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High Country News

Building equity into the renewable energy transition

The study, by the University of California Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, found that large-scale solar projects, which were completed with union labor agreements, created high-quality career-track jobs for workers from disadvantaged and underrepresented communities.

The Hill

Historic health care expansion to take center stage in California

About 3.2 million Californians are uninsured this year, representing 9.5 percent of the population, according to a study by scholars at the University of California-Berkeley Labor Center. Nearly two-thirds of the state’s undocumented residents, or about 1.3 million people under the age of 65, are uninsured, the report found.


California would be first state to offer health coverage for all immigrants under governor’s proposal

According to UC Berkeley’s Labor Center, undocumented residents are excluded from Affordable Care Act subsidies and Medicaid eligibility, while noncitizens without a green card are more likely to not have employment-based health coverage – on which roughly half the country relies – than US citizens because of the greater likelihood of their employment in jobs that do not provide health plans.

The American Prospect

The NLRB Looks at the ‘Independent Contractor’ Scam

Today, of the roughly 12,000 truck drivers who transport goods to warehouses from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the site of around 40 percent of all seaborne imports in the U.S., nearly all are independent contractors, who sit unpaid in hours-long lines until they get their containers, who must pay for all their own expenses, and whose average yearly income, when those expenses are taken into account, is roughly $28,000, according to a study from the UC Berkeley Labor Center.


The Great Resignation comes for schools

McAlevey countered that educators agree that in-person learning is a better model. But, she noted, epidemiologists have criticized a vaccine-only approach for reopening society, and that extends to schools, where more testing and mitigation measures are needed, in her view.

California Ag Today

New Minimum Wage Starting Jan. 1 2022

When faced with conflicting employment law standards, an employer must follow the standard that is most beneficial to the employee. Review the UC Berkeley Labor Center’s detailed list of local minimum wage ordinances for additional guidance.

Mass Live

Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance says increased minimum wage in 2022 is ‘economic blow to the poor’

“Raising the minimum wage is a simple, direct way that we can improve the incomes of low-wage workers, pull many poor families out of poverty and pull many children out of poverty,” said Ken Jacobs, chairman of the UC Berkeley Labor Center. “It allows us to do it in a way that’s good for the overall economy — and it’s incredibly popular among voters.”

Bloomberg Law

Artificial Intelligence Hiring Bias Spurs Scrutiny and New Regs

“Basically, these are largely untested technologies with virtually no oversight,” said Lisa Kresge, research and policy associate at the University of California, Berkeley Labor Center, who studies the intersection of technological change and inequality. “That’s unprecedented in the workplace.”

Commentary by Jane McAlevey in The Nation

How Workers Can Win in 2022

What should national unions have been doing? Mobilizing members to take the only action—strikes—that could have given them real power in the legislative fights that have ended badly for workers

Capitol Weekly

California’s minimum wage rises to $15 per hour

In 2017, California occupations with high rates of low-wage work ranged from “service jobs (such as food preparation workers, home care workers, and janitors), as well as jobs in the goods-producing sector (such as farm workers and warehouse workers),” according to the UC Berkeley Labor Center.

UC Berkeley Labor Center

RELEASE: The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in California’s Construction Industry

The study, by Ken Jacobs and Kuochih Huang of the UC Berkeley Labor Center, finds that almost half of the families of construction workers in California are enrolled in a safety net program at an annual cost of over $3 billion in public funds. By comparison, just over a third of all California workers have a family member enrolled in one or more safety net programs.

Job Opening: Research and Policy Associate

The Labor Center has an opening for a policy research specialist to join our dynamic organization at the forefront of research and education on the most pressing economic challenges affecting working families in California and communities across the country.

UC Berkeley Labor Center

Labor Center Research on the Rideshare Industry

Prop 22 carves out an exception from state labor law for app-based transportation and delivery gig companies, including Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Instacart, allowing the companies to continue to classify their workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Labor Center chair Ken Jacobs and economics professor Michael Reich have produced several papers that examine the implications of Prop 22 compared to employee status for drivers, consumers, taxpayers, and the companies.

Feb 8
This workshop is FREE

Turning the Tables: Transparent, Big, and Open Bargaining Study Group

How unions negotiate is a strategic choice. Seldom do union members experience the actual process of collective negotiations over issues that are crucial, urgent, and relevant to their own lives. The purpose of this study group is to discuss how negotiations can be different—very different—from what has become the norm.

Mar 3

Skills to Win

The Skills to Win Workshop is an 8-week series for rank and file members and staff of unions, worker associations, worker centers, and community organizations that are embarking on, or in the midst of, organizing campaigns.