This Labor Day weekend was a huge success. Over 1000 of our members and allies came out to Santa Maria and Oxnard to celebrate with us. On Monday, we had over 400 people at Oxnard College Park. We want to thank Ventura County Firefighters for sponsoring the event. Thank you to Laborers Local 585 for killing it with ALL of the food. Thank you to IBEW Local 952 for once again providing the games for the kids. Thank you to our guest speakers for your support. Thank you to our sponsors and volunteers: SEIU Local 721, UFCW Local 770, Pipefitters Local 484, Californians for Energy Independence, SEIU Local 2015, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 501, Operating Engineers Local 12, Teamsters Local 2010, Teamsters Local 186, Sheet Metal Workers' Local 104, Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, and Lorrie Brown. Your contributions through the years have helped working families successfully fight for fair wages on the Central Coast.
Yesterday we had a blast helping put on the 6th Annual Santa Maria Valley Labor Day Picnic with the United Domestic Workers. It has grown into an extraordinary event, with nearly 700 people coming to enjoy great music, food and festivities this year. We had incredible student dancers (provided by the California Teachers Association), we had great political allies who met and spoke with their community, face painting, great food and an all around fun time for our local union members and members of our community. It couldn't be done without the help of our sponsors and volunteers from the various unions and organizations who have stepped up and grown this event over the last 6 years.
To start, let's give a huge thank you and shout out to Laborers Local 220 for your unbelievable contribution and partnership these past 2 years, helping us grow and realize the potential of this event. Thank you to UFCW Local 770, the Santa Maria-Lompoc NAACP, SEIU Local 721, Santa Barbara for Safe & Local Transport, Democrats of San Luis Obispo Club (along with Club President Heather Gray for taking some awesome pictures, all of which are seen here), Teamsters Local 2010 and all of our private individual donors for your commitment to not only this event, but to the working families in our local communities.
This morning, IHSS caregivers represented by UDW Home Care Providers Union in Santa Barbara County are asking SB supervisors to give them $0.20 more per hour via matching state funds for dental and vision insurance. At no cost to SB taxpayers, that sounds like a valuable investment in our IHSS system and our workers.
Solidarity reigned supreme as UFCW 770 members were joined by SEIU 721, SEIU 2015, CSEA, AFM, community allies and elected officials as they took their fight for a new contract directly to the managers, stores, customers and the public. Backed by an army of community support, UFCW 770’s members and activists drove to and delivered the message to Central Coast Ralph’s, Vons and Albertsons stores that ONE JOB SHOULD BE ENOUGH.
At stops throughout the day, UFCW delegations were joined by elected officials who believe that grocery workers (and all workers) deserve a fair shake at the negotiating table. Executives can’t get away with giving themselves 20-30% annual raises and then offer the employees — the only reason that they’re able to achieve such massive profits — just 1%.
Thanks to Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Megan Harmon, Santa Barbara Supervisors Das Williams, Gregg Hart, Joan Hartmann, Goleta City Councilman James Kyriaco, Ventura City Councilwoman Sofia Rubalcava, Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere, Moorpark City Councilman David Pollack, Oxnard City Council members Oscar Madrigal, Vianey Lopez and Bert Perello for showing up, marching and delivering our message of community and solidarity directly to store management.
Whew. Tonight was incredible. Thank you to everybody who made it happen. To our unions and organizations who not only help the labor movement survive in this political climate but thrive on the Central Coast. Thank you to our sponsors, as well as UFCW 770 for accommodating us in the place we all call home. Thank you to the union staff from UNITE HERE! Local 11, and of course our honorees: AFSCME 3299, Mayor of San Luis Obispo Heidi Harmon and David Baldwin. Thank you for your incredible commitment to fighting for the working families in our communities.
In conversations with Oxnard's elected officials over the past couple days, the prevailing maneuver is to hide behind the notion that somehow this $5.6m doesn't exist. The working families of Oxnard aren't going to let our elected officials hide behind that argument. This budget isn't about that at all.
We are very disturbed by what you voted for. Your budget is a roadmap of your collective and individual priorities and we walked away with the clear message that the city's employees are not a priority.
The services that were saved were done so because of public outrage. We didn't need you to fight harder for the things that everyone else was fighting for. We needed you to fight harder for the people who's voices aren't as loud.
The time comes in tenure of every elected official when a highly paid administrator will show them a spreadsheet that seems insurmountable. You had months (if not a year) to figure out how to avoid these cuts. Cities aren't made of numbers and everyone could've done more to protect these people, their jobs and their families.
We hope you're doing everything in your power to make sure that next year's budget is one that expands services, creates jobs and grows the city and it's economy.
It has been an eventful few weeks for the California State Legislature, the California Democratic Party, and the organized labor movement. All 14 CA Labor Federation and State Building Trades endorsed bills that were up for a floor vote successfully made it out of their respective houses. Now the bills can go for one more vote before being sent to be signed by governor Newsom. Among the major legislation passed was AB 378 (which will allow California’s 40,000 child care providers to negotiate with the state for improvements to the early childhood education system), sponsored by Monique Limon, AB 1505 (Charter School Accountability ) sponsored by Christy Smith, and AB 5 (Codify Dynamex Decision to Expand Workers’ Rights). Thank you to our local legislators for introducing and sponsoring some of these crucial bills and to our affiliates for mobilizing and holding legislators’ feet to the fire across the state to ensure they continue to vote for working families.
The UC System is fighting tooth and nail to outsource jobs and outright strip the benefits of their workers. It’s been 2 years and there is still no contract.
Congratulations to United Domestic Workers/AFSCME 3930 Regional Coordinator and Central Coast Labor Council Vice President Yesenia DeCasaus on being honored by Assemblywoman Monique Limon as the 37th District's Woman of the Year. For years, Yesenia has been a strong voice for workers and has helped the most vulnerable people in our community through her work with UDW as well as in her personal life, establishing a scholarship for community members and creating a support group for people who have lost children. It is a privilege for us to have such a strong leader like Yesenia on our council, as our extensive growth as an organization over the years could not have been possible without her tireless advocacy for working families.