Labor Council Endorses Orozco for D4 San Jose Council

Orozcopic#2CroppedThe delegates of the South Bay Labor Council have announced the endorsement of Tim Orozco for San Jose City Council District 4.  The special election to fill the seat left vacant when Kansen Chu was elected to the State Assembly in District 25 will be held April 7th, with a runoff, if needed, scheduled for June 23.

Orozco is a long time resident of the Berryessa neighborhood, an activist with the Democratic Party and has a long history of supporting the rights of working families.

The kick off for the Labor Council’s campaign to help elect Orozco will be Saturday, January 31 at 9 a.m.  Carpenters Local 405 will provide a hot breakfast for volunteers ready to walk precincts in support of Tim Orozco for City Council.

Contact for more information.

Trumka: Obama ‘Forcefully Advocated for Working Families’ in State of Union


Mike Hall

A statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:

 ”President Obama eloquently and forcefully advocated for working families throughout his State of the Union Address,” last night,”AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka,

“The  president’s focus on raising wages through collective bargaining, better paying jobs, a fairer tax code, fair overtime rules, and expanded access to education and earned leave sent the right message at the right time.

So did his embrace of union apprentices and immigrants who want to achieve the American Dream. The president has again demonstrated his strong commitment to creating an economy that truly works for all working people.

Fighting income inequality is one of the biggest challenges of our time. As Oxfam recently reminded us, the world’s wealth continues to be increasingly concentrated in the hands of a very few. If we are serious about solving this monumental challenge, the size of the solutions must meet the scale of the problem. We must have a similarly vigorous response to the barriers to raising wages: our opposition to fast-tracked trade deals that are giant giveaways to big corporations must be resolute. We can’t face the competitive challenge of China with a trade deal that fails to adequately address currency manipulation, climate change or that gives corporations rights that people don’t have.

Now is the time for politicians to champion a Raising Wages agenda that ties all the pieces of economic and social justice together. America has now heard what the president thinks about this agenda. We thank the president for his passion and his advocacy. We are ready to see what he and Congress will do about it. That is the ultimate standard of accountability.”

What Do America’s Workers Want to Hear in President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address?

When President Obama delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, America’s workers will be listening closely. Will he outline plans and solutions that will boost working families’ wages, protect workers’ right to bargain collectively, defend America’s jobs from unfair trade and more? See what the workers in the video above want to hear, then tell us what you want President Obama to talk about in the State of the Union address by texting WORK to 235246.

Silicon Valley Labor’s 2015 Playbook: Tech Security Guards, Tech Bus Drivers, Custodians

By Editor in Chief
Silicon Valley Business Journal

The technology industry’s success since the Great Recession has made Silicon Valley a focal point for organized labor. Just yesterday, Teamsters Local 853 announced that bus drivers at Apple Inc., eBay Inc., Yahoo Inc. and other tech companies want to join the union.

Ben Field, executive officer at the South Bay Labor Council, is at the forefront of that push, so I wanted to hear about his Silicon Valley plan for 2015.

Unions are continuing a push to organize contract workers including shuttle bus drivers and security guards who provide services for technology companies. Those workers represent a sector of Silicon Valley employees pinched a market that’s 87 percent more expensive to live in than the U.S. average.

Read more HERE.

Labor Council Sponsors Heart & Soles 5K: Supporting Healthier School Lunches


When  school children eat better, they learn better. That’s why the South Bay Labor Council is joining the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation and other partners including the Santa Clara County Office of Education  and the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce to produce the Lam Research Heart  & Soles 5K event, on Saturday, February 7th.

The second annual race will raise funds to allow dozens of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz County schools to offer children healthy choices of fresh fruits and vegetables for lunch every day.  Salad bars in these K-12 schools will introduce children to healthy eating habits, help reduce obesity and promote overall health that will make them better learners.

The driving force of Silicon Valley success is creative minds, great skills and an entrepreneurial spirit. We can promote and support these attributes in our school children by helping them get access to great food in their schools.

Your participation in this fun-filled, great cause can make a huge difference.  The race is February 7th at scenic Hellyer Park in South San Jose.  Register here to run or walk the race individually, or with a team from your union or organization.

More Silicon Valley Shuttle Drivers Look to Unionize


By Mike Snider
USA Today

The move to unionize Silicon Valley shuttle bus drivers is spreading.

The Teamsters have contacted the CEOs of six Silicon Valley-area companies — Amtrak, Apple, eBay, Genentech, Yahoo and Zynga — to tell them that its drivers want to join a union.

