Author: Kathia Canlas


28 Mar Mike Garcia: A Legacy of Organizing

Posted in Blog: Labor Edge Mike Garcia: A Legacy of Organizing March 28, 2017 Fearless. That was Mike Garcia. In his nearly 40 years with the labor movement, Mike never backed down from a fight. He was fierce, passionate and unwaveringly committed to social and economic justice, especially for low-wage workers most in need of a voice on the job. Mike passed away over the weekend after an illness. Today, the entire California labor movement mourns his loss with his family, friends and brothers and sisters at SEIU-USWW. Mike’s career in labor began in 1980, organizing janitors in multiple cities. To Mike, organizing wasn’t a job; it was a calling. Immigrant janitors are among the workers most in danger of exploitation. Giving those workers a voice was the driving force of his career. As the leader of SEIU local 1877, Mike led success organizing campaigns for janitors at tech behemoths like Oracle and Apple.  In 2000, Mike led a three-week strike of janitors in Los Angeles, a bold action that led to dramatic gains for those workers and was the impetus for a powerful movement of low-wage workers in LA that continues to this day. Mike didn’t organize from behind a desk. He organized in the streets.  At the worksite.  At the homes of his members. It was a 24-hour, 365-day job. That’s what his members loved about him. He wasn’t just their leader. He was their friend. He was one of them. His fierce commitment to worker justice led to the expansion of Local 1877, and in 2010, Mike became the leader of a new 40,000-member strong statewide union representing property service workers, SEIU-USWW. Mike was also a powerful voice for all workers through his role on the Labor Federation’s executive council. Mike would challenge us to be bolder, to take risks and to never forget that at the core, we’re all organizers. His leadership helped unions lead the fight to defeat Meg Whitman in 2010, electing Jerry Brown as Governor. While there were many things to admire about Mike – his tenacity, his drive, his strategic mind, his compassion – his legacy is grounded in his ability to get his members to believe that anything is possible when they stand together to take on powerful forces aligned against them. Under Mike’s leadership, a union of immigrants rose to become one of the strongest voices for worker rights and social justice in the state of California. Those members believed in Mike, and Mike got them to believe in themselves, no matter the odds. Mike was a friend. He was a brother. And he was one hell of an organizer. While we mourn his passing, we know his spirit lives on in the hearts of every immigrant and worker who organized for justice. It lives on with every family lifted out of poverty because they got a union on the job. It lives on through the social justice movements Mike helped build, that gave voice to the voiceless and power to the exploited and vulnerable. We’ll miss you dearly, Mike. There will never be another like you. — In lieu of flowers, Mike’s wishes were for contributions to be made to the “Building Skills Partnership” C/O Mike Garcia Scholarship Fund 828 West Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90015 in order to help SEIU members’ children attend college.  (Tax deductible )  For more info, please email Information on services for Mike Garcia: TBA Posted in Blog: Labor Edge ...

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24 Mar Become an Organizer

Orange County Labor Federation, AFL-CIO Organizer Working people are fighting back to raise wages and restore basic benefits. The Orange County Labor Federation is seeking to hire an Organizer who will work with affiliates to reach out to workers, build community support for strong unions and experiment with new forms of organizing. Day to day, Organizers seek and grow opportunities to test new tactics and strategies designed to build power among workers. Focused on building power both on and off-line, the Organizer will mentor new leaders and develop action teams, empowering them to build real, lasting power in their workplace and community. The OCLF’s Organizing Department collaborates with Local unions on strategic organizing campaigns and employs media, community, legislative, political, regulatory, legal, bargaining and other lawful forms of pressure to support worker organizing efforts. The Organizer works on strategic organizing campaigns under the supervision of the Executive Director and works day to day with project lead(s) to accomplish assignments. Our ideal candidate will have: A well-rounded understanding of the labor movement. Experience as a union organizer. The skills and drive to experiment with new forms of organizing and building power. A strong desire to contribute to the collective understanding of what it takes to move workers on wage and benefit issues. An open mind to try new organizing strategies and tactics. Reports to: Executive Director Duties: Reach out to workers/community to identify or stimulate interest in organizing through direct contact (site canvassing, tabling, workplace outreach, etc.). Follow up with members flagged by the canvass or member coordinator as having workplace problems or concerns. Take advantage of interest in organizing including: Building communities of interest by workplace, industry, or geography. Moving workers up a ladder of engagement including use of one-on-ones, small group meetings, and phone outreach. Other duties as assigned.  Qualifications: Previous experience and familiarity with all aspects of union/community organizing campaigns required. Knowledge of national and local structures of the labor movement. Familiarity with new forms of organizing. Critical thinking and analysis skills. Ability to work both collaboratively and independently. Ability to represent the OCLF to a variety of allies and audiences. Strong writing and verbal skills. Basic computer skills, including Microsoft Word and Excel. Online organizing experience or familiarity. Bi-lingual (English, Spanish or Vietnamese) Some travel required. Must be able to work irregular and long hours.  Location: Orange, CA  Position Type: Full-time To apply, send your resume, cover letter and references to: Joline Cruz, Orange County Labor Federation, 309 N. Rampart Street, Suite A, Orange, CA 92868, or email The position is open until filled.  To learn more about the Orange County Labor Federation, visit *PDF   ...

