Stronger Wages, Benefits, and the Power to Organize

Stronger Wages, Benefits, and the Power to Organize

In the Assembly I will fight for all working Californians to have the pay, benefits, and workplace power they deserve:

  • Strengthen workers' ability to organize and fight the Janus ruling:
    • Protect access for workplace organizing.
    • State action against employer intimidation of workers based on union activity or immigration status.
    • Universal just-cause termination protections for all workers.
  • Raise the minimum wage to $20 per hour statewide.
  • Win the freedom to choose a shorter 36 hour workweek for workers in all sectors.
  • Benefit all workers with one year paid parental leave, three weeks paid sick leave, and five weeks paid vacation a year.
  • End mandatory arbitration and non-disclosure agreements that restrict workers' freedom.

In the Assembly, I will fight for all working Californians to have the pay, benefits, and workplace power they deserve. As a State Assemblymember my core legislative priorities will be the priorities championed by working people and the labor movement: winning Medicare for All, taxing wealthy corporations by abolishing business loopholes in Proposition 13, raising the statewide minimum wage to $20 by 2020, stronger funding for excellent public education, and winning rent control and affordable housing for all. By rebuilding our roads and infrastructure and making sure that healthcare and education are properly staffed I will work to ensure strong public services for all Californians.

Expand Workers' Power to Organize

I condemn the Supreme Court's Janus decision, which was an attack on unions. As a longtime, proud union member in Teamsters Local 856, I have seen how unions are crucial in the fight for better lives for all working people. Working people have power against corporate power only by organizing together. Unions fight for goals we want for everyone: decent living wages, good working conditions, and fair and equal treatment in the workplace. Strong unions raise the bar for all workers. Most unions are champions for issues important to all working people, such as raising the minimum wage, Medicare for All, workplace safety, and affordable housing.

I support legislation at the state level to counter the Supreme Court's attack on worker organizing. We need laws to prevent employer intimidation of employees based on workplace organizing activities and immigration status. All workers should be allowed to meet freely at their workplace with union workers and staff, without management restrictions. I advocate steps towards universal just cause termination protections for all workers in our state to prevent the unjustified firings used to intimidate workers when they ask for fair conditions and wages.

Strong Benefits and Working Conditions for All

Working people have made California the fifth-wealthiest economy in the world and we all deserve job benefits that rank with the best in the world. I will work towards winning one year paid parental leave for parents of any gender. As chronic illness and severe stress take a growing toll on working people, I support steps to expand paid sick leave to three weeks and paid vacation time to five weeks. We need to raise the benefits baseline for all workers, and I will support steps towards equal and equivalent protections for all part-time, precarious, and freelance workers.

I will work to expand protections against workplace harassment and discrimination until all workers are covered, including temporary employees. Assembly Bill 3081 is an important step toward that goal.

I will fight for legislation which stops the assault on our pensions and protects the principles of "defined benefits." Employers should not break promises workers already earned. Upon retirement, workers must be able to count on their pension without worrying about budget cuts or the swings of the stock market.

When a person is applying for a new job they have very little power in dealing with a prospective employer. Many employers are increasingly abusing this power by requiring workers to sign away their rights; we must end abusive non-disclosure and mandatory arbitration agreements. I support Assembly Bill 3080 as a key step to limit this abuse and to ensure workers' freedom to change jobs or find independent legal support when they choose.

Protecting and Gaining Good Jobs

From my years of experience leading on the Richmond City Council I have seen the importance of Project Labor Agreements. These agreements ensure that workers are paid living wages, have benefits that ensure household financial security, and that developer money is spent on benefiting the local communities that house their projects. In Richmond, I helped negotiate these agreements between labor, community members, and developers, and this work has brought good new jobs to the Port of Richmond. I will advocate state measures that support strong Project Labor Agreements.

I will stand for legislation to carefully regulate and restrict the outsourcing of public services to for-profit companies. Public services should be run for the public good, not for private profit.

We need to ensure that automation works for working people. I support Assembly Bill 1470, which will create a public commission to research key automation trends and develop proposals for public action on this rising challenge to job security.

Win the Freedom of a Shorter Workweek

California's workers are more productive than ever but we are increasingly squeezed to work longer hours — from the office worker pressured into 60 hour workweeks to the low-income workers pushed to work three shifts each day. In the face of employer pressure and the growth of automation, we need legislation that secures the choice of a shorter workweek for all workers in California.

I support legislation that would shorten the full-time workweek to 36 hours, with overtime pay beyond that point. This reform will allow workers to choose a four day workweek, with four 9 hour workdays, and three days off each week. We need to raise working hours standards for all employees by raising the minimum wage to $20 an hour statewide and ensuring that full-time benefits begin at 30 hours a week for all jobs. All people deserve free time for what's important to them, and the workers who make California the fifth-wealthiest economy in the world deserve no less.

 

Jovanka Beckles

I am running for the California State Assembly to transform our state government to work for people, not profit. Join me and our movement to build a California that works for the many, not the few.