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San Francisco | Labor & Workers

More Labor by the Bay: City College, Symphony strike, MUNI follies, Wells Fargo...
by Marc Norton ( nortonsf [at] ix.netcom.com )
Friday Mar 29th, 2013 7:56 AM
First published at Beyond Chron
See also Marc Norton Online
March 28, 2013
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EAT IT...

It appears that the Accrediting Commission that has San Francisco’s City College in its sights doesn’t think twice about busting a workers’ boycott. The commission held its last meeting in January at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame despite the global boycott of Hyatt hotels by UNITE HERE workers, a boycott endorsed by thousands of community organizations and individuals.

The Hyatt in Burlingame, near the San Francisco Airport, is where the bosses infamously mixed leftover hot dogs from a big dogfeed with macaroni and fried rice, and then served up this concoction in the employees’ cafeteria. The Accrediting Commission is scheduled to hold its next meeting in June, at a “hotel to be determined” at the San Francisco Airport. I wonder what will be on their lunch menu…


SILENCE OF THE LAMBS...

The San Francisco Symphony strike by members of Musicians Union Local 6 has engendered front-page news, as it deserves. But why do the musicians get so much coverage, while other labor news gets ignored? Is it because the symphony strike bothers the rich and powerful movers-and-shakers in our town, who can afford the symphony much more than the average working Joe and Jane?

The symphony has a $300 million endowment, awards large bonuses to its top executives, but acts as poor as a church mouse when it comes to paying its musicians.

Is it a coincidence that labor disputes have also hit orchestras in Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and Minneapolis? One anonymous musician told the Chronicle “This seems like it might be an industry-wide effort for organizations to cut back on the benefits and salaries of orchestra musicians.” The Symphony’s Executive Director Brent Assink denies any coordinated campaign, claiming “I cannot guess what impact this will have elsewhere, nor is it my goal to use San Francisco to set an example for other communities.” Perhaps Assink protests too much…

While the Symphony strike might seem remote to many, it is part-and-parcel of the fight to overturn corporate domination of our daily lives. Meanwhile, the musical chairs remain empty...

Strange de Jack says he is getting his classical musical fix listening to David Hegarty on the organ at the Castro, classic show tunes that is…


MUNI FOLLIES...

It looks like Muni will have a hard time claiming that its Easter Week service cuts aren’t drawing any complaints. SF Appeal ran a poll, asking its readers “Muni’s Going On Spring Break, Are You?” The online journal reports that the winner, “by a landslide” was “Do not even get me started on Muni’s sorry excuses for why they need to cut service…”

I got a lot of responses to my Beyond Chron article which linked Muni’s Easter Week service cuts to the cuts during Christmas week, apparently also scheduled for this summer. For example, this from a former Muni supervisor: “I felt those Xmas cuts. At the time I didn't know what was happening. The absence of school children going to and from school is more than compensated by them going elsewhere and the hoards of shopping pagans doing their thing, mostly downtown in buildings that have not been reassessed since 1984.

“Someone told me recently that a Muni big wig announced to the public that since overcrowded vehicles was the biggest complaint that riders should find alternative modes of transportation, like biking or walking. Alternatives! I thought public transit was the alternative…”

Another reader told me: “Thanks. People need Muni more now because of the downturn in the economy. And your money is buying less by the day.” Maybe Muni should have cut fares this week to compensate for the reduced service…

Yet another reader told me that he liked my Muni article, but got upset when he went on my website and found an article titled “Capitalism Sucks.” He told me he “loves capitalism.” I wanted to ask him if he thinks we should sell Muni to some enterprising capitalist, but he sorta shut down at that point in the conversation…


GO EAST YOUNG MAN...

Talking about capitalism, San Francisco’s premier bank, Wells Fargo, has decided to hold its annual meeting this year in Salt Lake City. This is the first time the meeting has been held outside of San Francisco in 15 years. Methinks the ambiance in Salt Lake is a bit different than in the City by the Bay.

For example, there are probably no Occupy protesters in Salt Lake, like there were last year here at the bank’s World Headquarters at California and Montgomery. Nor ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment) protesters storming CEO John Stumpf on stage like in Carlsbad a couple of weeks ago. Stumpf took home $22.9 million last year, making him the highest paid bank executive in the nation. Although he is taking the stagecoach east for the annual meeting, he still has a home here in San Francisco, which remains a past and future magnet for protesters…

Wells Fargo was the bank that got all the trouble started at Hotel Frank. Do I have some personal issues here? You bet I do…
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by Marc Norton Friday Mar 29th, 2013 7:56 AM
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