imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Dashing Mayor to the Rescue

by Richard Mellor Thursday, Oct. 28, 2004 at 2:08 AM

San Francisco hotel workers strike heading in the wrong direction as millionaire mayor gets involved

Richard Mellor

Retired member, AFSCME Local 444

Oakland CA


There was considerable chatter on the hotel workers picket lines in San Francisco today after the City’s mayor threatened to walk the picket lines. Mayor Gavin Newsome also said he would call for a public boycott of the hotels and get the city to stop doing business with them if they did not end their lockout and allow employees back to work for a 90-day cooling off period.

Many of the workers I spoke to on the picket lines I visited were hopeful that the mayor would get them back on the job. Some 4000 members of UNITE/HERE Local 2 have been off the job for four weeks now. The Union initially called a two week strike at four hotels but the employers responded by locking out the employees at all ten hotels and refused to let them back to work after the two-week strike deadline.

Reading the reports in the local papers this morning, the dashing young millionaire mayor sure sounded like he was on the side of working people in this dispute. “I will do everything in my power to see to it that the city and county of San Francisco does not do business with those hotels…..” he said. He added, “We have people who are suffering out on the streets and in turn the image of the city is suffering.” (SF Chronicle 10-26-04)

Newsome’s real concern of course is the image of the city and that means an image that might offend business. Labor peace is the face that must be put forward. Strikes, disputes, workers angry with their bosses, this is not good for business. Also, despite the fact that the Union leadership has agreed not to actually picket entrances to hotels, as their main strategy is to get people to boycott them, the mayor is concerned, as all employers are, that at some point if this continues, the membership’s anger could become harder to control. The Union leadership has gone along with pretty much any restriction that the city has put on them. Picketers can’t make too much noise, they can’t picket in front of the entrances, they must stay within the tape, they can’t bang their sticks anymore on their signs, they can’t harass the scabs, they can’t, they mustn’t they shouldn’t. In fact, many of the picketers I spoke to today actually think it is illegal to picket entrances to businesses. When I explained to one older worker that it wasn’t, he said, “well my boss said we can’t and we have to do what she says”, and he pointed to the young Union rep in her mid-twenties.

The other reason Newsome wants the workers back on the job and the two sides talking is that both he and the Union leaders are coming under pressure to do something from the workers themselves. Newsome is confident that the employers can pretty much get what they want at the negotiating table and it will be much harder to get workers back out after they go back so leverage will be lost. Back on the job, the possibility of a strike breaking through the conservative grip of the Union leadership does not exist. The Union leaders on the other hand can say they fought the good fight and will hopefully end up with slightly fewer concessions than originally demanded. This is called the defensive strategy or damage control.

Nowhere was Newsome quoted as calling for a victory to the workers or for the employers to concede to the Union’s demands or he would carry out his threats. His contempt for working people is clear. Going on strike is a serious issue and takes great sacrifice particularly for low waged immigrant workers as many of the hotel employees are. He told the Chronicle that, “The hotels now have gotten their two weeks in after the two-week strike….fair is fair. As far as I’m concerned you’re even. Now let’s all grow up and get back to work.” “Let’s all grow up” Does he think this is a game?

This year, shortly after being elected with support from the majority of the San Francisco labor leaders, the mayor shifted the city’s economic crisis on to the backs of working people at the behest of his corporate masters. With the help of Union leaders he forced city workers to put 7.5% of their paychecks toward their retirement fund for the next two years. Public workers had already taken a 7.5% pay cut the previous year and a 1.7% pay-cut the year before that. (SF Chronicle 12-13-03) The 7.5% retirement contribution/paycut made this year by city employees was approved as Andy Stern President of SEIU, spoke to the SEIU convention held in the city. I am sure the Mayor was also a keynote speaker. There was no public report of Stern saying anything about his members taking such cuts or attacking Newsome for implementing them..

We should not be fooled by the millionaire mayor’s tricks. After San Francisco Union leaders helped him get elected and pushed him on their members, he warned them in the press prior to his attacks on working people, “I never made one commitment to any public employee union with regard to any consideration of contracts or negotiation as relates to my refusal to consider layoffs or rollbacks or whatever.”

Relying on a millionaire mayor like Newsome is going in the wrong direction. Getting people back out on strike after going back to work will be almost impossible, even if the labor leaders wanted to do it. Instead, the strike should be expanded, strengthened. The San Francisco Central Labor Council should set a date for one-day work stoppage as a first step in resolving this dispute in our favor. Any attacks on pickets by the police or the politicians should be met with further escalation. The community can be won over if the Unions fight for health care for all and add other social demands in this struggle. Given their record, it is unlikely that the Local 2 leadership or the Labor Council will take this path without pressure from below to do so. The struggle to change the course of the union is not a welcome one, fighting the employers is hard enough, but relying on the employers’ politicians like Newsome will dig us a deeper whole that will be even harder to get out of in the future.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy