Beginning January 1st, 2010, California state environmental regulations went into effect requiring all truck drivers to meet new truck engine standards. There was an intervention at the Port of Oakland by Mayor Dellums, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Port to provide independent truck drivers with a little more time and funding to comply with the state regulations to clean up port trucks. These well-intentioned efforts demonstrate compassion for port truck drivers, as hundreds (if not a thousand) are likely to be out of work if they cannot afford to upgrade their trucks.
In the last several months, CASE has kicked off a pair of jobs campaigns in the city of Phoenix. The more advanced of those campaigns surrounds the job security of between 700 and 1,000 workers in food service, parking, and ground transportation at Sky Harbor Airport. Represented by our partner unions UNITE HERE! Local 631 and UFCW Local 99, those workers have struggled for years to raise the quality of their jobs—winning improvements in wages and health insurance, along with health and safety measures like floor mats for workers who stand on concrete for eight hours a day, forty hours a week. In doing so, those workers have raised the floor for all of the approximately 4,000 terminal service workers at the airport.
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.
The national spotlight is on the Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports' efforts to transform the broken port trucking system. On both coasts our partners have been key players in the fight to end the environmental degradation, health hazards and worker exploitation created by the port trucking industry.
Difficult economic times are providing unique challenges—and even greater demand—for the work of the Partnership for Working Families. Our Partners are seizing opportunities in communities across the country to make sure that available funding and new legislation helps to create family-sustaining jobs with career pathways. In other communities, we’re rallying allies to fight against reactionary, mean-spirited efforts to minimize or even reverse workers’ hard-won gains. Together, we are organizing our cities to look ahead and plan for a future of shared prosperity.
On October 20, 2009, the San Jose City Council approved two policies that together constitute one of the most comprehensive frameworks in the nation for controlling the outsourcing of local government functions and services to private contractors.
According to a recent survey, a majority of residents living in neighborhoods bordering the Port of Seattle believe trucks and other Port of Seattle operations are making them ill. As part of the Washington Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports, Puget Sound Sage conducted a door-to-door health survey over the course of the summer in the neighborhoods that border the Port of Seattle—Georgetown and South Park. On October 7, Sage reported back to the community and media concerning the findings of the survey. The data showed:
by David West, Puget Sound Sage
Puget Sound Sage’s year-long green jobs campaign reached two milestones today:
For years, the planning process in Anaheim has excluded the voices of low income, immigrant communities. As a result, Anaheim’s working families find themselves trapped in a perpetual cycle of poverty, as elected officials fail to address their concerns.
by Ben Boyce, New Economy Working Solutions