Hundreds of Teamsters raise concerns over job quality during State of the County 2019

“San Bernardino County, business leaders highlight growth, while union raises concerns over job quality during State of the County 2019”

Originally published in the Press Enterprise and San Bernardino Sun on February 12:

“County and business leaders touted the region as a fast-growing, innovative place to live and work during the State of the County 2019 regional business summit Tuesday, Feb. 12 at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.

‘San Bernardino County’s growth is outpacing both the state and the country’s,’ Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman said. ‘We’re unleashing the power of technology and innovation to help us work more efficiently and to spur growth. With over 20,000 square miles, we’re always looking for ways to reduce the need for travel and increase our productivity for ourselves and our customers.’

Meanwhile, about 100 members of the Teamsters Local 1932 painted a contrasting picture of the region, passing out copies of a UC Riverside report that found many Inland families do not earn enough to make ends meet, despite continued job growth.

Two visions of the county

The ‘State of Work in the Inland Empire’ report, released in November by the Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside, found that job growth in the region over the past seven years has been better than the state as a whole, with unemployment dropped from 14.4 percent in 2010 to 4.1 percent.

The Teamsters, however, say many of those jobs are bad jobs.

An Inland Empire family of four needs two working adults with jobs that earn more than $18 per hour, or $36,000 per year, to make ends meet. But, only 38 percent of jobs in the region pay that amount, according to the report.

The Teamsters’ presence at the event was a reminder to county leaders that there’s an issue with the quality of jobs in the region that needs to be addressed, said Randy Korgan, secretary-treasurer of Local 1932

‘Most do agree with many of our points that the continued proliferation of the jobs in our region are really bringing the economy down,’ Korgan said. ‘We have to really put our heads together on how we collectively make those decisions to improve the job market and improve the type of jobs in the region.”