DIR Awarded $1.8 Million Federal Grant to Expand Apprenticeship Programs in California
Oakland—The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $1.8 million ApprenticeshipUSA grant to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) to develop and expand apprenticeship programs in California.

The federal grant will bolster DIR and its Division of Apprenticeship Standards’ (DAS) plan to double the number of registered apprentices over the next 10 years, to engage non-traditional, emerging and high-growth industries in apprenticeship, and increase opportunities for women and low-income groups.

“Apprenticeship programs are one of the best paths that workers can choose to find world-class on-the-job training that leads to good-paying careers,” said California Labor and Workforce Development Secretary David M. Lanier. “California is home to the nation’s largest and fastest-growing apprenticeship system, and this funding will help us expand opportunities for jobs that lead families to the middle class.”
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How Much Will the War On Unions Cost You This Labor Day?
The decline of unions has probably cost you, or someone close to you, thousands of dollars since last Labor Day.

A new study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) found that income for nonunion workers fell substantially as union membership declined. And it hasn’t fallen because of some immutable economic law. It’s a casualty of war – cultural and political war.

If union enrollment had remained as high as it was in 1979, nonunion working men in the private sector would have earned an average of $2,704 more per year in 2013. The average non-unionized male worker without a college degree would have earned an additional $3,016, and those with only a high school diploma or less would have earned $3,172 more. (The differences were less striking for women because of workforce changes since the 1970s.)
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Union decline lowers wages of nonunion workers
Report • By Jake Rosenfeld, Patrick Denice, and Jennifer Laird • August 30, 2016
Pay for private-sector workers has barely budged over the past three and a half decades. In fact, for men in the private sector who lack a college degree and do not belong to a labor union, real wages today are substantially lower than they were in the late 1970s.

In the debates over the causes of wage stagnation, the decline in union power has not received nearly as much attention as globalization, technological change, and the slowdown in Americans’ educational attainment. Unions, especially in industries and regions where they are strong, help boost the wages of all workers by establishing pay and benefit standards that many nonunion firms adopt. But this union boost to nonunion pay has weakened as the share of private-sector workers in a union has fallen from 1 in 3 in the 1950s to about 1 in 20 today.
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Working People Standing Together


Court Strikes Down Scott Walker's Right-To-Work Law As Unconstitutional


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's right-to-work law, championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker as he was mounting his run for president, was struck down Friday as violating the state constitution.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, also a Republican, promised to appeal the decision and said he was confident it would not stand. Schimel has not made a decision on whether to seek an immediate suspension of the ruling while the appeal is pending, spokesman Johnny Koremenos said.
"We are confident Wisconsin's freedom-to-work law is constitutional and will ultimately be upheld,"Walker wrote on Twitter.
Three unions filed the lawsuit last year shortly after Walker signed the bill into law. Right-to-work laws prohibit businesses and unions from reaching agreements that require all workers, not just union members, to pay union dues.


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The Trans-Pacific Partnership will hurt Inland Empire workers: Guest commentary
By Laurie Stalnaker
POSTED: 01/01/16, 2:20 PM PST
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is back, and it is even worse now that some of the language becomes clear. This is a threat to the economic security of working families across the Inland Empire.

The stated goal is that lowering trade barriers will encourage more trade and create more jobs for everyone while providing more choices for consumers. President Obama has been supportive on labor issues, but his support of TPP would wipe out his prior support of working families.

The logic Obama and members of Congress use to support TPP is the same which was used to support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). American corporations sent well-paying jobs to Mexican factories, or maquiladoras, during the 1990s.
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Tomorrow is Veterans Day!
Somewhere a young man is walking with a pack on his back. His feet hurt but he doesn't have time to stop and adjust the sock that's balling up in his boot. The rifle that felt light an hour ago now weighs a ton. He's sweating, nervous, thirsty, hungry and tired.
If he's in this country then he's training to learn tactics that will keep him alive later.
If overseas he's hoping to have learned those tactics well, that they actually work, and wishing he had eyes in the back of his head. He tries not to think of it, but misses his family and hopes to go home soon.

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Rep. Mark Takano Releases Report on Poverty in the Inland Empire
Washington, DC –Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) released a report today describing the impact of poverty on the Inland Empire and offering solutions that will help thousands of families escape the cycle of persistent poverty. The report, Why Being Poor Never Adds Up, reveals that despite low unemployment and robust growth in the region and across the country, many working families are still struggling.

Through a comprehensive review of regional data and economic trends, the report offers a window into the many challenges low-income families face, as well as the shortcomings of safety net programs. The report found:

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Aguilar Passes Four Amendments through House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives approved four amendments submitted by Rep. Pete Aguilar (CA-31) that were included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, which outlines the country’s defense priorities. The four amendments will help put veterans back to work, create a review process to encourage more minority students to pursue STEM careers, improve accessibility of Department of Defense (DOD) contracting opportunities for small businesses, and to support the San Bernardino County International Airport. Read More ...


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