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Strides Being Made in Combatting Worker Misclassification: Report p. 2 Cesar Chavez: Starting the Conversation on the Labor Organizer’s Legacy p. 11 Artworks by Eugene Daub, Muriel Olguin: Loft Gallery Displays San Pedro Treasures p. 15 u “August” by Eugene Daub

Two New Port Truck Driver Lawsuits Filed By Paul Rosenberg, Senior Editor

By Zamná Ávila, Assistant Editor sounds especially true, suggesting a coalition that includes the LGBT and Latino communities, as well as moderate Democrats and Republicans. While Lowenthal and Garcia are only two of the 10 candidates running for mayor, some analysts have pegged them as the front runners in the race. Signal Hill political consultant Jeffrey Adler, of Adler Public Affairs, said earlier polls seem to support that assertion. Lowenthal has the virtue of her years in state and city government, as well as name recognition. She counts on the support of the California Democratic Party, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, her former husband Alan Lowenthal, state Sen. Ted Lieu, ILWU Local 13 and Los Angeles Harbor Commission Vice President Dave Arian, among others. Having served on Long Beach Unified School Board of Education and on the city council, from 2001 to 2008, she also has a residual support Long Beach Mayoral Race: A Slight Shift in the City/ to p. 7

New Trucker Lawsuits Filed/ to p. 2

April 4 - 17, 2014

Lowenthal, says that, “The important thing is that someone with the experience and vision needed to lead Long Beach is elected,” and that, “The last name doesn’t matter, but my experience and dedication to the city does,” there might be some validity to Schipske’s loaded words. With five new council seats up for grabs, the 2014 Long Beach election may shift the Long Beach City Council in a new direction­—away from the overlap of labor, environment and community interests long associated with the Lowenthal name—and toward a more centrist Democratic coalition, fronted by the establishment golden boy Vice Mayor Robert Garcia, a former Republican heavily supported by lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans gender constituents. Garcia, who could be the first and youngest openly gay-Latino mayor in Long Beach, describes his support base as “broad and made up of people from every neighborhood.” With outgoing Mayor Bob Foster’s endorsement, Garcia’s statement

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t a recent mayoral forum, District 5 Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, who is running for mayor, quipped about her campaign strategy. “Actually, I have two secret weapons: One, I’m No. 1 on the ballot and two, I’m changing my name to Gerrie SchipskeLowenthal,” she said, nonchalantly. “Someone asked the other day…how I was going to do it. By marriage, so…” The joke resonated with the audience. For the most part, there has been a Lowenthal—whether by blood or marriage— on the Long Beach City Council since 1992, when now-Rep. Alan Lowenthal sat on the council for 6 years. Since then, the Lowenthal name has been undefeated in the council and many people assert it now is synonymous with the Democratic establishment. Bonnie Lowenthal now is vying for the city’s mayoral seat. While District 70 Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, former wife of Rep. Alan

Long Beach mayoral candidates Bonnie Lowenthal and Robert Garcia.

Two new class action lawsuits were filed on Feb. 24 against two Southern California port trucking companies: Pacific 9 Transportation Inc. of Carson and Coast Bridge Logistics Inc. of Compton. The lawsuits allege misclassification of drivers as independent contractors, along with a variety of related wage, hour and workrule violations that followed as a result. The filings in Los Angeles County Superior Court, include named plaintiff Victor Castro, who drove for both companies. The suits also seek to include current and former drivers of both companies, going back four years—a number estimated at about 200 for each company. “We have uncovered a problem at the ports where trucking companies are taking advantage of their workers,” said Brian Kabateck, lead attorney in the cases and founding partner at Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP in Los Angeles. “The companies have set up an artifice to make it look like the workers are independent contractors to avoid paying them fair wages, benefits and overtime, when in reality, the workers are employees and should be treated as such.” The firm has an extensive class action experience, including a similar lawsuit filed June 15, 2013, against Wilmington-based Gold Point Transportation and an Aug. 14 filling against Pacer Cartage of San Diego in San Diego County Superior Court. The filings came on the heels of a new report, “The Big Rig Overhaul: Restoring Middle-Class Jobs At America’s Ports Through Labor Law Enforcement.” [See related story “Report: Tide Is Turning for Port Trucking,” p. 2] The report documents a widespread pattern of similar successful

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RLn 04 03 14 edition  

Dynasty VS Goldenboy: An establishment Democrat and a coalition building Democrat battle it out to become the next mayor of Long Beach

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