Last week, before this Memorial Day weekend, (where we still fight to extricate ourselves from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq) was full of activity at the Labor Council.
We started last week with a press conference that featured the Labor Council’s Public Employee Committee, Mayor Ed Lee, financier Warren Hellman, and most of the Board of Supervisors, to announce the introduction of a charter amendment for pension revisions that will save city services and jobs.
I am proud of the city workers and San Franciscans who crafted this ballot measure. While governors and mayors in Wisconsin, San Jose, New Jersey, Costa Mesa, and Ohio, unilaterally decide to demonize the workers who maintain our streets, clinics, firehouses and public safety—here in San Francisco the entire fabric of government, unions, and business found a way to craft a solution to the financial hole we have found ourselves in because of the very avoidable missteps on Wall Street.
We are still assessing our Mayoral Forum from a couple weeks ago where we interviewed 7 of the 35 plus candidates who are competing in the November election. All 7 have been endorsed by labor for one position or another over the last 10 years which makes the ability of the Labor Council to endorse rather challenging. I want to remind everyone, including the candidates who complained about our long questionnaire, that the San Francisco Labor Council endorsement for any candidate is based on multiple issues—not personalities or a singular vote. We represent many industries for workers and we have an endorsement process that ultimately needs 2/3 of our representatives to agree on an endorsement.
Josie Camacho, my colleague and new Secretary-Treasurer of the Alameda County Central Labor Council, also visited our office to catch up on organizing and collective bargaining campaigns. Josie also introduced me to the new Executive Director of APALA, Gregory Cendana, who flew out from DC. Greg is young, gay, and Filipino-American and will bring great energy to the Movement. The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, one of the seven constituency groups affiliated with the AFL-CIO, is holding their national convention in Oakland this July. (SF next time!)
Thank you to those who supported Local 2 at the Intercontinental Hotel last Wednesday.
We want to acknowledge the unions who came to San Francisco for their conventions recently. It was a pleasure to address the International Bakers Union which stayed at the Hilton in Chinatown and I want to thank F.X. Crowley from Local 16 for making me get up extra early on Saturday morning to welcome the IATSE delegation to the Fairmont hotel.
For those of you who have still not bought tickets to our June 9th fundraiser to please get your final commitment to Emily. (We still need to order enough wine…)
Memorial Day is supposed to be Day 1 of summer. So as summer approaches I wish that my brothers and sisters in the building trades start to get more work hours—but when you do don’t forget to stay active in your union.
And I hope that those who actually get a hiatus from work—like our teachers—take this time to continue their activism to make sure that your union is still the one place where you have a voice at work.
Tim Paulson is the executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council, an organization representing over 100 local unions with a membership of over 100,000 working men and women in San Francisco.