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Picketers protest wages, safety issues at building site

Original post made on Jun 30, 2011

Members of the bricklayers union were out at the crack of dawn today protesting what they said were poor pay and inadequate safety measures for construction workers at the building site of the new Safeway "Lifestyle" store at Bernal and Valley avenues. "D.L. Masonry does not meet area wage and standards," said Troy Garland, a representative of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts local 3.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 30, 2011, 12:21 PM

Comments (26)

Posted by local, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I guess unions feel entitled to jobs. This is not limited to public employee unions.

None of the people who were hired are picketing.

If this was truly a safety concern, those who "observed" it would be bringing this to the attention of the workers and foremen. A protest here is all about union grandstanding.

Hum, weren't the welds done for the BART overpass to the new BART station done by union workers? They had to scrap that whole thing. Union vs. non-union is not about safety; it is about control.


Posted by slapshot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2011 at 4:23 pm

"There's probably going to be more actions against Safeway in the Bay Area if they don't wise up," he said.

Anybody else take that as a threat? What a thug, punk.


Posted by slapshot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I guess business is booming for this union thug:
Web Link


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Jun 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm

More of them outside agitator union Commies stirrin' up trouble in Pleasantville. I tell ya, this would never have happened if we'd just move forward with my plan to hermetically seal Pleasanton under an impenetrable dome. Don't worry, we've planned for an "air hole" on top.


Posted by common sense, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Sad to say, unions in a down economy are basically useless, other than to complain , ala Safeway and Castlewood


Posted by Blossom, a resident of Stoneridge Orchards
on Jul 1, 2011 at 5:56 am

How dare these union thugs ask for respirators and proper scaffolding. Safety is a thing of the past. I don't want to have to pay more for prune juice just because of rickety scaffolds and restrictive asbestos air spaces. Let the workers get sick and die. Their entitlement-minded health should not be the concern of anybody in this economy.


Posted by Vernon, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2011 at 9:40 am

Much of the unemployment problems are caused by the Unions, get out of the way and let the project go forward, in the end we will all pay more for groceries because of the Unions.


Posted by Wendy , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2011 at 9:54 am

Unions are a major obstacle to productivity and the main reason that California is facing bankruptcy. They own the Legislature and Gov. Moonbeam. People need to vote out the union-bankrolled politicians.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 1, 2011 at 11:36 am

There's nothing like having unqualified union people do the job, that will take twice as long to complete and costs three times more than it's worth.

Who'll be watching the union guys, when they are on the job, making sure they wear the proper PPE?


Posted by Vincent, a resident of Civic Square
on Jul 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm

We need to elect representatives who will make it a crime to organize unions or to be a union leader. That I pay extra money for lettuce just so that some field workers have minimum wage and work safety conditions is beyond the pail. Get out of the way unions or we will prosecute you down to Donte's 4th circle of the drain. Like Michele Bachmann has said repeadedly, if we eliminate minimum wage every body will have a job. Like in China.


Posted by Fuggettaboutit, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm

This has nothing to do about safety or concern for employee health, but everything with disenfranchisement. Unions are so out dated and worthless I am surprised they still exist.
I would put a non-union worker against a union worker any day of the week, and have just as good a product, if not better. The only difference is that the non-union worker knows he is judged on performance, so he works more efficiently and is rewarded appropriately. Usually meaning a more timely product with a very satisfied employee.
I salute Safeway for going with the most qualified vendors, union or not, and sticking to their guns!


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown
on Jul 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm

It is always amazing to read the extreme responses and comments connected to some of these stories especially if they have some kind of political slant which unions definitely provide. Some of the sarcasm is insipid if not laughable. Personally, I have never benefited from unions and have known many people who have suffered, from company owners who want to treat their workers fairly to workers who don't choose to be unionized but are forced to accept unionzation. The union bosses almost always benefit the most while without a doubt some rank & file workers' conditions and compensation packages have benefited but at what cost, sometimes to choice and freedom? There's no doubt in my mind that greed and ego on the part of unions AND corporate America has been a significant factor in the ruination of today's values and productivity.


