Taking on Discrimination
In 2017, the security officer members of SEIU-USWW from LA and the Bay Area, decided to take on racial discrimination in the workplace as part of their contract campaign. African American members of USWW were seeing that employment discrimination was destroying traditionally black communities in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, and they wanted to do something about it.
In Los Angeles, 17% of black workers are unemployed, and in the Bay Area, 19% of black workers are unemployed. In both cases this is twice the levels of white workers. In addition, median household income for black families in LA County is 40,000, for white families it is $72.500. In San Francisco, the numbers are $104,000 for white families and just $29,000 for black families.
Even though there are laws to protect workers from discrimination in the work place, they are rarely enforced. Only about 12% of discrimination claims that are filed in California are ever resolved. Security officers fought for change and won. This year, Governor Brown issued an executive order that a committee be put in place to study local enforcement of discrimination claims. This will lead to more cases being resolved and justice being attainable for more people that have experienced discrimination on the job.