de León championed the “No Place Like Home” initiative, an innovative and ambitious proposal to address homelessness in California by securing $2 billion in bond financing for construction and rehabilitation of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless Californians suffering from mental illness. (How’s that initiative working out, de Leon?)
  • With President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, Senator de León was instrumental in negotiating $30 million to assist the nearly 250,000 Dreamers in California with legal services as well as “safety net” funding to help DACA students stay in school should they become unable to work to support their education.
  • Guided by a strong belief in a woman’s right to control her own health care, Senator de León has been stalwart defender for preserving federal funding for family planning as a Republican-led Congress continues to target Planned Parenthood for defunding.  Senator de León’s strong and unwavering advocacy for access and choice has been recognized by Planned Parenthood with a consistent 100 percent voting record and numerous awards, with special recognition in 2014 for legislative leadership.

Good luck thriving California, if de Leon wins.

From Stars and Stripes: California Democrats rebuked Sen. Dianne Feinstein at their annual convention this weekend, denying her the party’s endorsement in this year’s Senate race and giving a majority of their votes to her liberal primary challenger.

Just 37 percent of delegates to the statewide convention, held this year in San Diego, backed Feinstein in her bid for a fifth full term. More than 54 percent backed state Sen. Kevin de León, who entered the race in October and has run to Feinstein’s left on health care, taxes and immigration. Candidates needed 60 percent of the vote to win the party’s endorsement, making Feinstein the first incumbent senator in recent memory who will run in June’s primary without official backing.

“California Democrats are hungry for new leadership that will fight for California values from the front lines, not equivocate on the sidelines,” de León said Sunday morning in a statement. “We all deserve a leader who will take our climate action to Washington, and will fight each and every day to protect our human and civil rights, our immigrant families and Dreamers, champion universal healthcare and create good paying middle class jobs.”

Losing at the party’s convention does not stop any candidate from fighting to win in the primary. In 1990, as a candidate for governor of California, Feinstein was denied the party’s endorsement at the convention, in part due to her support for the death penalty. She went on to win the nomination, losing in November to Republican Pete Wilson.

Until Sunday morning, de León had little evidence that his challenge to Feinstein could succeed. The senator entered the year with more than $9.8 million in campaign funds; de León had just $359,261. A February poll from the Public Policy Institute of California found her leading de León by 29 points, albeit with 37 percent of voters undecided. And Feinstein, who since the start of her political career in San Francisco had crossed swords with her party’s left, had voted with the left of her Democratic caucus on issues around the status of immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children.

De León’s strong showing at the convention changed the narrative, demonstrating the trouble that Feinstein — who turns 85 this summer — will face in persuading a changing party to get behind her. The state senator has won the backing of more left-leaning unions, such as the SEIU and the California Nurses Association, and attacked Feinstein for conservative votes she cast after arriving in the Senate in 1993. (She is one of just four Democrats still in the Senate who voted for the Iraq War.)

Read the rest of the story here.



General Motors union workers to get $11k profit-sharing checks


Add this company to the growing list of companies handing out “crumbs.”

From NBC Los Angeles: General Motors announced Tuesday it made $12.8 billion in pre-tax profits in 2017, and the company said union-represented workers will receive profit-sharing checks of $11,750.

The company reported a net loss of $3.9 billion, driven primarily by a $7.3 billion accounting charge related to the recent tax reform and $6.2 billion charge related to the sale of Europe’s Opel unit. But without the expense the company posted record per-share earnings.

About 50,000 GM factory workers will get $11,750 profit-sharing checks later this month. GM’s profit-sharing checks are higher than its Detroit-area rivals. Ford announced in January profit-sharing checks of $7,500 for an estimated 54,000 UAW-represented employees, and Fiat Chrysler said it would pay its UAW employees an average of $5,500, the Detroit Free Press reported. Fiat Chrysler also said it would give U.S. workers, aside from senior leadership, $2,000 bonuses, according to the Free Press.

Excluding one-time items, GM made $9.9 billion, or $6.62 per share, the highest since leaving bankruptcy in 2009. The earnings beat Wall Street estimates. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $6.33 per share. Full-year revenue was $145.6 billion, which also beat estimates.

“The actions we took to further strengthen our core business and advance our vision for personal mobility made 2017 a transformative year. We will continue executing our plan and reshaping our company to position it for long-term success,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a news release.

