United Airlines and the Teamsters union say that the carrier's mechanics have ratified a new labor contract. The company said Thursday that the agreement covers about 5,500 mechanics. With the agreement, the Teamsters and the company will begin negotiations on a contract to cover mechanics at both United and Continental.
First-time jobless claims took an upswing just before Christmas. Although that's not the best news, there is a silver lining! We'll tell you about that and how the housing market is holding up in this edition of The Labor Report.
Gov. Jerry Brown spoke to reporters on Tuesday, outlining the dire financial challenges facing California and his hopes for a brighter 2012. Those hopes are attached to a proposal next year that would raise income taxes on high-income earners as well as increase the state sales tax. He said the key to winning about $7 billion a year in additional revenue is persuading voters that it's necessary to stabilize the state's budget. He said if voters reject the temporary tax increases, ``the cuts will be very, very drastic.'' California faces a $3 billion midyear revenue shortfall and is expected to face a $10 billion deficit in the fiscal year that begins July 1, resulting in a $13 billion gap over the next 18 months. Brown will release his proposal for the next budget year by Jan. 10.
It came as a big surprise to many after a sharp drop in holiday sales, but the Sears department store chain announced it will close up to 120 Sears and Kmart stores. It's unclear how many stores in the Bay Area will be closed and how many people will be put out of work.
There are some serious issues facing California as we head into the Christmas holiday. First off, recalling Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. Some Bay Area labor leaders are opposed to it, but there are two separate recall petitions floating around. Mark Nieto files a report for us on the latest efforts.
California's attorney general is suing mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, demanding that the government-backed companies respond to questions in a state investigation. Attorney General Kamala Harris filed the lawsuit Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court.
It looks as though Congress won't resolve the partisan standoff over the payroll tax cut extension. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives refused to hold a vote on a Senate proposal - and Senate leaders said they won't go along with a new House plan. Both sides are accusing the other of being responsible for the failure to reach an agreement.
A gay rights group that wants to repeal Proposition 8 received clearance from the courts...to start gathering signatures for a measure that would rescind the gay marriage ban. Los Angeles-based Love Honor Cherish has until May 14 to collect the 807,615 voter signatures required to qualify its initiative for the November 2012 ballot. California voters passed Proposition 8 with 52 percent of the vote in November 2008.
Looking for that perfect Christmas gift? There's a great organization in the north bay called Homeward Bound, where they train and transform the disadvantaged and homeless into culinary artists. Grab yourself some gorgeous chocolate truffles for the people in your life...and help out an amazing organization at the same time.
President Barack Obama plans to nominate two Democrats to the National Labor Relations Board, despite a Republican threat to block any appointments to the agency. The President says he will nominate Deputy Labor Secretary Sharon Block and union lawyer Richard Griffin to fill two vacancies on the board. The move comes just days after the board's top lawyer dropped a controversial lawsuit that charged Boeing with illegally retaliating against union members. The board has been a target of Republicans who contend it has acted too favorably toward unions. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has vowed to block Obama from making any further board appointments. The agency usually has five members but has been operating with just three. It will lose another member soon, leaving it unable to make major decisions.