New Legislation Could Help Reform the Flawed CA Enterprise Zone Program

By: Rebecca Band, California Labor Federation

Imagine a system that gives companies enormous tax breaks for firing workers – and then forces those jobless workers to pay for those tax breaks themselves.

It might sound outrageous, but in California, that’s the reality.  Just ask Joan Beighley, who worked at VWR in Brisbane for 14 years before her job was eliminated when her employer decided to take advantage of the state’s wasteful “enterprise zone” (EZ) corporate tax giveaway program. Thanks to this flawed program, VWR is able to collect up to $37,000 for each worker the company fired and replaced when they shut down their Brisbane facility and relocated to Visalia – even though no new jobs were created, and the jobs in Visalia pay a fraction of what the Bribane workers earned for the same work.

Continue reading “New Legislation Could Help Reform the Flawed CA Enterprise Zone Program”

Today in Labor History: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

On Saturday, March 25, 1911, a fire broke out on the top floors of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory. Firefighters arrived at the scene, but their ladders weren’t tall enough to reach the upper floors of the 10-story building. Trapped inside because the owners had locked the fire escape exit doors, workers jumped to their deaths. In a half an hour, the fire was over, and 146 of the 500 workers—mostly young women—were dead. Continue reading “Today in Labor History: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire”

Five Reasons Not to Buy Your Passover Matzah at Walmart

By: Danny Feingold

If you’re like me, right now you may be scrambling to stock up on all of your Passover essentials. So what if I told you that you could get 12 boxes of matzah – more than enough to cover the eight days and nights of breadless revelry – for just over $40 bucks?

Ah, but there’s a catch: You’ll have to buy this miracle matzah pak at Walmart. Moral dilemma? You bet.

Last year we provided a short list of reasons you might want to think twice about a Walmart matzah binge. We wish we could report that Walmart had cleaned up its act since then, but alas, the world’s largest retailer has racked up a series of alleged corporate crimes and indiscretions that would make a pharaoh blush. Continue reading “Five Reasons Not to Buy Your Passover Matzah at Walmart”

Stop That (Corporate, Gravy) Train

By Art Pulaski, California Labor Federation

It’s no secret that corporate CEOs game the system to their favor. There’s a maze of loopholes and tax dodges for big corporations like Walmart that the rest of us couldn’t dream of getting. These big corporations are riding the corporate gravy train. And taxpayers like us are paying the fare.

Imagine a program that encourages unscrupulous companies to eliminate good union jobs, pack up and move to another part of the state, and get a fat tax bonus for hiring workers at low wages. Continue reading “Stop That (Corporate, Gravy) Train”