Democratic lawmakers are siding with organized labor in its battle with automaker Tesla, inserting a provision in a last-minute bill to spend $1.5 billion in cap-and-trade money. The package largely spends funds on a variety of anti-pollution programs, such as those to retrofit and replace smog-belching big rigs and buses. But the legislation, amended late Monday to be ready for votes before lawmakers adjourn for the year on Friday, also would inject the state into an increasingly acrimonious union organizing campaign at automaker Tesla’s Fremont plant. Companies that want to be eligible for the state’s zero-emission vehicle rebate program – a major driver of Tesla sales – would need to be certified by the state labor secretary “as fair and responsible in the treatment of their workers.”
San Mateo-based SolarCity Corp. and its parent, Tesla Inc., plan to lay off more than 200 employees at their Roseville offices, part of continuing restructuring in the aftermath of Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity last fall.
Brocade is laying off employees at its headquarters even before its $5.9 billion merger with Broadcom closes. One analyst says it's a sign that Brocade's presence in San Jose, where it has several thousand employees, could vanish altogether.
Labor market conditions tightened further, and upward wage pressure intensified in most parts of the District. Shortages of software engineers, particularly those with experience in cloud computing, boosted wages in the technology industry. Robust labor demand in the online retail sector boosted hiring in the Seattle area. Shortages of skilled labor somewhat restricted production in the manufacturing sector. While employee levels were unchanged in the pharmaceutical industry, contacts noted that some large companies began to move some production facilities to lower cost locales outside of the District. Wages in the construction sector continued to climb due to shortages of qualified contractors. Investments in automation in the agriculture sector picked up further, as labor shortages persisted and businesses sought to increase production efficiency. Legalization of cannabis increased demand for low-skilled workers in parts of the District.
Teachers’ union leaders hoping to discount the runaway academic success of charter schools have claimed charters lure the best-performing kids, leaving traditional, union-run public schools to handle poor-performing and struggling students. In its statement launching the anti-charter “Kids Not Profits” campaign, for instance, the California Teachers’ Association claimed that charters “cherry-pick the students … weeding out and turning down students with special needs.”
Now a series of reports in California and elsewhere show the opposite is true. In one case, educators in the San Diego Unified School District have been counseling their students with low grade-point averages to transfer into charter schools, especially online charters, according to a Voice of San Diego report last month.