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Labor by the Bay #2: Marissa Mayer, Walmart, Hotel Frank, Oakland Airport...
First published at Beyond Chron.
IT'S A SMALL WORLD –
Marissa Mayer, the controversial new CEO of Yahoo, has a penthouse atop the Four Seasons Hotel right here in Baghdad by the Bay. Mayer’s digs, reportedly worth $5 million or so, is attracting the attention of Walmart workers, given that she was also recently appointed to Walmart’s Board of Directors. “I am very excited to be nominated for the Walmart board,” Mayer said after her appointment. “I have long been a customer and admirer of the company.”
Can’t you just see Mayer shopping at Walmart for accessories for her penthouse?
A delegation of workers from Warehouse Workers United visited San Francisco on Friday, March 1, and delivered a petition with 20,000 signatures to Mayer, calling on Walmart “to take responsibility for conditions in its supply chain.” The petition was launched after the state ordered Quetico, a warehouse in Chino in Southern California, to pay 865 workers more than $1 million – a result of wages stolen from them for unpaid overtime and missed meal breaks.
The Warehouse Workers United delegation breakfasted at the hall of UNITE HERE Local 2 before heading out, at a gathering of fellow workers and supporters organized by Jobs with Justice. Local 2’s office in the Tenderloin is just a hop, skip and jump from Mayer’s penthouse, but is worlds apart. Ironically, Mayer’s costly crib looks out over what has been dubbed Local 2 Plaza, the space on Market Street between the Four Seasons and the Marriott where Local 2 often holds rallies. Hello up there, Ms. Mayer.
The next Bay Area Walmart action is scheduled for Saturday, April 6. So far, the word is to meet at the Bayfair BART station at 2pm, presumably to head towards the San Leandro Walmart on Hesperian Blvd. Watch for more details…
HOME SWEET HOME –
The San Francisco Business Times recently reported that the average sale price of San Francisco luxury homes went up 8.4% last year. That means Mayer’s penthouse rose over $400,000 in value. That is roughly equal to the annual wages of about 25 full-time Walmart workers, assuming that you can find that many full-time Walmart workers. According to this Business Times article, luxury homebuyers are often paying up-front with cash. The average price of a luxury home in the Bay Area is about $2.7 million…
TELLING TALES –
The Business Times also reported a while back that Hotel Frank was sold last September for $32 million. However, the sale was officially recorded at the San Francisco Assessor’s office at a bit less – $28,823,158 to be exact. Seems like the Business Times goofed up here to the tune of $3 million plus. Hotel Frank, affectionately known as Hotel Frankenstein by some, is the site of an ongoing and bitter labor dispute that began in 2010 when Wells Fargo foreclosed on the hotel.
The folks at the Business Times have been informed by yours truly of their $3 million error. We are waiting for a correction, and perhaps an explanation of where the erroneous, inflated figure came from.
Meanwhile, ever since last September’s sale, Hotel Frank still sits dark and cold, the doorways occupied by the homeless at night and the pigeons during the day, held in limbo by the mysterious new owners, looking for all the world like a scene from boarded-up North Philly, or perhaps Detroit, a mere block from Union Square, in the heart of San Francisco’s tourist district...
THAT'S THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLES –
Joke time. You probably heard the one about the CEO, the Tea Party guy and the union worker sitting around a table when a plate with a dozen cookies arrives. In a flash, the CEO reaches out and grabs eleven of the cookies. When the other two look at him in surprise, the CEO points to the union worker and tells the Tea Partier, “You better watch that guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.” Yeah, I thought it was a crummy joke, too…
THE FRIENDLY SKIES –
Oakland Airport concession workers will be rallying, on Friday, March 15, from 11am to 1:30pm. Non-union workers are fighting for the right to organize, and UNITE HERE Local 2850 workers are fighting for a fair contract. The rally will be inside both terminals near the baggage claim areas, as well as outside Terminal 2. I just might bring some cookies. See you there…