Jobs (News)

San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos Proposes Nation's Strongest Local Hiring Law

Submitted by News Desk on Thu, 10/21/2010 - 10:06am

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- October 20, 2010 -- Next year, San Francisco public dollars will create 9,400 blue-collar and green-collar jobs as the city embarks on an ambitious ten-year, $27 billion capital investment plan.  A city-funded study by L. Luster & Associates released Monday also shows that San Francisco’s performance in meeting its longstanding goal of employing 50% local residents on public works is at an all-time low, while city unemployment has peaked:   from July 2009 to July 2010, only 20% of city-funded construction hours were performed by local residents, down from 24.1% over the past seven years.

Standing Up with the Aboriginal Blackmen United: The rabble-rousers of the ABU have helped to achieve local hiring goals.

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 08/18/2010 - 11:48am

Some people face unemployment. Some people fight it.

In San Francisco, a battle starts every morning on a street corner in the Bayview, where a crowd of people gathers around a white pickup. On a Thursday in June, there are about 15 people there, mostly black men, with a handful of women and Latinos. They're waiting for James Richards to give them the morning pep talk. He calls it "the breakfast of champions."

Richards is a big man in his 60s, eyes inscrutable, though seldom seen behind his sunglasses. There's a marijuana bud on his gold front tooth. In conversation, Richards' voice can be soft, his responses vague. But when it's time to make a speech, he can preach social justice with the fire of a Civil Rights–era crusader, railing against chickenshit unions and lying politicians."What I hear," Richards begins, slowly, "is you all were acting like real warriors."

Richards is the leader of the Aboriginal Blackmen United, a group that's part direct-action organization, part job placement agency, and all business when its members think employers are abusing their right to work. Its only headquarters is this street corner in front of the Double Rock Baptist Church. Nearly everyone here, including Richards himself, is jobless — not surprising in a neighborhood where the unemployment rate during the Great Recession is thought to be 50 percent higher than that of the rest of the city, and an estimated one in every 3.5 African-Americans is out of work.

Green jobs: Reality check at Sunset Reservoir

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 08/18/2010 - 11:39am

When San Francisco’s Sunset Reservoir solar project is completed later this year, it will be one of the largest installations of its kind in the country. A sea of 25,000 solar panels kicking out five megawatts of clean, green energy, Sunset Reservoir holds the distinction of drawing 30 percent of its project workforce from the city’s most economically disadvantaged communities, including Bayview Hunters Point.

Locals miss out on work

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 08/18/2010 - 11:35am

 A dispute earlier this year about the hiring practices for a Sunset district solar project caused work to stop. (Examiner file photo)While unemployed San Franciscans struggle to pay for food, rent and education, construction jobs on city-funded projects are overwhelmingly being filled by residents of other cities.

A city-funded analysis of San Francisco data related to 29 city-backed projects found that more than three out of every four hours of construction work were performed by someone from out of town.

Renovation of Balboa Street pavement, as an extreme example, took construction workers 11,778 hours to complete and city residents secured 12 percent of the work, according to the analysis published Monday by nonprofits Brightline Defense Project and Chinese for Affirmative Action.

Failure to hire locals has caused protests during the past year that shut down home- and library-­building projects in the Bayview district — which is grappling with massive unemployment despite public projects under way — and a solar project in the Sunset district.

Memorial for workers who killed themselves at the factory making iPads

Submitted by News Desk on Tue, 07/06/2010 - 12:09pm

Chinese immigrants and Chinese-Americans in San Francisco protest the long hours and bad conditions at the Foxconn factory in southern China, where the Apple iPad is manufactured.  They lined up in front of Apple's flagship store in San Francisco, holding signs with the names of workers at the factory who have committed suicide because of the conditions.
     Those conditions include 80 hours of overtime a month, according to the Chinese media.   Chinese law limits overtime to 36 hours per month.  No one is allowed to talk on the production line, and workers complain of constant high line speed and speedup.  Most workers live in huge dormitories, where often 12 people share a room.The suicides include a man who jumped from a dormitory.  He'd worked there for two years.  Another man, recently hired, slit his wrists and was taken to a hospital.  A woman hanged herself in the bathroom, and a man drowned in a company swimming pool.  The latest person committed suicide right after Foxconn's head, Terry Guo, had visited the factory and taken journalists on a tour.

Workers Concerned about Quality of care in Alameda County's Correctional Facilities

Submitted by News Desk on Thu, 03/11/2010 - 4:43pm

Prison Strike Update: Prevented From Delivering Care, Healthcare Workers Locked-Out of Alameda County Jails Hold Candlelight Vigil

OAKLAND, CA – Nurses, physician’s assistants, dental assistants and others who provide medical care at Alameda County’s two correctional facilities held a candlelight vigil outside the Glenn Dyer Detention Facility after being prevented from returning to work by their employer, Prison Health Services, following a one-day unfair labor practices strike.

Selling Food Stamps for Kid’s Shoes

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 02/26/2010 - 4:30pm

Unable to find jobs, kicked off welfare, women in Connecticut are forced to sell food assistance to buy basic necessities. Research support was provided by The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute. Additional research by Juell Stewart.
Food StampsSince she was 16, Eva Hernández has worked a string of low-wage jobs. She’s prepared chicken at KFC, run the register at Dunkin Donuts, packed and sealed boxes at a produce company, and held other similar jobs in Hartford, Connecticut, where she was born and raised. These jobs haven’t paid enough for Eva, now 28, to support herself and her two young daughters. So for almost three years in the last decade, she’s relied on welfare to supplement her income. Most of the time, though, she’s simply found another low-wage job, a task that in this economy is proving almost impossible.


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