California

Caltrans workers rally in Sacramento and San Bernardino

By our reporters, 11 April 2016

Caltrans workers held three rallies across California last week to demand higher pay and benefits, improved safety and a draw-down in the hiring of contract workers.

California State University faculty union agrees to sellout deal

By our reporters, 9 April 2016

A statewide strike planned for 23,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches throughout the 23 California State Universities has been called off by the union.

Mobilize the working class to defend Caltrans workers!

By David Brown, 7 April 2016

The following statement will be distributed at tomorrow’s statewide rallies of Caltrans workers, who build and maintain highway, bridge, and rail transportation in the state of California.

As April 13 strike deadline approaches

Struggle at California State University endangered by faculty union’s alliance with Democrats

By Evan Blake and Genevieve Leigh, 6 April 2016

Despite the results of the fact-finding mission validating the CSU faculty union’s demand for a 5 percent pay raise, university administrators refuse to back down, setting the stage for a limited statewide strike.

Poverty among California seniors rising despite economic “recovery”

By Adam Mclean, 4 April 2016

The poverty rate among California seniors nearly doubled between 1999 and 2014.

California’s budget to hit Caltrans workers

By David Brown, 2 April 2016

The last offer from the state includes meager raises that are wiped out by rising retirement and benefit contributions.

Immigrant farmworker sentenced to 25 years to life for leaving her newborn in California strawberry field

By Eden Ferrera, 31 March 2016

Nineteen-year-old Rosalba Moran, an undocumented immigrant and victim of rape, was charged with first-degree murder.

California Democrats, unions announce deal on $15 minimum wage

By Marc Wells, 30 March 2016

The deal, which has many loopholes, is aimed at containing deep opposition to poverty-level wages and bolstering support for the Democratic Party in the run-up to November’s elections.

University of California president proposes privatization of pension fund

By Kevin Martinez, 25 March 2016

The proposal is only the latest in the bipartisan attack on public-sector and private-sector pension plans throughout the United States.

University of California installs secret spyware system

By Norisa Diaz, 24 March 2016

The UC board president and ex-homeland security chief, Janet Napolitano, has overseen the installation of a massive spyware system.

California Faculty Association prepares to sell out CSU workers

By Evan Blake and Guillaume Garnier, 14 March 2016

With a limited strike looming, the CFA is rushing to push through another deal that will erode the living standards of 26,000 professors and other staff.

Widening social inequality exacerbates housing crisis in California

By Kevin Martinez, 4 March 2016

Even as the cost of rent continues to rise, a report by the California Budget & Policy Center found that the top 1 percent in the state captured most, if not all, income gains since 1989.

Questions raised about police role in violent KKK rally in California

By John Andrews, 3 March 2016

Three counter-demonstrators were stabbed Saturday at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Anaheim, California.

Caltrans workers rally in Sacramento for better pay and benefits

By David Brown, 3 March 2016

The rally was held outside the California Department of Human Resources, where a bargaining session had been scheduled but was canceled by the state in order to avoid the protest.

California inmate firefighter, 22, crushed to death protecting Malibu mansions

By Eric London, 1 March 2016

Shawna Lynn Jones, who was incarcerated in Los Angeles, died Friday after her skull was crushed by a boulder while fighting a brushfire.

Los Angeles area teachers stage “sickouts” over pay

By Dan Conway, 29 February 2016

The job action in the Compton School District highlights the growing opposition to the attacks on teachers and public education as a whole.

California Coastal Commission head ousted

By David Levine, 23 February 2016

The second head of the California Coastal Commission was fired last week as the result of a political campaign backed by Democrats tied to developers.

Former Los Angeles County sheriff pleads guilty in jail scandal

By Tom Carter, 13 February 2016

The fall of Lee Baca, once labeled “Sheriff of the Year,” underscores the fact that American police departments function essentially as criminal enterprises.

San Diego officials to fight ruling against pension cutback

By Kevin Martinez, 30 January 2016

A state labor board ruled against cutbacks to pensions last December, prompting the City Council to vote unanimously for an appeal.

