Workers Comp Zone


George Carlin had his 7 words. The 7 words you can’t say on television.
Remember what they were?

If Gov. Schwarzenegger has his way with an executive order dropping state worker pay to minimum wage levels during the budget impasse , many Department of Industrial Relations employees will have their “two words”…. “f-him”

Let’s hope the budget crisis doesn’t impact hard working folks at the district offices of the California Workers Compensation Appeals Board, or the consultants who are working on a number of projects for the DWC.

Tonight we’re focusing on some other, more lofty words.

Take Tom Geoghegan. Geoghegan, a Chicago labor lawyer and author has his “6 words”. The 6 words? “On the basis of union membership”.

The idea is to add union membership to Civil Rights laws as a protected category. This would broaden worker protection for union activity at a time when management has gotten the upper hand in federal labor law under the National Labor Relations Board. Union membership has fallen
to very low levels in most California industries. Certain law firms are noted for their union busting talents.

Most kids now growing up in California don’t understand unions and the role they’ve played in the development of this country. I’m not saying that they need to know who Samuel Gompers, Walter Reuther or John L. Lewis were. But few kids now have any exposure to unions.

Yet its unions that have led the push for worker safety and better conditions.

The “6 words” would help level the playing field.

This is the thesis of an op-ed piece by labor and economic justice advocate David Sirota. Check out Sirota’s piece (that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle) by clicking here: … =printable

This is a concept that might get traction under a Democratic Governor in California or under an Obama presidency.

The California Labor Federation held its convention in Oakland last week. Some unions have their back to the wall, while others are pressing ahead to organize new swaths of the labor force.

It’s been good to see organized labor show more interest in workers’ compensation recently. In case you missed it, the California Labor Fed did a study on workers’ comp: … .27.07.pdf

Legislative director Angie Wei spoke at last week’s hearings on the PD schedule proposal, urging that it be revamped even more.

Stay tuned.

Julius Young
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Category: Political developments