Labor

A song and dance at City Hall

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It was a lively scene on the steps of City Hall Aug. 2, as back-to-back press events featured live performances, lots of cheering, and support for new legislation that supporters hope will benefit low-wage workers, small businesses, and musicians.

Spirits were high at the Progressive Workers' Alliance (PWA) rally, as organizers anticipated strong support for an ordinance they helped craft which aims to prevent wage theft by strengthening the powers of the city's Office of Labor Standards & Enforcement (OLSE). Read more »

Wisconsin, unions, and defunding the left

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Mother Jones mag this month has a GREAT story about the battle in Wisconsin, the history of unions and the Democratic Party, and the real aim of the move to bust public-sector unions. Writer Kevin Drum notes:Read more »

Hotel Frank fires key union organizer

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Managers at Hotel Frank, who have been sparring with their employees since taking over the financially troubled hotel following a bank foreclosure earlier this year, last week fired an outspoken union organizer on the day after the hotel was targeted by a boisterous picket line. But the employee, longtime bellman Marc Norton, said this transparent effort to intimidate the workers won't work.Read more »

Adachi crosses the line

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Former Mayor Willie Brown and Public Defender Jeff Adachi – author of Prop. B, which would require city employees to pay more for their pension and health care costs – yesterday crossed a union picket line at Le Méridien, which is being boycotted by hotel workers with Unite-Here Local 2, to attend a fundraiser for the measure.

Read more »

Arrests made as hotel workers and their supporters target Hyatt

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Images by Ramsey El-Qare, who contributed to this report.

An ongoing labor conflict between the hospitality workers union Unite-Here Local 2 and the Hyatt Corporation boiled over into the streets yesterday (7/22) with a union-organized protest and civil disobedience outside the Grand Hyatt San Francisco hotel. Union leaders see the action as another step in the fight for their members’ workplace rights. Hotel management called the action a staged spectacle and a waste of energy that would be better spent at the bargaining table. Read more »

Unions say grand juror unethically helped Adachi measure

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San Francisco's police and fire unions are taking a lead role in opposing Public Defender Jeff Adachi's November initiative to make city employees pay more of their pension and health care costs, despite the fact that both unions have recently renegotiated their contracts to exempt their members from paying those increased costs until 2013.Read more »

Kaiser workers seek election between rival unions

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Thousands of Kaiser Permanente workers have filed petitions to change unions in what could be the biggest battle yet between Service Employees International Union and its upstart rival National Union of Healthcare Workers. If called by federal regulators, the election would involve more than 45,000 workers, the biggest private sector organization since Ford Motors employees joined United Auto Workers in 1941.

“This is the election everyone has been anticipating for the last year and a half,” NUHW spokesperson Sadie Crabtree told us.Read more »

Socialists unfriend Matt Gonzalez

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Former Supervisor Matt Gonzalez has joined his old friend Jeff Adachi in supporting a pension-reform measure that has organized labor up in arms. He wants to debate the labor council director, Tim Paulson. He says Adachi's measure is necessary to protect the city's fiscal future -- but it's not an approach that the left/progressive wing of the city, where Gonzalez has his political roots, is accepting.Read more »

Hyatt workers completing three-day strike

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By Brittany Baguio
About 400 hotel workers are wrapping up a three-day strike at the Hyatt Regency that began Tuesday morning to protest increasing workloads and efforts to increase their health care costs. This was the fifth strike UNITE-HERE Local 2, a union comprised of hotel workers in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties, has called during nearly a year of negotiations since the last contract expired for 9,000 San Francisco hotel employees. Read more »

Chris Jackson leaps into the District 10 race

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Community College Board Trustee Chris Jackson has thrown his hat into the District 10 Supervisor race. The move is guaranteed to upset the already crowded field of candidates in the district. District 10 lies in the city's southeast sector and is home to San Francisco's largest remaining African American community, and some of its most economically disadvanted communities and environmentally polluted lands.Read more »