Corporate gas leak in California’s Aliso Canyon to continue for months

By David Brown, 26 January 2016

The continuing leak of natural gas in Southern California highlights corporate negligence and decaying infrastructure.

Massive methane gas leak imperils Los Angeles neighborhood

By Evan Blake, 22 January 2016

One of the largest methane gas leaks in US history, the product of corporate greed, could grow substantially worse in the event of a well head blowout.

Port of Oakland in California to close major terminal

By David Brown, 21 January 2016

The decision of the largest terminal operator to leave the Port of Oakland is a harbinger of a crisis in the shipping industry and worsening conditions for port workers.

Obama seeks Silicon Valley aid to spy on social media

By Thomas Gaist, 9 January 2016

A delegation of top Obama administration officials met with tech industry leaders Friday as part of efforts to step up government spying on social media and other online communications.

“They just want to score some points with this incident and then leave us.”

Residents speak on social crisis in San Bernardino, California following mass shooting in December

By our reporters, 7 January 2016

Despite constant coverage of the recent San Bernardino shootings in the mainstream media, little attention has been given to the city’s widespread poverty and social distress.

Notes on police violence in America

Four recent police shootings spark outrage

By John Andrews, 21 December 2015

Newly released video recordings that captured two brutal law enforcement shootings starkly demonstrate that police violence and official cover ups continue unabated.

Family of San Diego man killed by police disputes official story of his death

By Kevin Martinez, 18 December 2015

Fridoon Rawshan Nehad, who struggled with PTSD from experiences in Afghanistan, was shot and killed by San Diego police April 30.

Los Angeles shuts down entire school district after email terror threat

By Don Knowland, 16 December 2015

The message which apparently prompted the closure of more than 1,000 schools had been determined to be a hoax by early Tuesday afternoon.

Video shows murder by San Francisco police firing squad

By a reporter, 4 December 2015

Widely viewed on the Internet, the video shows a group of police officers opening fire simultaneously on a cornered 26-year-old man.

California State University faculty union votes to authorize strike

By Marko Leone, 4 December 2015

There is strong discontent amongst the faculty after years of minimal pay raises that failed to compensate for inflation, or no raises at all, and the recent imposition of furloughs.

The mass killing in San Bernardino, California

By Joseph Kishore, 4 December 2015

The mass killing at the Inland Regional Center is only the latest in a long string of tragedies that point to the deeply diseased and dysfunctional state of American society.

US: More than 3,000 laid off in closure of Fresh & Easy grocery stores

By Jake Dean, 1 December 2015

All 97 of the chain’s locations in California, Arizona and Nevada were shut down last month.

California: Kaiser Permanente mental health workers set to strike

By Julio Patron, 16 November 2015

Mental health workers remain isolated, as their union seeks to subordinate them to the Democratic Party.

Los Angeles Police Department shootings doubled in a single year, report shows

By Dan Conway and Marc Wells, 13 November 2015

LAPD officers are killing nearly two people each month, despite a slowing rate of homicides in the city overall.

Teamsters union pulls stunt strikes at southern California ports

By Marc Wells, 13 November 2015

The Teamsters have organized eight bogus strikes of truck drivers in two years at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in pursuit of increasing union membership.

Military maneuvers force LA Airport to reroute flights

By Alan Gilman, 11 November 2015

Military exercises, which began on Friday, November 6, and are expected to continue for about one week, are being conducted over the Pacific Ocean in an area just west of Los Angeles.

Hunger strikes spread in immigrant jails in US Southwest

By Kevin Martinez, 10 November 2015

Protests against inhumane treatment have spread from California to Texas and other states.

The ominous backdrop of California’s End of Life Option Act

By Norisa Diaz, 9 November 2015

The enthusiasm of the Brown administration for the legislation is based not solely on the autonomy and compassion it can grant the terminally ill, but on its cost-saving potential.

Wages and jobs cut as American Apparel files for bankruptcy

By Adam Mclean, 4 November 2015

American Apparel announced earlier this year that it would be eliminating $30 million in “operating expenses.”

Dismissed teachers file class action lawsuit against Los Angeles Unified School District

By Dan Conway, 22 October 2015

The lawsuit seeks damages arising out of the district’s use of the so-called “teacher jail” system.

