Mayor Ed Lee promised publicly that he would not seek an elected term for Mayor of San Francisco when he ‘inherited’ the job from Gavin Newsom. Since then, he broke that promise, and now seems to be intent on breaking the laws of common sense & decency when it comes to using his influence to see to it that City Employees are paid a decent & living wage with benefits.
S.E.I.U (Service Employees International Union) representatives put together a rally to bring awareness to the public of how corporations such as Twitter are laying eggs all over, without having to pay appropriate business taxes to support the infrastructure that permits them to nest here.
City Employees under SEIU leadership rallied in front of City Hall, and marched peacefully from there to Twitter’s 1355 Market Street address. The reason for this symbolic march was to illustrate the point that Twitter has been granted enormous tax relief by City Government, under the leadership of a man who promised not to stand for office. Why make such empty promises? Just because it was several years ago, does not mean that we have forgotten. It was a silly promise to make, clearly one that could not be taken seriously.
At this point, we need credibility & reliable governance. This is especially true concerning the need of keeping City Employees in a City that has turned into the nation’s most expensive place to call home. Symbolically, both the Mayor & one of the companies he keeps, especially TWITTER, missed an opportunity to lay a golden egg of public relations, rather than continue to scramble them.
When SEIU made their rally in front of City Hall, Mayor Lee did not come out to meet us.
The same was true for TWITTER. No one came from the company to greet or acknowledge the peaceful crowd of marchers who were making a constructive & accurate statement about the tax benefits that TWITTER gets at the expense of City Employees, who are not being given special shuttle buses, and have had to deal with lack of appropriate pay increases to offset 5 years of no raises, and furlough days.
TWITTER (and most of the rest of Social Media & technology businesses) tend to be ‘cutting edge’ when it comes to seizing public relations opportunities. Here was one opportunity of dialogue they flat-out missed. We were there, symbolically knocking at their door, but no one answered.
The right person, rising to the occasion, could have served as a liaison, helping to bridge the obvious gap between those who have been given much, and those who are still seeking to regain much of what was lost due to budget & revenue problems going back 10 years ago.
Looking around San Francisco, one can see that construction is at an all time high. Rents are beyond comprehension. There is no more excuse that there is no money to pay City Employees wages that will permit them to live in San Francisco. There is no further credence for City Government to continue to claim budget deficit as a reason to deny City Employees the ability to earn wages that permit us to live here.
The trend now is to allow managers to hire staff who are not benefited. They do not have medical benefits, vacation time, nor holiday pay. This is simply wrong. The managers who have bought into this type of hiring circumvention are corrupt and should be held accountable. The foundation for this sort of hiring desperate people at a less-than-acceptable wage & benefit level is wrong. The foundation is just wrong, and will not serve any of us well in the long-term.
It’s time for TWITTER to appreciate its nest. It’s time for City Government to stop vampire tactics that drain the life blood of those who make the infrastructure work. And it’s time to stop allowing corrupt managers to hire people outside of the Civil Service Structure.