Posts Tagged ‘labor’

A Few of the Problems With Scott Wiener’s Announcement of a Massive Increase in Bay Area Bike Share (BABS)

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

[UPDATE: Oh, another press release has arrived – see it after the jump. I don’t know, maybe if I got hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from SFGov, I’d fall into the Reality Distortion Zone as well, who knows. In the meantime I’ll just try to make SFGov better, and I’ll leave my pompoms with the mothballs]

The news of the day:

We’re moving forward w massive expansion of in , 4 other cities. Huge step forward 4 :

All right, I’ll bite.

1. Just listen to yourself, Scott Wiener:

“Forward … massive … huge … forward”

Are you running for re-election 24-7?

2. So what do words mean? If I pay $9 for the privilege of riding a super-heavy bike for less than a half-hour, how is that “transit?” Let’s see here, transit, of course, is:

“…a shared passenger transport service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, carpooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement. Public transport modes include city buses, trolleybuses, trams (or light rail) and passenger trains,rapid transit (metro/subways/undergrounds etc) and ferries. Public transport between cities is dominated by airlines, coaches, and intercity rail. High-speed rail networks are being developed in many parts of the world.

So bikes isn’t transit, d’accord? D’accord.

3. Isn’t your vaunted “Motivate” company really just Alta Bicycle Share? Don’t they have / had / will have a lot of workers’ rights / union organizing problems? Oh yes, yes they do / did / will! And yet, Scott Wiener goes after Google / Rebecca Prozan for what, what exactly? Imagine the blowback if Google or Facebook or Apple or one of its contractors started firing employees for union organizing? Well, let’s take a look at Motivate / Alta right here – and this is its side of the story. Take a look, take a look right here at your vaunted “partner.”

4. Does a “public-private partnership” imply a massive advertising deal is coming our way? Enquiring Minds Want To Know. I hope your partner’s “advertising partner” will be Coke, cause, you know, Coke Adds Life, right?

5. How often do the existing bikes get used these days? Not that much, right? And has traffic in San Francisco actually “improved” since Alta’s bike share thing came into SF? I don’t think so. I think it’s gotten worse, actually.

6. And is Scott Wiener really claiming credit for Bay Area Bike Share “oversight?” Well, how’s he doing? Not so hot, based upon its abysmal 2-star rating on Yelp, right? (And Yelp gives you one star just for showing up – like a two star restaurant won’t be in business very much longer. Of course, a fee and tax payer backed bike share program can last forever, right?) And these poor reviews don’t factor in the tens of millions of dollars the existing small program already costs us. What’s the public subsidy per ride? It’s pretty massive. And yet, people don’t seem to like it all that much. Mmmm… How many bikes could we just buy for people and give away for that same amount of money?

7. Oh, this isn’t your deal Scott Wiener? You’re simply “applauding” / patting your self on the back?

So Scott Wiener, to review, BABS isn’t transit, it isn’t very good, it’s costs us a lot of money already and the private part of your new public private partnership has a record of being quite hostile to organized labor.

Oh well.

SUPERVISOR WIENER’S STATEMENT APPLAUDING NEW PROPOSAL TO EXPAND BAY AREA BIKE SHARE

Proposal announced today by the Mayors of five Bay Area cities and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission – on which Supervisor Wiener serves — will expand the regional bike share network through a public-private partnership

San Francisco – Today Supervisor Scott Wiener released the following statement after the Mayors of San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville announced a proposal to partner with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to expand the Bay Area bike share program by entering into a public-private partnership with Motivate:

“I applaud this proposal to dramatically expand bike share in San Francisco and the Bay Area,” said Supervisor Wiener, who serves as a Commissioner on the MTC. “A robust and sustainable bike share network is a key part of being a Transit First city and will allow us to reap the benefits of bike share, including reducing traffic, improving public transit, and stimulating the local economy. I’ve been an active supporter of bike share at both the MTC and the Board of Supervisors, and I will continue to work to bring this critical transit program to more neighborhoods in San Francisco.”

Supervisor Wiener has been involved in Bay Area Bike Share for several years, including oversight hearings and workings with the MTA, MTC, and other stakeholders to ensure a full rollout of the program.

Motivate’s proposal includes expanding the number of bikes in San Francisco to 4,500, up from the current 328. The number of bikes regionally would increase to 7,000 from 700. This expansion would not be funded by public tax dollars. The MTC’s Administration Committee will consider the proposal at its next meeting on April 8th, after which it will go to the full Commission. New stations are slated to be installed starting in 2016.

(more…)

Here’s How San Mateo Handles Day Laborers: Huge Signs Telling You Where To Go To Find Them

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Thusly, just off the 101

Click to expand

This place has been around for a long time.