“I feel like it’s the days of peasants and lords—and we’re the peasants.”

US grocery workers speak out against store closures

By Jake Dean and Norisa Diaz, 21 October 2015

The grocery chain Haggen announced plans to close all of its locations in California, Nevada and Arizona, laying off at least 8,000 workers.

New study documents California’s “Hidden Poor”

By Jill Lux, 10 October 2015

A new UCLA study reveals that more than 772,000 older Californians fall into the category of the “hidden poor.”

LA unions hail pension “reform” to legitimize attack on working class

By Adam McLean, 2 October 2015

Unions collaborated with the Los Angeles City Council to impose measures that will hang retirees out to dry.

Uncontrolled wildfires burn hundreds of homes in California

By Gabriel Black and Dan Conway, 16 September 2015

Wildfires have consumed hundreds of thousands of acres throughout California amidst the state’s worst drought in 500 years.

Hundreds arrested in California anti-immigrant sweep

By Jake Dean, 10 September 2015

The Obama administration continues its frontal assault on the democratic rights of immigrant workers.

Report documents rising cost of living in California

By Norisa Diaz, 8 September 2015

Inflated housing costs throughout California are making it increasingly impossible to live, forcing many families into overcrowded conditions and homelessness

Report documents rising cost of living in California

By Norisa Diaz, 7 September 2015

Inflated housing costs throughout California are making it increasingly impossible to live, forcing many families into overcrowded conditions and homelessness.

California Democrat urges court to reinstate death penalty

By John Andrews and Alan Gilman, 5 September 2015

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, with the support of Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, is defending the death penalty in federal court.

Two California killings used as pretext for attack on immigrants

By Dorota Niemitz, 2 September 2015

Two violent felonies attributed to undocumented immigrants in California are being used to launch a vicious attack on the entire immigrant community.

Broad Foundation spearheads expansion of Los Angeles charter schools

By Marc Wells, 31 August 2015

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the brainchild of investment billionaire Eli Broad, is known for its involvement in the privatization of public education.

Half a million California children are homeless

By Adam Mclean, 27 August 2015

About one in 20 children in California, home to over 100 billionaires, is homeless.

California insurance rates rise under Obamacare

By Julio Patron, 25 August 2015

Obamacare continues to provide enormous profits to insurers while the price of health care for workers soars to new heights.

Higher rates approved for California utilities

By Adam Mclean, 8 August 2015

The California Public Utilities Commission has rubber-stamped a regressive measure that will force most Californians to pay higher water bills.

Wildfires spread in Northern California

By Kevin Martinez, 7 August 2015

Over 13,000 people have been ordered to evacuate as about two dozen fires consume more than 142,000 acres.

California’s immigration program: A smokescreen for the interests of big business

By Dorota Niemitz, 24 July 2015

Recently proposed immigration measures represent an attempt by the California political establishment to cast the state as a haven for immigrants.

Wages for California workers continue to decline

By Kevin Martinez, 15 July 2015

California’s high cost of living has accelerated the decline of real wages.

The historical background of California’s water crisis

By Marc Wells and Evan Blake, 14 July 2015

The damage from California’s drought stems from almost two centuries of an irrational water rights regime.

Settlement in Mexican farmworkers struggle leaves families mired in poverty

By Clodomiro Puentes and Don Knowland, 8 July 2015

The wage agreement left Baja California farm workers well below the poverty threshold and subject to other work abuses.

Drought-fed fire hits California’s San Bernardino Mountains

By Adam Mclean, 3 July 2015

The Lake Fire, one of several fires in the US southwest fueled by high temperatures and drought, now covers 30,000 acres.

Budget cuts create intolerable conditions in California nursing homes

By Adam Mclean, 30 June 2015

The private investment firms, which have bought up many nursing home chains, are reaping high profits by reducing care to elderly patients.

San Bernardino, California, prepares to privatize city services

By Dan Conway, 26 June 2015

The city of San Bernardino, which filed for bankruptcy in July 2012, is seeking to privatize its firefighting and garbage collection services.

