Hotel Workers at Garden Grove's Hyatt Regency to Rally for Rights

Categories: Labor

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flickr user Marc van der Chijs
Hyatt Regency in Garden Grove

Heading into Fourth of July weekend, Hyatt Regency hotel workers in Garden Grove want more freedom on the job. A rally is planned this afternoon on the corner of Harbor Boulevard and Chapman Avenue bringing together union allies and community members in support.

"The working conditions are very unjust," Hyatt Regency banquet worker Maricela Perez tells the Weekly in Spanish. "There's no respect of the majority of the workers."


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Hyundai Motors America in Fountain Valley Gets Unwelcome Visit by United Auto Workers

Categories: Labor, Ride Me

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PRNewsFoto/Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai USA headquarters in Fountain Valley
About 30 United Auto Workers members and supporters marched to Hyundai's North American headquarters in Fountain Valley as their comrades hit 23 dealerships around the country Thursday to deliver a letter addressed to President and CEO David Zuchowski that accuses the South Korean automaker of providing low wages and unsafe work conditions.

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Justice for Janitors Rallies in Irvine at NOON to Mark 25th Anniversary of Defining Protest

Categories: Events, Labor

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Photo by Conor Izzett/OC Weekly
Cops join Justice for Janitor ralliers outside South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa on June 5, 2008.
Let us take a look back to the heady days of spring 2000. Just about every social movement arrives in Orange County last, and so it was with Justice for Janitors, which had begun in the late 1980s before our very own version launched on March 31, 2000, with a rally on the sidewalk in front of the Taco Bell corporate headquarters in downtown Irvine. Indeed, the teenagers who now live on Taco Bell ... ahem ... food may not even get the joke inspired by a long gone ad campaign in the headline over Nick Schou's coverage of the blessed event:

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Labor Activists Demand OC Labor Give Rights to its El Super Picketers

Categories: Labor

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Ricardo Muñiz working the line

It's been six months since the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) called for a boycott against El Super, a Mexico-based mega grocery chain with stores in OC. A majority of its locations remain non-union with workers suffering poor pay and benefits because of it, but picketers holding the line claim to have caused the chain a 10% decrease in sales so far.

Not all is happy with the picketers, though. The Orange County Workers Information Project (OCWIP) has put up a petition asking for the same rights they fought to get grocery workers at El Super. This came as a result of the firing of Ricardo Muñiz, a prominent local DREAM activist, who was helping labor in the boycott.


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OC Mental Health Workers Join Statewide Protest Against Kaiser's Whistleblower Firing

Categories: Labor

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Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
Welcoming committee
UPDATE, MAY 19, 6:35 A.M.: Kaiser Permanente mental health workers ended their statewide leafleting on Friday. The health insurance nonprofit weighed in with the Weekly about the National Union Healthcare Workers (NUHW) organized action saying in a statement that they had deep concerns about picketing "a site where patients receive care on what can be sensitive matters, and who trust they are doing so in a safe and confidential environment."

As for stalled contract negotiations and alleged retaliatory whistleblower firing? "It is unfortunate that the union is making a new round of false claims against Kaiser Permanente as part of its bargaining strategy, this time wrongly leveling accusations of retaliation," the Kaiser statement reads.

"We have engaged in good faith bargaining with the health care professionals and therapists and have in no way sought to retaliate against them."

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Want To Go All The Way To The FBI And Get Paid?

Categories: Crime-iny, Labor

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Tired of sitting all day at Starbucks while sipping free water, surfing the Internet, people watching and faking that you're on vacation from a real job?

A few of you might have a chance of, as Dr. Hannibal Lecter said slowly, "getting all the way to the FBI."

The agency's Los Angeles field office has scheduled a May 13 special agent job recruitment session for interested professionals: lawyers, computer scientists, engineers, detectives, pilots, weapons experts and foreign language specialists.

According to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller, in-shape applicants must be between the ages of 23 and 36; possess a bachelor's degree; and have three years of employment experience.

Don't get too excited dear, job-hunting OC Weekly readers because you may not qualify.

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Sheriff's Department Ends War Against Fired Deputy, A Navy Cross Recipient

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Taking leave from his deputy job at the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD), Scott Montoya volunteered for U.S. Marine duty after the 9-11 terrorist attacks, fought in the 2003 Battle of Baghdad and returned home garnering the prestigious Navy Cross for repeated acts of combat bravery.

But Montoya's longest war--the 10-year one OCSD waged against him--is finally over.

Despite angry threats to do otherwise, county officials finally decided to accept a jury verdict and a federal judge's rulings that the agency illegally discriminated against the fired deputy in bizarre retaliation for his military service.

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) bans public and private employers from discriminating against soldiers.

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OC May Day Marches to Fight for Immigrant and Worker Rights!

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AJimenez Photography
Many countries around the world celebrate May 1st as International Workers' Day. Though the holiday's origins trace back to the 1886 Haymarket Affair in Chicago, the United States--in another example of American exceptionalism--shrugs its own history aside and tells its workers to clock in! In recent years, though, the immigrant rights movement revived May Day from coast to coast, even in Orange County.

To mark the occasion this year, two coalitions will host marches on Friday in Anaheim and SanTana. Both are calling for immigrant and worker rights in their own way.

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UC Irvine Student Health Center Doctors Ready to Strike Saturday

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Union of American Physicians and Dentists
Unhappy campers (who are doctors).
Doctors at UC Irvine's student health center plan to go on strike Saturday and stay off work until April 15 as part of a labor action by physicians at all 10 University of California campuses, their union recently announced.

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Gustavo's Latest KCRW "OC Line": On the Retirement of Labor Boss Nick Berardino!

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OC Weekly archives
Since we don't have a good shot of Berardino in our archives, let's go with the OCEA barbecue pit--another Berardino innovation!

We haven't necessarily cheered on all the moves of Orange County Employees Association head Nick Berardino, and you're just gonna have to find them (hint: churros!). But we have always respected the man for bringing true, populist labor politics to a county so hateful of organized labor that everyone declared war on striking Mexican orange pickers in 1936.

Berardino is retiring in July, and he was the topic I discussed this week in my every-Monday KCRW-FM 89.9 "Orange County Line" commentary.


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