Of course, some cry foul:

Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, the arm of the federal government in charge of enforcing the nation’s immigration laws, said her office is focused on fighting terrorism, but still wants employers to know they are violating laws and subject to sanctions if they hire people who are not authorized to work in the country — including the workers from the San Mateo center. “That said, our primary concerns now are fighting human smuggling, counterfeit employment documentation and helping ensure domestic security,” Kice said.

Look What CalTrans is Doing with Our Sad-Sack Bay Bridge: First, “Mike Sucks Big Titties,” Now, “Chocolate Starfish”

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Here’s some graffiti placed on the Bay Bridge by people who didn’t work hard enough to ensure that it was built correctly for a good price.

See it? It’s says, “Mike Sucks Big Titties…” Hilarious:

090509JH003 copy

So that’s old news now, but here’s some new bridge art, recorded by photographer Manny Chrisostomo of the Sacramento Bee:

See? It says “Chocolate Starfish.”

Even more hilarious.

In other news, California High Speed Rail will never be “high speed” – it will be medium speed at best.

Oh well.

And the Award For San Francisco’s #1 Tourist Trap Restaurant Goes To … Castagnola’s Seafood and Chophouse

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Here we go, start reading – this place is horrible.

IMO, San Francisco would be better off without this particular place up in Fisherman’s Wharf, but the Golden Gate Restaurant Association disagrees, oh well.

Of course nobody cares what I think so head on up there and check it out, if you want.

And be sure to try the “unnecessarily complicated Shrimp Louie

If you want…

The Unpublicized Picket Lines of Octavia Boulevard Housing Construction – Corish Electric Unfair?

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Or so they say:

Click to expand

I guess some of these people are electricians?

This is all I know…

News from SEIU 1021 About the BART and City of Oakland Strike of July 1, 2013 – “Expected to Stall Bay Area Today”

Monday, July 1st, 2013

“***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR MONDAY, JULY 1, 2013***

CONTACT:  Anna Bakalis, SEIU 1021 (510) 387-5341 for City of OaklandCecille Isidro, SEIU 1021, (510) 289-8767 for BART in OaklandCarlos Rivera, SEIU 1021, (415) 260-7134 for BART in San Francisco

    SEIU 1021 Strike Expected to Stall Bay Area Today

 — More than 5,000 City of Oakland and BART Employees are expected to strike throughout the day. Workers will set up picket lines at 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall at 7 AM.

WHO:            City of Oakland and BART workers officially go on strike, starting midnight July 1. Community supporters, elected officials and labor allies, join workers at the picket lines.

WHAT:            Workers, represented by SEIU Local 1021, are protesting unfair labor practices and demand greater investment in critical public services. The separate contracts for the City of Oakland and BART expired at midnight, June 30.

A press tent on Frank Ogawa Plaza with electricity and WiFi will be set up for media, starting at 7 AM. 

WHAT:            Mass Strike Begins

WHEN:            7 AM Monday, July 1

WHERE:          Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza

VISUALS:         Workers picketing, chanting in front of City Hall, near the 12th St BART station

Interviews with workers for the City of Oakland and BART are available at Frank Ogawa Plaza all day.

The following are key press conferences throughout the day in Oakland and SF:

4:30 AM – Civic Center BART Station-UN Plaza in San Francisco

7 AM– Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland

12 Noon – Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland/Community and Labor Solidarity Rally

5 PM – Civic Center BART Station-UN Plaza in San Francisco

7:30 PM – Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland. Press announcement regarding strike 

FOR ONGOING AND UPDATED STRIKE INFORMATION, GO TO WWW.SEIU1021.ORG

OMG, the City of Pasadena is Selling Folding Bikes for Just $215? Isn’t This Program Better Than the SFMTA’s Bike Share?

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Word comes from the San Francisco Examiner’s Mike Billings of the City of Santa Monica’s new FoldnGo program.

So, Pasadenians will be able to buy a small Dahon folding bike for $214.99?

Isn’t this a lot cheaper, you know, per bike, than the SFMTA’s / BAAQMD’s expensive bike sharing scheme?

Hell yes. Plus, you, Fellow San Franciscan, end up with a bicycle of your own.

Hey, where’s my almost-free Dahon bike, SFMTA? 

You know who’s excited about Pasadena already? Dahon Girl 2009, that’s who:

Click to expand

Oh, what’s that, giving away bicycles ala Santa Monica is NOT a jobs program? Because most of the money would necessarily go into bikes instead of salaries and benefits and pensions?

And the  SFMTA is really an employment agency instead of the (very slow, slowest in America) transit agency it claims to be?

Oh, so I guess, for that reason, we won’t be getting a Pasadena-style program up here in the 415.

