On August 22, California labor unions united with Senators Anthony Portantino, Maria Elena Durazo, and Assemblymember Chris Holden, introducing a new priority labor bill, SB 799. This legislation aims to offer unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to union members who have been on strike for more than two weeks.
Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, Chief Officer of the California Labor Federation, emphasized, “We can’t have workers economically insecure because they’re forced to go out on strike.” An increasing number of California workers are striking for improved wages and job conditions. Recently, 11,500 Writers Guild of America members and 150,000 SAG AFTRA members initiated unprecedented strikes, severely impacting the entertainment industry.
However, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) appears unsympathetic, with studio executives hinting at their strategy to financially weaken strikers. Meredith Stiehm, President of Writers Guild of America-West, highlighted the need for the UI system, as it provides support not only to the workers but also to local economies.
Brian Baxley, a UFCW member, recalled the devastating effects of the 2003-2004 grocery workers strike, “Workers like me pay into the unemployment insurance fund, so when it’s needed, we should also be supported by the system.”
California unemployment benefits are the lowest in the nation, and even with the UI system in place, many still face financial hardship.
If you are currently facing workplace challenges in California, look no further than Labor Law Advocates. We are a team of experienced professionals who specialize in providing expert guidance and support to help you navigate through any employment-related issues you may be encountering.
With our extensive knowledge of labor laws and their dedication to protecting the rights of employees, you can trust that we will provide you with the assistance you need. Contact Labor Law Advocates today, and let us advocate for you in your time of need.