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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Labor unions win big in Sacramento

Uploaded: Sep 21, 2023
The California Legislature wrapped up its two-year session a week ago and sent more than 900 bills to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Checking out the post-session news coverage, there was widespread agreement that labor unions continued to win in the Democrat-dominated capitol. They hold more than a two-thirds majority in both houses so they can pass anything they want on party-line votes assuming not too many break ranks.
Among the more egregious bills that passed is one that would grant striking workers unemployment benefits after two weeks on the picket line. This bill avoided the normal committee review process, instead using the shameful “gut and amend” tactic of hijacking a bill that already had passed one house, changing it entirely, and then moving the bill forward.
It’s aimed at bailing out the screen writers union that has been striking since May 2 and was joined by the actors guild July 14. They’re striking against the motion picture and television studios and production companies. In total, about 171,500 people are on strike and virtually all work has been shut down.
The unions made the choice to strike and should not get unemployment benefits that are actually paid by employers. Only in whacko Sacramento would this seem to make sense. It’s difficult to imagine progressive Newsom vetoing this ill-advised bill.
This is just one of the 13 bills backed by the California Labor Federation that passed.
Other bills would expand mandatory sick leave to five days, raise the minimum wage for both health care workers and fast food workers and allow legislative staff to form unions. I expect that Newsom will sign all of these bills despite efforts by business groups to encourage vetoes.

Former Pleasanton City Councilman and business man Jerry Pentin returned to town from his new digs in Grass Valley to share about this bicycling experiences with the Pleasanton Men’s Club. He’s been an avid cyclist for years and championed safer bicycling in Pleasanton during his time on the council and planning commission. In all he served about 25 years including his time on the parks and recreation commission.
He shared about riding across Iowa in 100-plus degree July heat, in Moab UT (mountain biking heaven) and on the continental divide. On that ride, he paused to celebrate after reaching the summit of the highest mountain pass with an unpaved road in Colorado (12,100 feet). His cell phone started pinging. Somehow, he had cell service for the first time in days. He said the first email he opened came from the city of Pleasanton about a special council meeting to consider its state-mandated housing goals. Looking around at the magnificent high country scenery and knew he was in exactly the right place.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Josh Gannon, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Sep 23, 2023 at 3:37 pm

Josh Gannon is a registered user.

Agreeing that strikers should not receive unemployment benefits. If anything, the unions should have a trust fund to assist the strikers.

As far as mandatory sick leave, why not?

At McDonald's, workers will now be getting $20.00/hour. Since I do not eat at McDonald's I could care less how much the owners have to pay their workers because most of the owners are well-off to begin with. An acquaintance in SoCal owns 13 McDonald's and makes $9M a year of of them. No sympathy for the owners

Posted by Brock Tanner, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Sep 24, 2023 at 1:06 pm

Brock Tanner is a registered user.

If a MacDonald's owner is netting close to $700K per franchise a year and owns 13 of them, they can easily afford to pay $20.00 per hour per employee.

"No sympathy for the owners."
^ Ditto...greed is ugly and besides, the food isn't all that great to begin with.

Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Sep 24, 2023 at 4:15 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Union demands sent Yellow freight into bankruptcy, also taking down YRC freight and Reddaway freight. Thats 30,000 union members not working now. There is a large number of nonunion workers impacted with the Yellow bankruptcy.

Posted by Parent and Voter, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 25, 2023 at 6:47 am

Parent and Voter is a registered user.

Not sure what the "wealth" of business owners has to do with the pay of employees. Business owners of any kind take all the risks and the reality is that almost 50 percent of businesses fail in the first five years.
Should all Fast Food owners pay workers $20 per hour or should some pay less if they are struggling? When I was young I worked at a fast food business but it was not my "career" job. One unexpected consequences of laws can be automation that reduces the number of employees. Just a thought.

Posted by Jessica Layne, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 25, 2023 at 8:35 am

Jessica Layne is a registered user.

> Not sure of what the "wealth" of business owners has to do with the pay of employees."

Isn't this what the auto workers strike is all about? The CEOs (though not the actual owners) are making $25M+ per year while the auto workers earn about $40.00-$50.00 per hour depending on seniority.

Anyone netting $9M annually from a slew of fast food restaurants should be paying their workers more.

MacDonald's will never go out of business because they have a steady customer base that thrives on fast food.

While there are those who worked in fast food as a first-time and temporary job, for others it represents full-time adult employment.

As for automation, if the fast food proprietors elect to utilize such concepts then they should also lower the price of a Big Mac from $6.00 to about $4.00 at best.

Otherwise it is pure greed on the part of the owners.

Posted by Marianne Wilcox, a resident of Danville,
on Sep 26, 2023 at 12:10 pm

Marianne Wilcox is a registered user.

Companies go out of business from time to time and it is no big deal.

MacDonald's will survive because millions of people around the world enjoy eating unhealthy food.

No sympathy here for McDonald's franchisees having to pay $20.00/hour while netting millions of dollars in profits

Posted by Jason Long, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Sep 26, 2023 at 4:50 pm

Jason Long is a registered user.

"Isn't this what the auto workers strike is all about? The CEOs (though not the actual owners) are making $25M+ per year while the auto workers earn about $40.00-$50.00 per hour depending on seniority."

The CEOs awarded themselves a 40% pay raise at the expense of the auto workers.

Today President Biden joined the strikers...the first president in the history of the United States to walk the picket line.

If the corporate world was less avaricious, there would be minimal need for labor unions.

Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 27, 2023 at 1:02 am

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

Oh boy! president biddy joined the strikers...the first president in the history of the United States to walk the picket line. So? Meanwhile...

Your stooge of a president and his useless sidekick refuse to secure the border. Proud of that, Jason? Hell, president goof almost fell down another flight of stairs exiting Air Force One. What an embarrassment. President mumbles and fumbles probably doesn't know what picket line is. And to think this clown is the leader of the free world. What a laugh.

Posted by Rich Buckley, a resident of Jensen Tract,
on Sep 28, 2023 at 7:16 am

Rich Buckley is a registered user.

On the upside of the Screen Writer's Union Strike, when I get home for lunch, Jan and I have a new Nooner Soap's game.... no not that... don't we wish...rather, instead the same Soap is on tv... having listened to the Soap for weeks, we now quote the lines to each other right before the actors speaks their line. We call the game "Spoiler Alert." The winner makes the fewest errors.... my wife's assigned me the stage name "Error 404."

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