GM says the change in the U.S. tax code forced it to write down accumulated losses that it uses to avoid corporate income taxes. The assets went from $33.6 billion to $24 billion. Since the rate fell from 35 percent to 21 percent, the losses are worth less.


New Mexico could be first state to force students to apply for college

melissa harris perry

While I’m all for higher education, I believe it is 1) the job of the parents to decide this matter with their children and 2) dangerous to have the government tell you what your children must do. Stay out of our lives!

From NY Post: New Mexico’s high school juniors would have to apply to at least one college or commit to other post-high school plans as part of a proposed graduation requirement that would be the first statewide push of its kind in the US.

The proposal is scheduled for its first legislative hearing on Thursday. If it eventually becomes law, New Mexico would be the first state to require post-high school plans of students, said Jennifer Zinth, who is the director of high school and STEM research at the Education Commission of the States, a Denver-based group that tracks education policy.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Nate Gentry, a Republican, and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, a Democrat, would make it mandatory for public school juniors to apply to at least one two- or four-year college. Exceptions would be made for students who can prove they have committed to military service, a vocational program, or work upon graduation in an apprenticeship or internship. Parents and school guidance counselors would have to approve of the students’ plans.

The measure was drafted with the aim of reversing declines in college enrollment across the state, which fell nearly 14 percent from 155,065 enrolled students in 2010 to 133,830 in 2016.

Ivey-Soto, an attorney and former educator, said it also could encourage prospective first-generation college students to seriously consider getting into a higher education institution. “There’s a reason we call graduation commencement because it’s the beginning of their future,” Ivey-Soto said. “Let’s take that seriously.”

The New Mexico bill is modeled after a similar requirement that Gentry said was put in place for high school students in San Marcos, Texas, more than a decade ago. And last year in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel made post-high school plans a graduation requirement — saying students had to either have plans to enter the military, take part in a “gap year” program, get a job offer or apprenticeship, or have an acceptance letter from a college.

The New Mexico proposal has received a mixed response from educators, with some questioning whether the bill that asks for no extra funding will further strain schools without enough counselors to give students the attention they need to develop post-graduation plans.

“We just need to make sure that the schools are funded well enough that there is a counselor or a person who can help each student,” said Betty Patterson, president of the National Education Association-New Mexico union representing more than 8,500 school employees.

The bill seeks to boost the state’s college enrollment rate in the hopes the state would have a better-educated workforce. That could attract more companies to New Mexico, where the unemployment rate is 6.5 percent, the second-highest in the US and more than two percentage points higher than the national rate.

While students would not be required to attend college, Gentry thinks requiring them to fill out applications will make them more likely to do so. Applying to the flagship University of New Mexico costs $25. Many of the state’s community colleges don’t charge application fees and applying online can take as little as 20 minutes.

At the Academy for Technology and the Classics charter school in Santa Fe, principal Susan Lumley said she was wary of the bill if it didn’t come with extensive support for helping students apply to college.

The school in Santa Fe graduated 43 students last year and all but one enrolled in college. The only one who did not enroll in college went to a vocational school for tattoo artists.

“You’ve got to provide the support to make that happen,” Lumley said. “First-generation kids, for a lot of them, the reason they don’t go to college is they have no idea how to even start that process.”


NYC tax dollars at work: School bus driver fired after racking up 37 complaints

sumatie kalladeen bus driver facebook

Former bus driver Sumatie Kalladeen/Facebook photo

Via NY Post: City school-bus driver Sumatie Kalladeen’s scoldings terrified a little girl to the point where she was too afraid to ride the bus. The city Department of Education fired Kalladeen — but not before she racked up 37 complaints since 2001, seven of which were “substantiated,” records show.

She was suspended at least twice before, once after leaving 24 kids and teachers behind on a field trip, and once after she was arrested for assaulting her husband.

That a driver with so many offenses could remain behind the wheel for so long illustrates the city’s lax and ineffective disciplinary system for school-bus personnel, insiders charge.

The DOE’s Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) has gone too easy on some bad bus drivers and attendants because it caters to the school-bus companies it contracts with to hire the workers, one OPT investigator alleged.

“They make sure the bus companies don’t lose too many drivers due to disciplinary decisions,” the investigator said.

The OPT worker said a seasoned supervisor who tried to get rid of lenient investigators was stopped by his boss. DOE contract officials even pressure investigators on behalf of the bus companies, he charged.

Making it worse, the number of bus investigators has dwindled from 12 to five since last summer, and each one struggles with more than 200 open cases at a time.

