Labor Groups Launch Broadside on David Campos

Categories: Labor, Politics
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David Campos' life continues to be interesting...
Not so long ago, SF Weekly wrote about a paradox facing Supervisor David Campos in his quest to win an Assembly seat. 

The progressive politician's preferred consultant, Jim Stearns, found himself on the receiving end of a fatwa from the powerful California Labor Federation for work on campaigns that supposedly "directly attacked labor unions and caused damage to the labor movement. ... [We] encourage all unions, labor councils, allies, and candidates seeking our support to not hire these consultants until further notice." 

As a result, Campos, a labor stalwart, is denied the services of labor-friendly progressives' favorite and most effective consultant. 

"Labor," however is not a monolithic entity. The Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth and Building and Construction Trades Council -- both of which desire things to be built and, therefore, skew right by San Francisco standards -- have launched a broadside against Campos. Scouring his campaign forms, they've unearthed a pair of $5,000 payments to "S.F. Van, LLC" and "Fog City Properties" -- both companies controlled by Stearns. 

Gotcha! Or, maybe not.


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Protesters to Crash TechCrunch Awards Gala Tonight

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Unroll the red carpet...
There's a joke making the rounds in the blogosphere, that tonight's protest of the Crunchies tech awards gala was, in fact, enabled by tech.

Or at the very least, it was abetted by social media. This morning the labor group Jobs With Justice announced, via Facebook, that it will hold it's own spoof ceremony -- aptly named The Crappies -- outside Davies Symphony Hall, while trade blogs TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and GigaOm preen about their industry inside.

"San Francisco is in crisis," the Crappies' Facebook event post said. "More and more people are being forced to leave the city. At the same time the technology industry is flourishing and profiting."

Activists issued similar rallying cries at Saturday's tenant convention in the Tenderloin, which featured speeches by Local 2 Union president Mike Casey, tenant activist Gum Gee Lee, and residents of an imperiled, rent-controlled apartment building at 1049 Market Street. The tech-displacement theme also dovetails with a recent spate of Google bus protests, which blame tech companies for the city's ballooning eviction crisis.

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Seattle Seahawks Flag to Torment Bay Area 49ers Fans

Categories: 49ers, Labor
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Coming to a port near you...
Faithful SF Weekly readers may recall a series of stories about a humiliating football-related wager engineered by San Francisco and Seattle's longshoremen, and tied to the fates of their respective football teams.

Well, their team won.

And, since the Seahawks went on to win the Super Bowl, too, now San Francisco's longshoremen are obligated to unfurl a massive, 25-foot Seattle "12th Man" flag from atop a 125-foot crane at the Port of Oakland (since the Port of San Francisco long ago ceased to be a functioning cargo center, Oakland will end up bearing the brunt of a San Francentric bet).

Melvin Mackay, the president of the San Francisco ILWU, said he'll hoist the flag as soon as his Pacific Northwest colleagues get him one to hoist. His Seattle counterpart, Cameron Williams, didn't return Sunday night calls -- but, considering the last time a Seattle professional sports franchise won a league title was in 1979, he may have been otherwise occupied. So it's unclear when -- and how -- the 12th Man flag will arrive in Bay Area territory. But, as certainly as jokes about #EsuranceSave30 will be stale by week's end, that flag will arrive -- and fly for a full week.

It has been so ordained. 


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49ers-Seahawks: Longshoremen Make Waterfront Bet

Categories: 49ers, Labor
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If things go poorly for the 49ers come Sunday, this pro-Seattle flag may end up fluttering over the Bay Area
Playoff football goes with humiliating bets almost as well as it goes with overindulgence in nachos and beer. In fact, the more nachos and beer you consume, the more likely you are to place a humiliating bet. 

Some bets are so ingeniously humiliating, however, they germinate on their own -- sans nachos, sans beer. Members of the San Francisco and Seattle branches of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have devised a wager that the losers will rue for the rest of their days. 

