Blog & News
Moving trash from businesses, construction sites and residential homes is a big industry that impacts the environmental health of communities, treatment of workers and local economies. Exploring these interconnections to develop a comprehensive analysis of the opportunities to create change was the focus of a convening hosted by the Partnership in mid-March at the New York offices of the Rockefeller Foundation.
In Seattle, roughly 190,000 employees – 4 in 10 workers – have no paid sick leave. That's 78% of restaurant workers, 55% of retail workers, and even 29% in health care who have to choose between going to work sick or staying home and losing pay or worse. Sage has taken a lead role as part of the Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce, a partnership between businesses, faith-based, labor, family, and community groups, in a campaign to help pass minimum standards for paid sick days.
The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy's Don't Waste LA campaign will create more middle class, green economy jobs, boost recycling rates, and clean up trash truck pollution by transforming the trash and recycling industry in the City. The campaign passed a critical milestone on May 20th when the Los Angeles Board of Public Works voted unanimously in favor of issuing a five-year notice to permitted waste haulers who service L.A.'s business and apartment buildings.
EBASE is excited to share their new strategic plan. In the next five years, they will take their work to the next level. EBASE will impact key industries in the East Bay to create better and more accessible jobs and partner intentionally with community groups and labor allies to improve community health and the environment.
Are green jobs good jobs? Two years ago, everyone thought so. Home weatherization was going to create thousands of jobs. We could pull ourselves out of the recession, cut our energy bills, and save the climate. It was a win-win-win.
Then reality set in. Weatherization today is a low-road industry. Profit margins are low. Small contractors fight each other for the work. Pay is low, training is minimal, safety is often ignored, and labor laws are frequently violated.
But the hard work of the Green Justice Coalition has been changing that reality. In Massachusetts, after a two-year campaign, the Green Justice Coalition – which brings together building trades unions, community and environmental organizations –recently signed breakthrough agreements with the leading weatherization vendor and utility company in the state.
This month, CASE is kicking off Phoenix Rising 2011, a campaign to change the political culture of the nation's 6th largest city by increasing the participation of working families--particularly Latino families--in this year's municipal elections and by fighting for a more just and sustainable jobs policy in the city of Phoenix. We believe these victories are necessary steps to raising living standards for working people throughout our state and to fighting back the attack on working families nation wide. The campaign launch includes:
Together, the Partnership for Working Families is building the next generation of leaders in our cities, leading change from the ground up.
That is exactly what is taking place in Denver.
You can see the power our movement has built in the recent results of the Denver municipal elections. FRESC and our allies will have four champions on City Council. Last month, Denver voters elected FRESC Program Director and Staff Attorney Robin Kniech as City Councilwoman At- Large, making her the first out LGBT elected official to serve in city government. On June 7th, in a run-off election District 1 voters elected Susan Shepherd, former Denver Area Labor Federation Political Director, to represent them. They both join former FRESC Executive Director and current City Council President Chris Nevitt and former union organizer Paul Lopez on Council. With these champions and several other allies on Council, we anticipate a majority on our 13 seat City Council. In addition, Mayor-elect Michael Hancock attended FRESC’s candidate forum and signed our pledge to prioritize good jobs and strong communities if elected mayor.
A recently released LAANE study found that the Century Corridor hotel living wage ordinance, combined with the successful negotiation of collective bargaining agreements at four LAX-adjacent hotels, will produce $23.9 million in economic benefits. In 2006, a coalition of community members, workers and clergy leaders joined together as the Coalition for a New Century in an effort to transform thousands of low-wage hotel jobs into family-sustaining jobs and to upgrade a lackluster L.A. tourism district that is often the first glimpse visitors have of the region.
While the national health reform debate rages on, a local program to cover the uninsured is now underway in Santa Clara County, California. On March 1, Working Partnerships USA, in partnership with the Santa Clara Family Health Plan and the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System launched a new health care program for low-wage workers in small businesses called Healthy Workers. The program was developed by the same coalition that created the nation’s first universal health care program for children—the Children’s Health Initiative.
While the recession in Colorado seems to be on the mend, the state still faces job loss: Colorado's job shortfall was estimated by the Economic Policy Institute to be 195,191 jobs in November 2009. As promoting the creation of good jobs has long been central to FRESC's mission, the current recession and recovery efforts provide unique challenges and opportunities for our work.