Kalladeen denied wrongdoing. “To my knowledge, no one was crying,” she said of the little girl.

In another disturbing case, attendant Patricia DiBenedetto was accused of throwing a boy off the bus before his regular stop — and later using a racial slur. “He’s a “troublemaking n—-r,” DiBenedetto told the kid’s mother when asked why her son was abandoned, records state.

The city Department of Education suspended DiBenedetto, but she kept her job.

DiBenedetto generated a dozen complaints for “obscene language.” Last May, she rang a school’s exit bell for 30 to 40 seconds — so long that administrators thought it was an emergency. The principal described DiBenedetto as “very aggressive and angry with the children.”

The Department of Education insisted all was done by the book. “All bus drivers involved in misconduct were appropriately disciplined,” a DOE rep said.


California state payroll increased by $1 billion in 2017, twice as fast as previous year

Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown is surrounded by unidentified SEIU workers after signing a bill creating the highest statewide minimum wage at $15 an hour by 2022 at the Ronald Reagan building in Los Angeles, Monday, April 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

No wonder the state wants half of the businesses’ tax-cut savings. Someone’s gotta fund the bureaucrats.

From Sacrament Bee: California’s state payroll – excluding its universities – grew by more than $1 billion last year, twice the rate of growth as the previous year, according to new figures from the State Controller’s Office.

The 6 percent growth rate was not unexpected. More than half of the state’s workforce voted on labor agreements early last year that included substantial pay raises. Money for the raises was included in the 2017-18 state budget.

The largest contract, for Service Employees Union Local 1000, included one-time bonuses of $2,500 for more than 95,000 state workers. That’s worth more than $235 million in total compensation for employees the union represents.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation saw payroll increase by $452 million, or 9 percent. The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection logged an $87 million, or 13 percent, increase in payroll as the state experienced a horrible wildfire season.

The Sacramento Bee’s state worker pay database has been updated with more than 250,000 civil service and California State University salaries for 2017. To search all state employee salaries, visit

The number of state employees outside of universities earning more than $300,000 increased from 456 in 2016 to 709 in 2017, a rise of 56 percent. Those employees, however, still make up only a sliver of the state’s workforce.

Most of the highest-paid state workers outside of universities are doctors and dentists in the state prison system. The union for those doctors negotiated a pay hike of up to 24 percent over the next four years early last year. Prison health officials cited the difficulty of filling vacancies as a justification for the contract.

The highest-paid state worker outside of universities remains Ted Eliopoulos, chief investment officer of CalPERS. He earned about $867,000 last year, up from $768,000 in 2016.

CalPERS saw an 11.2 percent return on its investments in fiscal year 2017. That came as stock markets soared, with the S&P 500 increasing by 15.2 percent over the same period.

The state’s payroll fell during the recession a decade ago before stabilizing around 2012. It has risen since then.

Adjusted for inflation, California’s state payroll excluding universities was about 5 percent higher in 2017 than during 2008. The state’s population has grown about 9 percent over that period.


Willing to make an exception: Socialist Alternative Seattle seeking items from Amazon


Hey friends, Socialist Alternative Seattle needs some gifts. They’ve registered with Amazon and have a “wish list” of items you can purchase from the largest internet retailer in the world!

You can’t make this stuff up. What an epic self-awareness fail.

About the Socialist Alternative:

“Socialist Alternative is a national organization fighting in our workplaces, communities, and campuses against the exploitation and injustices people face every day. We are community activists fighting against budget cuts in public services; we are activists campaigning for a $15 an hour minimum wage and fighting, democratic unions; we are people of all colors speaking out against racism and attacks on immigrants, students organizing against tuition hikes and war, women and men fighting sexism and homophobia.

We believe the Republicans and Democrats are both parties of big business, and we are campaigning to build an independent, alternative party of workers and young people to fight for the interests of the millions, not the millionaires.

We see the global capitalist system as the root cause of the economic crisis, poverty, discrimination, war, and environmental destruction. As capitalism moves deeper into crisis, a new generation of workers and youth must join together to take the top 500 corporations into public ownership under democratic control to end the ruling elites’ global competition for profits and power.

We believe the dictatorships that existed in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were perversions of what socialism is really about. We are for democratic socialism where ordinary people will have control over our daily lives.”

