The extent to which California’s – and the country’s and the world’s challenges are linked was exemplified by President Joe Biden’s Wednesday announcement that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will move toward 24/7 operations to help unscrupulous massive supply chains.
Before the pandemic, usually only one cargo ship had to anchor near the ports – which together handle 40% of the containers entering the United States – while waiting to unload its goods. On Tuesday, it was 58-down from a record 73 in mid-September. The massive pileup can be traced to, among other things, port closures in China, factory closures in Vietnam, an increase in online purchases from consumers sitting at home with stimulus controls to use, and an unprecedented shortage of truck drivers and warehouse workers needed to transport goods from ports .
Logjam may also have caused Orange County’s largest oil spill in three decades: Officials’ prevailing theory is that a ship anchor pierced an underwater pipeline. And that apparently helped harbor carriers win $ 30 million in wage theft announced Tuesday — because truckers are typically classified as independent contractors, they were not paid for the time they had spent waiting in hour-long queues in the hilly ports.
Sailors on the anchored container ships have also been stuck in limbo, resulting in an increase in medical problems, food shortages, violent fights and reports of depression and suicidal thoughts. To pass the time, Merry-Jo Dickie, a ship manager, said “they shop a lot online” – ironically one of the very things that contributed to the ship’s lag in the first place.
Experts and labor lawyers say the breakdown of the supply chain reflects the extent to which workers are mentally and physically collapsing.
- Jimmy Hoffa, President of Teamsters Union: “One of the biggest problems with the current logistics situation is the lack of port car drivers. They do not get a salary and are largely treated as indentured servants.”
The union, which represents Hollywood crews, announced Wednesday that its tens of thousands of members will strike on Monday if a reasonable contract is not finalized by then – a move that would essentially halt film and television production nationwide . And the union, which represents associate professors from the University of California, is holding a second round of information protests ThursdayV; if they were to strike, about a third of undergraduate students would see their classes stop.
Plus: CalMatters tracks the results of the Newsom recall election, which will be certified on October 22nd.
You should know other stories
1. Newsom administrator under fire for COVID policies
Govin Newsom and his administration on Tuesday appealed to a federal judge recently ordering COVID-19 vaccinations for state prison staff — a step that came less than two weeks after Newsom announced a student vaccine requirement. “The hypocrisy is so glaring,” tweeted student advocacy group OpenSchoolsCAand noted that the State Prison Guard Association donated as much as $ 1.75 million to help Newsom defeat the Sept. 14 election. In a violent Wednesday column, Mercury News and East Bay Times editors praised Newsom for its “inconsistency” over vaccine mandates, adding: “The governor should back up his harsh talk with actions that match his words.”
The Newsom administration is also facing intense scrutiny for failing to publish a report on “significant deficiencies” at the state’s COVID-19 test lab, which was originally scheduled for mid-March. A Wednesday study by CBS Sacramento found that more than 1,300 California schools and districts have test contracts with the lab – which currently has one of the slowest treatment times in the state, and where as of August, a staggering 1 in 42 samples did not return a clear positive or negative result. Nevertheless, California’s $ 1.7 billion bid-free contract with lab operator PerkinElmer is set to automatically renew at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, the vaccine wars continue. The Contra Costa County Supervisors Board declared Tuesday that COVID-19 misinformation was a public health crisis — the same day the Beverly Hills City Council restricted demonstrations near students and schools in response to a heated anti-vaccine protest, and San Joaquin County voted to ban vaccine passes. The San Diego Unified School District was hit by a lawsuit over its student vaccine mandate, while Sacramento City Unified voted to require vaccines for both students and staff. And Los Angeles Unified insists that all staff receive at least one vaccine dose by Friday to return to campus on Monday – which could result in thousands of teachers staying home, even though the district has recently pushed its deadline for full vaccination until November 15th.
2. California leaders were hit by serious charges
On Wednesday, a double-edged sword emerged from serious allegations against powerful California leaders. First came the Sacramento Bee report that Alma Hernández, CEO of SEIU California – the state’s largest union – had resigned amid tax evasion and embezzlement. State Attorney Rob Bonta then announced that on October 4, he had indicted Hernández and her husband for theft, perjury, tax evasion and non-payment of unemployment insurance taxes. Hernández, who has led SEIU California since 2016, spearheaded the union’s efforts to repel Newsom’s recall, with its offshoots donating more than $ 6 million to its campaign.
Also on Wednesday, Los Angeles City Councilor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Marilyn Louise Flynn, the former dean of USC’s School of Social Work, were charged with federal bribery, conspiracy, mail and fraud. A federal grand jury accused Ridley-Thomas of, among other things, managing millions of dollars in county contracts for USC while he was a member of the county board — in exchange for a USC scholarship with full tuition and paid professorship for his son Sebastian. A 2019 legislative inquiry found that Sebastian Ridley-Thomas was likely to sexually harass at least two employees when he was a member of a state legislature.
3. The power of the card
Who exercises political power in California – and the extent to which color communities are represented in state law and the U.S. Congress in the next decade – will depend in part on the map an independent commission rushes to finish drawing before a Dec. 27 deadline. . A new state law requires the Commission to hold “communities of interest” – including ethnic enclaves – and consider public input at every step. This process has intensified debates across the state – particularly in Los Angeles, Fresno, San Diego and Orange counties – about empowering color pickers, reports CalMatters’ Sameea Kamal. For example, even though Latinos make up 30% of California’s voting age, they are a majority in only 19% of congressional and legislative districts, according to a Wednesday analysis by the Public Policy Institute of California. And there is no district where black Californians are the majority.
CalMatters columnist Dan Walters: Newsom’s position on the ball train – barely keeping it alive before he can hand it over to the next governor – is something cowardly for someone who claims to be crucial.
California’s legal climate hurts small business owners: We are being forced to fight two fight-offs unfair corona-related lawsuits, while also trying to keep up with expensive, constantly changing public health guidelines, argues Edward Medina, owner of Ramona’s Mexican food.
Time for transition to clean energy: California must ban offshore drilling – but the problem we face requires a more in-depth solution, writes Justin Velarde, an intern at CALPIRG students at UC San Diego.
Other things worth your time
PG & E’s safety triggers for wildfires creates controversy, not flames. // Mercury News
The stick of Sundowner winds, Alisal fire burns on 15,000 hectares. // Los Angeles Times
California Ball Train’s latest woe: Will it be high speed? // Associated Press
Abortion activists have already sued California’s new law restriction of protests at the vaccination site. // San Francisco Chronicle
Amazon provides stock plan because San Diego is considering labor law. // Vice News
A woman from Fresno received nearly $ 5 million after police killed her son. Now they say she used the cash to buy weapons for gangs. // Chron
Inside the massive rise in side shows – and why no city in California has figured out what to do about it. // San Francisco Chronicle
Del Norte sheriff resigns in the midst of scandals, dysfunction. // Sacramento Bee
Authorities: 2021 the worst year ever for DUI deaths in San Diego County. // San Diego Union-Tribune
New Drug Rehabilitation Rules in California encourage honest advertising, insurance and naloxone. // Mercury News
Port of San Diego to electrify freight wagons, cranes, even some tugs in 2030. // San Diego Union-Tribune
Arvin finally achieves federal standard for arsenic in drinking water. // Bakersfield California
San Diego’s second bad real estate deal is even worse than we thought. // San Diego Voice
Families in Hayward protest plan to close campus to help close the budget gap. // San Francisco Chronicle
Mountain View will turn its ‘crown jewel’ into a car-free pedestrian center. // Mercury News
The Unique Work of a California Photographer, discovered. // New Yorker
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