Labor Rights

Los Angeles has one of the highest rates of working poverty in the nation, with over 3.5 million residents who have jobs yet still live below the poverty line. This is a moral and economic crisis that can no longer be ignored. Ysabel unapologetically stands with workers today and always. She will forever support every action, every strike, and every boycott. As a former employee of City Hall, she is proud to have worked side by side with AFSCME members whose tireless dedication to their work is responsible for making Los Angeles run smoothly. At Bet Tzedek Legal Services, she was a proud and active AFSCME member, and believes that organized labor must play a central role in our City and in electoral politics. At a time when the economic schism has deepened in an unprecedented way, and AI threatens to completely collapse our workforce, unions are a lifeline for our workers. They are essential to uplifting the baseline of quality of life for working people living in an extremely expensive city like LA.

The fight for workers’ rights is personal for Ysabel. Not only does she know what it’s like to actively participate in her union to secure better working conditions, her father, who was undocumented at the time, was a victim of wage theft and racial discrimination on the job. That injustice is what fuels Ysabel’s passion for labor.

In an era of skyrocketing income inequality and an ever-shrinking middle class, the need for strong unions has never been greater. Ysabel pledges to vigorously defend the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively and honor the legacy of our great labor unions through a pro-labor strategy and uplift our working families so they may live in dignity and prosperity.

A Pro-Labor Strategy

Our campaign aims for a comprehensive labor strategy to rebalance power between workers and employers by strengthening labor laws, expanding collective bargaining rights, and enforcing robust labor standards in the modern economy. We seek to:

  • Help provide workers with paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, fair scheduling practices, and other basic labor standards.
  • Crack down on misclassification of employees as independent contractors to ensure that workers can engage in collective bargaining and prevent the erosion of worker protections.
  • Create just-cause policies for all workers to protect employees from being disciplined or terminated without a fair and legitimate reason.
  • Favor worker representation on corporate boards to give employees a voice in major business decisions.
  • Facilitate and flush out the discourse around sectoral bargaining systems where unions and employers negotiate standards across an entire industry.
  • Support the creation of workers’ councils on the city level to help workers exercise decision-making power and self-management over their workplaces and the means of production.
  • Increase funding for labor standards enforcement agencies like the City’s Office of Wage Standards (OWS) to fast-track employee needs and complement these claim filings with improved enforcement mechanisms.
  • Impose stronger penalties and joint liability for violations of wage, hour, safety, and other labor laws.
  • Protect whistleblowers and prevent retaliation against workers who report labor violations.
  • Give workers a voice in decisions around adopting new workplace technologies that monitor performance or automate tasks.
  • Ban intrusive or discriminatory technology that infringes on worker privacy and civil rights.
  • Require human oversight and due process for high-stakes automated employment decisions.
  • Support legislation like the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to make it easier for workers to unionize and bargain collectively.
  • Support the extension of collective bargaining rights to sectors like gig workers and independent contractors.
  • Prioritize unionized building trades labor in all city construction projects to ensure high-quality craftsmanship, promote fair wages, and support local economic growth.
  • Embed requirements for unionized labor participation in city construction contracts, ensuring a fair and competitive bidding process.
  • Require Project Labor Agreements and prevailing wage for all of the City's public works, construction, and development projects. City leaders are quick to approve construction projects but we need to make sure the workers who build these structures need to have a good wage, benefits, a pension and most importantly a union contract.

Expanding Basic Support for Working Poor Families

  • Collaborate with the state to increase the monthly allotments for food assistance programs like EBT/SNAP. This will help address the unacceptable reality that many families run out of food and money by the third week of the month, leaving them to experience hunger until their next disbursement.
  • Encourage businesses to offer significant discounts to customers using EBT/SNAP benefits for their purchases. This will allow limited food budgets to go further.
  • Advocate for all supermarkets, food retailers, and farmers markets to provide an automatic discount at checkout for anyone paying with an EBT/SNAP card. Extending the purchasing power of food assistance in this way will help make benefits last longer.

Workers’ Rights Action Plan

  • Help enforce Senate Bill 62, the Garment Worker Protection Act, and work to eradicate wage theft in the garment industry.
  • Support the extension of Recall Rights SB 93’s sunset provision, where employees of certain hospitality and service industry employers who were laid off for COVID-19 related reasons must be notified of job openings for the same or similar positions as the ones they last held.
  • Support SB 723 in its expansion of the scope of workers covered under the recall rights by redefining who qualifies as a “laid-off employee” eligible for rehiring preference.
  • Help enforce Assembly Bill 701, where warehouse workers in California now have protections from quotas that violate labor laws. Employers must also provide information on quotas that employees must meet while working.
  • Support all labor priority state bills for the 2024 legislative agenda as put forth by the California Federation of Labor.

Policy Action Plan References:

California Labor Federation

The Los Angeles County FED

United Service Workers West about page

SEIU 721 Headlines

United Teachers Member News

Unionized Starbucks in Los Angeles

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