From the socialist’s Facebook page:

“Lots of people have helped us pull this space together! We still need a few things, can you help? Donate things you don’t need anymore OR check out our Amazon wish list.…/1FG05OEQP…/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1

From their Amazon wish list:

Socialist Alternative is an activist organization. We are workers organizing in our workplaces, students organizing in our schools, and activists organizing in the streets. We are trying to set up our new party center in Seattle to help professionalize our work, can you hlp by purchasing something from our shopoing list”

Some of the items requested include an EARISE M60 Audio PA System (starting at $269.99), a soft cozy shag area rug ($59.00), a 5’ folding portable plastic table ($69.95) and Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go toilet spray ($8.89).

I guess they requested that last item because they are full of you-know-what!

h/t MyNorthwest


Corporate donors to Resist Trump movement & Antifa domestic terrorists

Joe Schoffstall reports, Oct. 4, 2017, that Washington Free Beacon obtained unredacted 2015 tax forms showing the hidden donors to a prominent anti-Trump “resistance” organization, the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Community Change Action (CCCA).

CCCA does not reveal its donors. The organization has been involved in direct action against President Donald Trump and Republicans before and after last November’s elections. CCAA members sit on the boards of other prominent liberal activist groups.

The tax form obtained by Washington Beacon shows that Center for Community Change Action appears to rely heavily on a few major liberal foundations, organizations, and unions:

(1) The three largest donors are:

  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the source of CCCA’s largest contribution of $3 million. The foundation was created by Will Kellogg, the food manufacturer and founder of Kellogg Company.
  • Ford Foundation donated $2.35 million to CCCA. Created by the founders of the Ford Motor Company, the Ford Foundation is no longer connected to the Ford Motor Company but, inexplicably, retains the Ford name.
  • George Soros’ Open Society Foundation gave $1.75 million.

(2) Other donors include:

  • California Endowment, $524,500.
  • Marquerite Casey Foundation, $515,000.
  • Fidelity Charitable Gift, $505,100 (Fidelity itself did not donate, this figure reflects private individuals who used the company as a charitable vehicle for their own donations — whatever that means. A representative from Fidelity Charitable said the donations do not represent the views or endorsement of Fidelity Charitable or Fidelity Investments.)
  • National Immigration Law Center, $316,000.

(3) Donors to CCCA’s “social welfare” (c)(4) arm:

  • Every Citizen Counts, a nonprofit that was created by allies of Hillary Clinton to mobilize Latino and African-American voters, donated $1.75 million.
  • Soros’ Open Society Policy Center, $1.475 million.
  • Sixteen Thirty Fund, $610,000.
  • Center for Community Change, $150,000.
  • Services Employees International Union (SEIU), $150,000.
  • Atlantic Philanthropies, $75,000.
  • Tides Foundation, the largest liberal donor-advised network, donated $50,000.

Members of the anti-Trump CCCA also sit on the advisory boards of other prominent liberal and “resistance” organizations. Some examples:

  • Deepak Bhargava, CCCA’s executive director, sits on the advisory board of George Soros’s Open Society Foundation.
  • Charlene Sinclair, CCCNA’s director of reinvestment, sits on the board of directors of the Emergent Fund, which is aimed at pushing back against “immediate threats” to “immigrants, women, Muslim and Arab-American communities, black people, LGBTQ communities, and all people of color” — whatever that means. The fund consists of the Solidaire Network, the Threshold Foundation, and the Woman’s Donor Network. The Emergent Fund’s advisory board of members of prominent liberal organizations decides what organizations receive money from the group. Emergent Fund grants range from $10,000 to $50,000. Grant recipients include:
    • Black Lives Matter.
    • Center for Media Justice that was created to “organize the most under-represented communities in a national movement for media rights”.
    • Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative.
    • United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the United States which is behind “sanctuary campus” anti-Trump protests across the country to protect undocumented students. United We Dream was joined by CCCA in nationwide immigration protests leading up to Trump’s inauguration.

And the worst corporate donor to the Resist Trump movement?

Mozilla, the creator of the Firefox web browser.

The company has a program called Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS). On October 3, 2017, Mozilla announced that one of the MOSS awards is $100,000 to RiseUp, “a coordination platform used by activists across the political spectrum, to improve the security of their email service”.

RiseUp is a self-described “anti-capitalist” email server used by Antifa groups, as explained by the video below.

In an April 2016 FBI/DHS joint confidential report, the Obama administration designated Antifa as “domestic terrorists”.

That means Mozilla is actually funding and enabling domestic terrorists to email each other.

See also: