View from the 415

The boss makes a dollar, I make a dime, that's why I shit on company time!

Yesterday was May Day, but as I’m a lowly hourly waged worker, I was mandated to work. I was relegated to scrolling Twitter and retweeting every pro-labor thing I saw and cursing the four cubicle walls that surrounded me.

May Day is technically both a spring festival celebration and International Workers’ Day, to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket Affair in Chicago which began after police killed 8 workers who were part of a protest agitating for an 8-hour workday, and an unknown person(s) threw a bomb into the crowd, killing 7 cops. 4 people were executed for it after.

1967 May Day, Bucharest (Romania)

In Oakland, union workers from Anchor Brewing Co. joined their ILWU brethren in protesting the A’s team’s plans to build a stadium on the docks, a move that will surely exacerbate the gentrification crisis that’s sweeping the rest of the Bay Area. Sara Nelson from the Association of Flight Attendants, which pretty much ended the government shutdown crisis earlier this year, spoke out at the rally.

Dock jobs have a storied history in the Bay Area — the 1934 West Coast Waterfront Strike saw San Francisco workers join their counterparts all along the West Coast in a strike that lasted 83 days to protest working conditions such as,

“a coast-wide contract, with wage and hour improvements and an end to unfair labor practices such as "the speed-up" (when workers are driven to work harder without commensurate pay) and "the shape-up" (when employers hand-picked who would work each day). A key demand was the establishment of hiring halls run by unions, not bosses.” -History Link, 6/2016

 Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants

“If they build any kind of hotels or any kind of condominiums you can rest assured your job on the waterfront is gone.” —ILWU Local 10 President, Melvin Mackey

We all live in a capitalist hell, sung to the tune of “Yellow Submarine”

Victor Pontis, a San Francisco resident who is building an app to help people find scooters on a map, made headlines this week for commandeering a parking space and using it as a coworking space he’s calling “WePark,” a play on the coworking company WeWork.

While I agree that cars clog up our streets far too much (@UBER AND LYFT), they’re a necessary evil as long as we have underfunded and underresourced public transit. At the same time Pontis and his friends are overtaking parking spots in an attempt to take back public space, San Francisco officials continue to sweep homeless people and break up encampments.

Haight Street homeless youth protested “Sit/Law”, a terrible law that bans sitting or lying on public streets.


In happier news, The Baffler called my article on the Sacramento teachers’ strike a “new classic” of labor writing!