A majority of the 120 full-time and part-time drivers who transport those companies’ employees have signed authorization cards with the union, said Rome Aloise, International vice president and secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 853.

The drivers are employed by South San Francisco-based Compass Transportation, which is owned by Transdev and has contracts with Apple and the other firms to transport its workers to and from work.

Teamsters Local 853 is the union that in November unionized Facebook shuttle bus drivers.

“The drivers at Facebook by voting for the union sparked the interest of the drivers from the other companies for sure,” Aloise said. Continue reading

Stronger Rules for Representation Elections


By David Bini
Organizer, IBEW Local 332

Any labor activist that has experience with representation elections will tell you that time is an enemy. The longer employees must wait to voice their desire for unionization, the more opportunity management has to discourage, confuse, intimidate, and terminate potential union supporters.  Unscrupulous management attorneys have routinely delayed elections and stifled worker voices by abusing legal procedures such as the Pre-Election Hearing and Request for Review.

But 2015 is the year things will change for the better.  On April 14, 2015, a new rule addressing representation elections known as the Final Rule will take effect.  It will:

  • Provide for electronic filing and transmission of election petitions and other documents;
  • Ensure that employees, employers and unions receive timely information they need to understand and participate in the representation case process;
  • Eliminate or reduce unnecessary litigation, duplication and delay;
  • Adopt best practices and uniform procedures across regions;
  • Require that additional contact information (personal telephone numbers and email addresses) be included in voter lists, to the extent that information is available to the employer, in order to enhance a fair and free exchange of ideas by permitting other parties to the election to communicate with voters about the election using modern technology; and
  • Allow parties to consolidate all election-related appeals to the Board into a single appeals process. Continue reading

Fixing Silicon Valley’s REAL Diversity Problem

Earlier this month, over 20,000 people signed a petition asking Apple to help improve working conditions for predominantly black and Latino service workers in tech.

Joined by Reverend Jesse Jackson and over 125 community allies, we delivered the petition to Apple’s doorstep to show the tech giant that we can’t be ignored. The momentum is growing for better job opportunities for all workers in tech.

Can you take 30 seconds to share the video on Facebook with family and friends?

Labor Loses a Dedicated Activist

Mike Robert Quiroz, II Dec, 27, 1962 - Dec. 15, 2014

Mike Robert Quiroz, II
Dec, 27, 1962 – Dec. 15, 2014

The South Bay Labor community is mourning the loss of a dedicated activist, Mike Quiroz, II.  Mike died at his San Jose home Monday, December 15.

Mike was a beloved husband, a dedicated father, a caring son who took care of both of his parents while they were alive, a caring brother to both his sisters Rosy, Linda, and his older brother Tom.  Mike played sports during his childhood; his favorite of which was baseball. He was a role model to his nephews, nieces, and cousins, co-workers, and fellow SBLC delegates. He was a faithful man to God.

Mike was a beloved husband of 26 years to Gloria Vargas Quiroz, also a dedicated SBLC delegate. Mike and Gloria married on a special day,  Martin Luther King JR’s birthday. Mike was her soul mate, her friend, and her mentor. He dedicated his life to his family and to education.

Mike Quiroz, right with wife Gloria and son Mike,III

Mike Quiroz, right with wife Gloria and son Mike,III

The Quiroz’s have a beautiful, caring son, Mike Vargas Quiroz, III, who Mike adored so much. Mike was involved in his son’s entire life, coaching his son’s little league sports teams including baseball, football, and soccer. He also took time out of his schedule to take his son to his ice skating and karate practice. Continue reading

Labor Loses a Music Icon


David Winters, a proud member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 153, passed away on December 15, 2014 with his wife and family at his bedside.

David served many years as an officer of his Local. In addition he served as the Sec/Treasurer of the Santa Cruz Central Labor Council.  He performed for many Labor events from small union halls and rallies to the stage of national conventions. For nearly 29 years David served as the Festival Coordinator of the Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival.

In addition to his dedication to the labor movement, he performed professionally for more than 30 years. He was an accomplished vocalist, guitarist, and mandolinist. He has contributed instructional articles to Acoustic Guitar Magazine and Guitar Player Magazine’s prestigious ‘Masters Series’. He was National Guitar Workshop’s Complete Guitarist (David was finger style specialist for the California campus of the National Guitar Summer Workshop) and authored the acclaimed book ‘Natural & Artificial Harmonics for the Guitar’.

He has directed children’s musical theater, and until his death, he led the Cabrillo College Stroke Center Choir. David taught a variety of music workshops through the years. In addition he filled some of his time as an instructor at Cabrillo College.  Continue reading