Secretary-Treasurer Randy Korgan Speaks At UC Riverside “State of Work in the IE”
On Tuesday, November 27, the University of California, Riverside (UCR) Center for Social Innovation released a report co-authored by various UCR faculty members, researchers, and students, titled “State of Work in the Inland Empire — November 2018.” The report concludes that while the Inland Empire has outpaced California and the rest of the country in job growth this decade, “workers employed in the region are struggling to make ends meet.” When compared to workers in other regions, the report co-authors find that workers in our region have “higher rates of poverty and lower earnings, lower percentages with full-time, full-year employment, and lower percentages with employer-provided health insurance.”
These experts cite unionization as one of the most important ways to “[improve] wages and working conditions.” They directly referenced Teamsters Local 1932 within the report as the catalyst behind one of 2018’s success stories; San Bernardino County Preschool Department workers came together as Teamsters to win a fair first-time union contract earlier this year.
Additionally, the report profiled numerous workers, including one Stater Bros. Teamster who can count on good pay, a secure retirement pension, sick days, and paid vacation time because of her union contract. At the report release event, co-author Professor Ellen Reese described that this Stater Bros. Teamster is concerned about her daughter’s employment at a local Amazon facility:
“She was concerned about her daughter who was also a warehouse worker, was also working full time as a warehouse worker doing many of the same tasks that she did. But her daughter works for Amazon. Does not have a good union contract. Her pay was much less and she was not able to afford her employer-provided healthcare plan. If she had used it, it would use up about half of her paycheck. And for that reason, her daughter was relying on her parent’s health insurance plan. Her daughter was less than 26 so she still qualified. But she’s worried about what’s going to happen when her daughter gets older.”
Read the report here — “State of Work in the Inland Empire — November 2018” [PDF]
During the event, Teamsters Local 1932 Secretary-Treasurer Randy Korgan spoke in a panel about the “State of Work” from the perspective of various community stakeholders mentioned in the report. Korgan outlined initiatives that our union stresses as crucial to improving the state of work in our region: (1) the forging of a regional approach to economic development that ensures any job growth comes with promised economic gains for workers, (2) improving conditions for working people to organize unions and (3) an end to irresponsible tax subsidies for warehouse developers and the low-wage tenants that operate within them.
“Throughout the past 25 years, I’ve had some very compelling conversations over a dinner table, with people that were just looking to try to get a little bit better way of life, while they’re in the face of their employer, who are exploiting them, threatening them, trying to scare the bejeezus out of them, because they’re just simply trying to organize — which is their right,” Korgan said on the panel.
Later he added, “This outstanding and comprehensive report reflects what we have been saying for decades, and why those dinner table conversations all these years are worth it — the report proves overwhelmingly that unions are the best source to help move workers up the economic ladder.”
Teamsters Local 1932 is moving forward in 2019 to continue transforming the Inland Empire.
Watch Secretary-Treasurer Randy Korgan’s panel portions below. Visit www.socialinnovation.ucr.edu for more information on the UC Riverside Center for Social Innovation.