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Sat Jun 29 2013 (Updated 08/21/13) BART Workers Strike, Speak Out at Rallies
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) workers began to strike on July 1. They have been joined by other transit workers and supporters across the Bay Area to protest the attacks on their wages and health care and pension benefits forced on them by management after previous concessions, which already included a five year wage freeze. UPDATE: BART workers agreed to return to work on July 5 under their current contract for a 30-day negotiating period. Another strike remains possible.
On June 7, former workers and community members marched at La Playa Carmel to protest the first year of Sam Grossman's ownership of the hotel. The unionized workers were laid off when the Carmel-by-the-Sea hotel closed in 2011, and since its reopening under Grossman's management, only three of the former 113 workers have been rehired.
On May Day 2013, the fight for a $15 'Livable Wage' came to Oakland. A rally at Oscar Grant Plaza was followed by a noise demonstration through the streets of Oakland to raise awareness about the campaign. The noise march in Oakland followed a Sin Fronteras march from Fruitvale BART station earlier in the day. Immigrant rights and labor actions took place in many Bay Area and Northern California cities on May Day including San Francisco, San Jose, Salinas, Watsonville, and Santa Cruz.
On January 10th, IWW members and community allies staged an informational picket and rally to build energy towards what organizers think will be a protracted contract negotiation with Berkeley's Ecology Center. Management at the non-profit recycling center is looking to offer minor wage increases over the next two years, impose a wage freeze for the remaining three years of the new contract, and remove any employer-related benefit contributions. Workers have vowed to continue fighting against any and all concessions proposed by management of the company.
As the holiday season hit full force at the shopping/vacation destination of Carmel by the Sea, former La Playa Hotel workers continued to remain hopeful that some of those in attendance at a labor rally at the hotel on December 20th would receive back the jobs that they lost over a year ago. Since the hotel re-opened over the summer, only three of the former 113 workers have been re-hired.
On November 22nd & 23rd, Walmart workers and supporters demonstrated at the Richmond and San Leandro Walmarts as part of the national Black Friday protests against the nation's largest retailer. In San Leandro on November 22nd, Walmart threatened the use of the police to remove the protesters, including their own workers. On November 23rd, demonstrations were held in San Leandro and Richmond. Walmart workers spoke about the intimidation and terrorism on the job to silence them from speaking out and organizing.
After more than a dozen labor demonstrations at La Playa Carmel this summer which followed the announcement of a boycott of the hotel, community members had new answers to the question, "Is this working?" At a rally at the hotel held on September 28, Mark Weller of UNITE HERE Local 483, the hospitality union that represents workers in the Monterey Bay area, cited the recent contract approval negotiated for workers at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley as a victory for La Playa workers also.

Labor & Workers:   3