If not longer. 

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BART Union Ratifies Labor Deal, Bill to Ban Transit Strikes Loses Traction

Categories: Labor

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Flickr/Steve Rhodes
There's good news and then there's just news.

We'll start with the good news: Last night, BART's largest union, SEIU 1021 announced it had signed off on the latest labor deal, which means workers get raises, the BART District benefit from higher employee contributions, and commuters will see trains running. Basically, everyone is generally happy and there won't be BART strikes anytime soon.

Which brings us to just the news: The state bill being pushed that would have put a blanket ban on BART strikes lost some political traction yesterday.

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Muni Drivers' Union Suspends Two Top Officials

Categories: Labor
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On the bulletin board...
The Muni drivers' union yesterday posted a "special notice" to its membership revealing the executive board has voted to suspend the union's executive vice president and secretary treasurer.

Messages for executive vice president Ron Austin and secretary treasurer Bernard Broughton have not yet been returned. The two were put on notice Dec. 30 and the special notice was posted at union headquarters on Monday.

TWU Local 250 President Eric Williams was taken aback that news of the suspensions had been disseminated beyond union members.

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BART Kicks off 2014 by Signing Off on Labor Contract

Categories: Labor

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BART arrives at a contract deal -- albeit it very delayed
As we noted just a few days ago, 2013 was a complete mess of a year for BART. From transit strikes to naked acrobats and nasty train sex -- let's just say it's 365 days we don't miss.

And while BART can't promise 2014 won't have its fair share of history-making moments, it can at the very least say the labor tension is over for now. Today, the BART Board of Directors approved a new four-year contract.

What does that mean for you, the average BART rider? It means you don't have to worry about BART leaving you stranded on your way to work.

Non-stop train delays, however, well that's a whole other blog post.

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San Francisco's Unemployment Rate: 5.2 Percent

Categories: Labor
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An early Christmas gift to gainfully employed San Franciscans: You're not residing in Imperial County.

Per the state Employment Development Department, that SoCal realm ranks 58 and last among California counties in unemployment rate: A Grapes of Wrath-like 23.8 percent.

Instead, you get to live here, in a lovely city experiencing a perfect Northern California winter's day, where the unemployment rate is holding steady at 5.2 percent. That's a smidge down from last month's 5.3 percent tally, and boosts San Francisco to Bronze Medal position among county employment rates (No. 2, at 5 percent, is San Mateo; No. 1, at 4.6 percent, is Marin. Apparently, the Hot Tub Industrial Complex is thriving, as ever).

The statewide unemployment rate is hovering at 8.3 percent.

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BART, Unions to Meet Today to Try Resolve Paid Family Leave Dispute

Categories: BART, Labor

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It appears nobody knows what's going on
Amid the tension and legal squabbling, BART and its unions have decided to carve out two days to try and work out all their problems.

Okay, maybe not all their problems, but they're at least hopeful they can come up with some agreement on the one outstanding contract issue: paid family leave.

The two sides will meet today and tomorrow with a federal mediator overseeing this debate, ABC News reports.

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Fast Food Workers Starving for More Pay, Strike Planned Tomorrow

Categories: Food, Labor

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Flickr/Phoney Nickle
They're doing you a favor
Tomorrow just might be the perfect day to start that post-Thanksgiving diet, considering your fast-food options will be limited. That's right, workers are planning to walk off the job, which means no Mac Snack Wraps, Frostys, or Triple Whoppers for you tomorrow.

But before workers ditch their deep fryers, MoveOn.org members today plan to protest at McDonald's locations in five cities, including Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, where they'll deliver a petition asking the fast food lords to pay their employees more money.

Dubbed "Low Pay is Not Okay," the petition, which is addressed to McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, Domino's, Papa John's, and Subway, calls for $15 in hourly wages. Right now, they're taking home $8 an hour.

Some 50,000 people have signed onto the petition, supporting the fast food workers of America.

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