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14 Mar Let’s Play Ball!

Join the Orange County Labor Federation for a fun evening at the ballpark! ANGELS  VS  DODGERS THURSDAY, MARCH 30, 2017  |  7 PM Ticket Price:  $24 (includes a voucher for a small hotdog and soda) Seating Location:  Right Field MVP Purchase your tickets now, call George Doctorian at 714.385.1534 *Ticket orders and payment must be received by March 29 at 4 PM See you at the ballgame! FLYER...

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10 Mar Coast Federation of Classified Employees, AFT Local 4794 campaign for equity and respect

Please support the Coast Federation of Classified Employees, AFT Local 4794, in their campaign for equity and respect. The CFCE Negotiations Team has hit a wall in negotiations and they need your support. How you can help: • Attend the Board of Trustees Meeting on March 15, 2017. The meeting starts at 5:00 PM in the District Office Board Room at 1370 Adams Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 92636. Please wear your union colors. If you can speak in support during public comment, contact CFCE Executive Director Nate Banditelli at or (714) 532-7134. • Sign Our Petition. Sign online petition and ask your friends, family, neighbors, and union sisters and brothers to sign. About CFCE: The Coast Federation of Classified Employees, AFT Local 4794, represents over 700 classified professionals who support students at Coastline Community College, Golden West College, Orange Coast College, and the Coast Community College District Office. Our campuses educate students in Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Westminster. We enroll students, assist them with financial aid, assist veterans, help students transfer to universities, feed students, assist faculty in the classrooms and academic department offices, and maintain the grounds and facilities. Contact: CFCE Executive Director Nate Banditelli at or (714) 532-7134. FLYER...

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FUNDAMENTALS IN ORGANIZING The AFL-CIO Organizing Institute trains member activists and staff in basic organizing skills. We welcome National AFL-CIO affiliated labor organizations to sponsor talented members to attend our next 3-Day training in basic organizing in Orange County, California. Send your most passionate labor activists to learn these valuable tools for your next union organizing campaign! Click here to download our training flyer. WHEN: April 7-9, 2017 WHERE: UFCW Local 324  |  8530 Stanton Ave. Buena Park, CA 90620 COST: $150 includes training materials and meals. Other costs, such as hotel stays, lost time, and travel are the responsibility of the sponsoring union. OI 3-Day Training Agenda: One-on-One Communication Skills How to Move Workers to Take Action Leadership ID and Development Internal/External Organizing Campaign Techniques Union Members, to apply to a training, click here. Nonunion Members, to apply to a training, click here.   REGISTRATION QUESTIONS? Camille West-Eversley 1-800-848-3021 TRAINING QUESTIONS? Patricia Recinos (626) 318-4592        ...

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09 Feb Know Your Rights

Do you know your rights? These easy-to-use resources  you can have your rights at your fingertips. The 2016 election featured a heavy focus, in races at all levels of government, on immigration. President Donald Trump's post-election actions have signaled that this will continue. Here are some key things that working people need to know about our rights that will make sure that we have the resources to defend ourselves and our immigrant members and their families and communities in the event of workplace or community raids. 1. Do not answer questions. Tell the agent: "I plead the Fifth and choose to remain silent." 2. Do not sign anything. You are not required to sign anything without consulting an attorney first. 3. You are not required to show ID or immigration documents. If you have a valid green card or work permit, carry that with you, but tell the agent: "I wish to speak to an attorney." 4. Do not open the door without seeing a signed warrant. Law enforcement does not have the right to enter your home without a proper warrant, signed by a judge, with your correct name and address. Downloadable Materials English  |  Spanish                                                             English  |  Spanish                                                English  |  Spanish ...

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10 Jan  Martin Luther King Jr. Teach-In & Training: Mobilizing for Justice in the Post-Election Era  

  Saturday, January 14, 2017 8:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. UC Irvine School of Law (Directions) Following the November 8th election, there have been many concerns raised by the community about the effects of the new administration upon the most vulnerable in our community, as well as the long term policy implications. This event is an opportunity  to come together to discuss the potential effects of a new presidential administration on a variety of legal practices. This will be a discussion as well as a call to action for those interested in the potential effects of the election on Civil and Reproductive Rights; Criminal Justice; Education; Employment and Labor Law; Environmental Law; and Immigration. Training will be provided for attorneys wishing to provide pro bono legal representation to individuals who are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in their bond hearings. Additional training for attorneys wishing to provide pro bono representation may also be provided. For more event details, or to request reasonable accommodations for a disability, please email Sam Domingo at   ...

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09 Jan Strike Alert! Statewide Strike on January 10 at ALL UC Campuses and Medical Centers

Our 12,000 sisters and brothers in Teamsters Local 2010 will be on strike this week and need our support! Local 2010 will be conducting a statewide, one-day ULP strike on Tuesday, January 10, 2017. Please plan to send as many members as you can to the picket lines below. Strike Locations (1/10/2017): UC Los Angeles: 100 Medical Plaza Driveway, Los Angeles, CA 90024, 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. UC Irvine – Medical Center: 101 The City Drive South, Orange, 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. UC San Diego – Hillcrest Hospital: 200 W. Arbor Dr., San Diego, 5:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. UC Riverside: 900 University Ave., Riverside, CA 92521, 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. UC Santa Barbara: Henley Gate, 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Members of Teamsters Local 2010 are fighting for fair raises and benefits in the face of management refusal to bargain in good faith. Wages for UC administrative staff are so low that over 70% of workers suffer from hunger or food insecurity. Real wages are down by 24% over the past two decades. For more information, contact Timothy Mathews, Local 2010 Research Analyst, at 510-292-0020, or Please join Local 2010 in showing the University of California what Union Power is all about! Strike Leaflet ...

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05 Jan EVENT CANCELLED — Teach in: Social Justice through non-violent struggle

January 19, 2017 from 5-7pm  | FREE Event  EVENT  CANCELLED! UFCW Local 324 at 8530 Stanton Ave. Buena Park, CA 90620 The event is to raise awareness of the philosophy of nonviolence and how it has impacted social movements in the U.S. In addition, the teach-in will highlight how nonviolent tactics have been placed into practice in both historical and contemporary social movements. Guest Speaker: Rev. James Lawson – worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s to reclaim the rights of African Americans in the South. In more recent years, Rev. Lawson has worked with different labor and social organizations to teach them about nonviolence organizing. ...

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05 Jan Women’s March: Orange County

Event Information When: Saturday, January 21, 2016 from 9:00am-1:00pm Where: French Plaza Downtown Santa Ana (Corner of 4th and French) *location subject to change In response to the Women’s March on Washington Movement, local OC community groups have banned together to organize a march here in O.C.! Orange County will join sister marches across the nation in sending a message to the incoming administration that women’s rights are human rights and our diverse voices must be heard! Why is this happening? The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized and threatened many of us — immigrants, Muslims, Veterans, people who identify as LQBTQ+, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, and survivors of sexual assault. This march is the first step toward unifying our communities and sending a strong message to the new president and his administration that our voices matter. How can I or my organization get involved? If you or your organization is interested in participating please complete this form: Organization Participation Form To volunteer, complete the following form: Volunteer Participation Form Questions? Contact:

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