Berkeley, California balcony collapse kills six

By David Brown, 17 June 2015

Several observers have pointed to signs of dry rot in the wooden support beams exposed by the collapse, possibly due to inadequate waterproofing.

Medical technicians and paramedics picket against low-wage exploitation

By K. Rowe and Toby Reese, 6 June 2015

Working EMTs and paramedics have been picketing at San Diego City Hall since last Thursday in protest over the extension that maintains appallingly low wages.

San Diego, California renews emergency services contract with low-wage company

By K. Rowe and Toby Reese, 6 June 2015

The Democratic-controlled city council voted unanimously for an agreement that maintains a starting wage of only $10 an hour for new EMTs.

Los Angeles homeless population grew by 16 percent since 2013

By Glenn Mulwray, 4 June 2015

Soaring housing prices, along with falling incomes and cuts in government programs, have led to the dramatic growth in homelessness in Los Angeles County.

Utilities, regulators conspired to make public pay for California nuclear plant closure

By Dorota Niemitz and Charles Thornton, 3 June 2015

Recently disclosed documents reveal that the $4.7 billion settlement to decommission the San Onofre nuclear plant was planned in secret, closed-door meetings.

Los Angeles County backs Obama’s anti-immigrant agenda

By Dorota Niemitz, 28 May 2015

The board of supervisors in the southern California city voted to endorse the Priority Enforcement Program, a refashioned federal program to deport undocumented workers.

Pipeline in Santa Barbara oil spill lacked key safety feature

By Kevin Martinez, 26 May 2015

The pipeline had no automatic shutoff valve, a routine safety feature that could have greatly minimized the disaster.

Despite surplus, California governor releases austerity budget

By Dan Conway, 23 May 2015

The proposal will further undermine public education and maintain cuts to health care programs for low-income families, children and the disabled.

Pipeline rupture causes oil spill in California

By Gabriel Black, 22 May 2015

State officials say that at least 21,000 gallons of oil has reached the sea, causing an oil slick that spans nine miles.

San Bernardino, California officials to vote on bankruptcy plan

By Kevin Martinez, 20 May 2015

The plan, which follows the bankruptcy of Detroit, would force retirees to pay more for health insurance and contract out the city’s fire and waste disposal departments.

Los Angeles police shoot unarmed homeless man

By Tom Carter, 11 May 2015

The LAPD is suppressing a video of the May 6 shooting of 29-year-old Brendon Glenn.

Los Angeles teachers face political fight to defend public education

By Dan Conway, 4 May 2015

The agreement signed by the LA teachers' union will escalate the assault on teachers and public education, while rewarding the union apparatus for backing school “reform.”

Strike of California nurses ends

By Marc Wells, 2 May 2015

After a tentative agreement, 6,500 nurses in eight California hospitals returned to work.

California and Illinois nurses set to strike

By Marc Wells, 25 April 2015

Nurses at eight California hospitals and one Chicago medical center have announced a strike against understaffing, limited by the unions to a one- or two-day action.

California governor’s emergency drought measures leave agribusiness giants untouched

By Evan Blake and Glenn Ricketts, 20 April 2015

Democratic Party Governor Jerry Brown acknowledged that California’s agricultural monopolies are essentially off limits.

Los Angeles rail accident exposes decaying state of public transit in the US

By Dan Conway, 31 March 2015

The crash revealed the lack of effective safety provisions in Los Angeles public transportation due to years of cost-cutting and budget cuts.

The California drought: Water-rationing plan leaves corporate interests untouched

By Evan Blake, 26 March 2015

Last week, the state passed emergency legislation targeting residential “water wasters,” while giving free rein to the agricultural giants to continue their overuse of groundwater.

Stockton, California teachers endorse possible strike action

By David Brown, 25 March 2015

The Stockton Teachers Association and School District have exchanged allegations of illegal labor practices in the wake of a recent strike authorization vote.

California Democrat plans ballot proposal to cut public employee pensions

By Kevin Martinez, 17 March 2015

Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed will lead a ballot initiative in May to eliminate constitutional protections for CalPERS and other state pension funds.

Judge in Stockton bankruptcy upholds retiree benefit cuts

By Adam Mclean, 12 February 2015

The ruling paves the way for cities throughout California and nationwide to use bankruptcy courts to slash pensions.