‘Cause I’ll tell you, SF’s new bikeshare program is of zero interest to me, as a supposed user. And I’ll tell you, most of the money for San Francisco’s bike share program will end up paying the employees instead of paying for the large, heavy, expensive, undesirable equipment for the program.

Last time I checked. the San Francisco Fire Department spends 91% of its budget on salaries / related expenses and just 9% on equipment. Will our bike share program end up with that kind of percentage  after it ends? We’ll see.

Of course, when you’re giving away or heavily subsidizing  a bike program as Pasadena  is doing, you’re going to run into corruption and fraud type of problems.

But guess what, we going to have these issues* with Alta Bicycle Share in our taxpayer-funded program as well.

So what’s the diff?**

Oh well.

*And vandalism. Don’t forget about theft and vandalism. Oh, you have the GPS to fight theft? Guess what, it’s sending out its signal from, say, underneath Pier 2. Who’s going to fish it out? We’ll see.

**One big diff will be that any issues anyone has about the bike share program will be met with a pitch for more money. More and more and more money.  

If You Want to Walk Across the Bay Bridge on September 1st FOR FREE, Then You’ll Need to Sign Up Now

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

‘Cause by the time you hear about this opportunity from the MSM or a blog, it’ll be too late.

Now some people wanted to charge you for the chance to walk the bridge, but they ended up deciding to just require registration with no payment required.

C’mon, this thing is only two decades-plus late.

All the deets:

“We are excited to announce that registration for the Bay Bridge Walk will be FREE! Our next email will include more details on each event and registration dates.

Registration is required for all on-bridge activities and there will be limited capacity so sign up early!

Please tell your friends and family who wish to participate to visit baybridgecelebration.com and sign up for e-mail updates. You will be the first to hear when registration is open.

More details on the Bay Bridge Bike, Run & Walk coming soon!

-The Bay Bridge Celebration Team”

There’ll be plenty of space to roam:

See you there!

Know Your Inchoate Labor Protests: Tomorrow’s Planned Commercial Office Waste Protest at City Hall Canceled

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

For some reason.

I’ll tell you, those canceled protests are oftentimes more interesting than the ones that go forward…

Check it:

“Commercial Office Buildings Missing the Mark in San Francisco’s Efforts to Achieve Zero Waste

Labor, Environmental Leaders to Release Report Outlining How Commercial Office Buildings Can Achieve True Zero Waste by 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – POSTPONED members the BlueGreen Alliance and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 87 will join with local labor, environmental and civic leaders to release and show support for the report

Making Zero Mean Zero: Waste Diversion in San Francisco’s Commercial Office Buildings.

Findings in the report reveal actions at some of the city’s commercial buildings are hampering the city’s efforts to achieve zero waste and the report outlines recommendations to achieving true zero waste by 2020 — a goal of the city.

The report was prepared by the BlueGreen Alliance — a national partnership of unions and environmental organizations representing 14 million members and supporters.

WHAT: Labor, environmental, and civic leaders call for commercial office buildings owners in San Francisco to reduce waste and increase recycling. The event will feature Spanish speakers.
WHO: BlueGreen Alliance California Director Lisa Hoyos, SEIU Local 87 President Olga Miranda, SEIU Local 87 Members, Supervisor John Avalos (District 11), Interim Supervisor Christina Olague (District 5)
WHEN: POSTPONED
WHERE: In front of San Francisco City Hall”

So, do I think we’re going to have a million electric cars on the road by 2015, as was pledged? Nope!

And do I think that 10% of all trips in San Francisco will be made by bicycle by 2010? Oh, wait, we missed that one already – that got pushed back to 2020, when 20% of all trips made in San Francisco will be made by bicycle, for sure, like totally man, like guaranteed. (And then when that doesn’t happen, the new goal will be 30% of all trips made in San Francisco being made by bicycle by the year 2030.) Anyway, nope!

And now, do I think that all the commercial office buildings of San Francisco will produce “true zero waste” by 2020? Nope!

Anyway, don’t go to City Hall at 11:30 AM tomorrow cause nothing’ll be going on…

San Francisco-Based Apple Retail Workers Union Celebrates Its First Anniversary

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

The Apple Retail Workers Union just had its first birthday. Here are the deets, from last year:

Cory Moll, a worker at our busy, busy Union Square Apple Store, is starting up a (can you guess by now?) UNION.

Oh noes!

See? Check it:

“Work Different,” it says:

Via Cory Moll

It’s not much yet, but Cory’s been getting national (and international) attention the past few months.

And folk art – there’s folk art already:

Click to expand

Hey, why doesn’t somebody, you know, in local media, look into this situation?

(Consider that a challenge to you, personally, if you want.)

All right, Apple workers, rise up and “Work Different.”

This is what it looks like when an Apple Store opens in the 415 – people seem genuinely happy, but who knows…