University of California doctors hold one-day strike

By our reporters, 30 January 2015

In line with its strategy of subordinating workers to the Democratic Party, AFSCME limited the strike by doctors to one day, focused on claims of unfair labor practices.

Striking California mental health workers denounce attacks on health care

By our reporters, 19 January 2015

Some 2,600 mental health care workers in California are in the second week of a strike against Kaiser Permanente.

California mental health care workers strike

By David Brown, 15 January 2015

Without a contract for four years, mental health workers in the National Union of Healthcare Workers at Kaiser Permanente are holding a series of partial strikes across California.

Los Angeles police department on high alert after officers allegedly ambushed by gunmen

By Dan Conway, 30 December 2014

The placing of the LAPD on "high alert" coincided with the release of an autopsy report on the police killing of an unarmed man in August.

California drought has depleted water sources by 11 trillion gallons

By Evan Blake, 19 December 2014

Recent storms have only partially quenched the state’s worst drought in recorded history.

After being exposed, undercover cop draws gun on protesters in California

By Evan Blake and Gabriel Black, 12 December 2014

On Wednesday night, two plainclothes police officers dressed as protesters were exposed during a demonstration against police brutality in Oakland, California.

Protests over police killings continue in Northern California

By Evan Blake and Gabriel Black, 10 December 2014

Police cracked down on a third night of protests in Berkeley, California on Monday night, leading to the arrest of over 150 protesters.

Los Angeles police gun down man at busy Hollywood intersection

By John Burton, 9 December 2014

LAPD officers shot and killed a man allegedly carrying a small knife at an intersection in the heart of the Hollywood “Walk of Fame,” stunning tourists.

San Jose, California: “The Jungle” homeless camp dismantled

By Evan Blake, 9 December 2014

Authorities in San Jose shut down the largest homeless encampment in the United States last Thursday.

Tear gas, rubber bullets used against protests over police brutality in Berkeley, California

By our reporters, 8 December 2014

Police fired tear gas at a peaceful protest late Saturday evening, hitting both demonstrators and passersby.

Protests, building occupations follow California tuition hike

By Evan Blake, 29 November 2014

The regents’ vote to approve 5 percent annual tuition increases for the next five years has prompted demonstrations on UC campuses statewide.

Teamsters sell out strike by port truck drivers in southern California

By Marc Wells, 24 November 2014

Truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach ended an eight-day strike against unfair practices and wage theft.

Los Angeles: One thousand protest Mexican student massacre and disappearances

By Rafael Azul, 22 November 2014

Workers and students spoke about the massacre and abduction of teaching school students in Iguala, 43 or whom are still missing.

University of California’s regents approve tuition hikes

By Gabriel Black and Marc Wells, 21 November 2014

The UC board of Regents has approved steep tuition increases for the next five years.

Los Angeles schools superintendent backs “parent trigger” privatization scheme

By Adam Mclean and Marc Wells, 21 November 2014

Under the guise of empowering parents, the “parent trigger” law is part of a drive, funded by multibillionaires and backed by the unions, to privatize public education.

California Nurses Association backs Democrats with Ebola protest

By David Brown, 17 November 2014

The two-day strike at Kaiser Permanente facilities was used by the CNA to present Governor Jerry Brown, who has slashed health care, as a champion of nurses’ safety.

Port truck drivers strike in southern California

By Marc Wells, 15 November 2014

Truck drivers went on strike last Thursday at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach over poverty pay and wage theft.

University of California president proposes new fee hikes

By Gabriel Black, 8 November 2014

A yearly tuition increase of up to 5 percent is being implemented in the UC system while the cost of living for students skyrockets.

Undocumented immigrants make up 10 percent of California’s workforce

By Norisa Diaz, 5 November 2014

In the world’s eighth-largest economy, 1.85 million workers live in constant fear of deportation.

Judge backs Stockton, California bankruptcy plan ending retiree health care payments

By Jerry White, 31 October 2014

A federal bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved a restructuring plan that will eliminate health care benefits for 2,400 retired city workers and their families.