Posted by NotAboutSafety, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Jul 1, 2011 at 2:35 pm

This is not about safety. It is harassment of a contractor whose employees have chosen not to be part of a union. Their decision should be respected. The picketing people have nothing whatsoever to do with any of the companies or employees working at this site, nor are they part of any government safety-monitoring body.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Stoneridge
on Jul 1, 2011 at 7:19 pm

The thoughtful and convincing arguments concerning the utility of unions written by "Yet Another Teacher", "Blossom", and "Vincent" should serve as a shining example to all of us of the quality work done by union employees.

I think the union spokesman in the article also does a fine job showing his true colors. Unions fight dirty using blackmail and intimidation. They have at least half of our government, plus the police and teachers on their side. The police stand by and allow the intimidation and the teachers brainwash our youth.

The union involved in the strike didn't say that the men working at the site didn't have the safety equipment available. They just said that the men on the site weren't wearing respirators and there were problems with the scaffolding. That's why we have CALOSHA. So call CALOSHA and leave the workers alone.

But the union really isn't concerned about safety. They're really upset that they aren't getting dues from the workers, and have lost some power. The union found some of the workers that weren't wearing the right equipment, and used that as an excuse to protest non-union workers.

Frankly, unions have succeeded so well that their usefulness is now questionable. There are now government agencies that provide the protections once guaranteed by unions. The only place that the government isn't protecting labor is in illegal immigration, and on that topic, the unions are strangely silent.


Posted by Wes, a resident of Downtown
on Jul 2, 2011 at 6:34 am

This country would have been so well off had it not been for the unions. They have ruined this country. It's a crying shame that working people can't just put their faith in corporate ownership which, unlike union leaders, has the workers' interests in mind.

No employer should be forced against his or her will to do what they want with their companies. If they want to only hire whites, that's their business. If they want to hire children, that's their business. If they want to have unsafe workplaces, that's their business. What have unions ever done for anybody?


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Jul 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Wes, the answer is the unions haven't done a damned thing for this country, other than:

The 40 hour workweek
Social Security
Unemployment compensation
Workers compensation
Occupational health and safety laws
Major source of funding for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s
Federal minimum wage
Outlawing use of child labor
Sponsorship of laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion, gender, race, or national origin

All of these laws are clearly inspired by Communists who want to undermine the American Way of Life. That is why we need to return to the days when employers could pay employees whatever they wanted, make them work overtime without additional compensation (or even make them work unpaid overtime), and use children to work in mines (it's cheaper for the mine owners if they use kids because the mine shafts can be made smaller, and a kid in the mine is a kid who isn't crowding into our underfunded public schools).*

The many Ayn Randers of Pleasantville dream of a day when Ayn Rand's vision of "Atlas Shrugged" can be made flesh, and huge corporations are free to do whatever they want.

Hm, we're almost there. Shouldn't take more than a few more weeks now.

*Please note that the big banks had NOTHING to do with precipitating the worldwide recession. It was the labor unions who did it. I'm not sure how, but somehow they manipulated the global financial system and then made it look like the banks did it.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Jul 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I just wrote a short list of some ways the good folks of Pleasantville can help combat the Commun--erm, I mean the Union--menace that is the source of all evil in our society:

1. ONLY shop at Wal-Mart. This company is famous for its union-busting policies, paying its workers low wages, its numerous federal and state health and safety violations, AND most of its goods are made by Asian workers who are paid a fraction of the US minimum wage!

2. When you're at the store, ask for the manager and have him/her (let's hope it's a man, we all know women are mentally weak and get a bit confused, the silly things) direct you to products produced by non-union workers. Don't be afraid to speak up and proudly declare: "I ONLY want products made by slave laborers in China!"

3. NEVER buy a vehicle manufactured by Ford, GM, or Chrysler. All three of them utilize union labor and therefore their cars are "chariots of evil". This also applies to BMWs and Mercedes, which have 100% union labor in their factories.

4. Write to your Congressional representative TODAY and demand repeal of the minimum wage law, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), and the child labor laws. Kids shouldn't be idling about this summer, watching tvs, when those busy little hands could easily be picking crops or sewing together shoes or mining coal for $1 a day.

5. Go to the US-Mexico border and help transport as many illegal workers into the country as you can. The only way to bust unions is to keep wages LOW LOW LOW.

6. NEVER call 911. The people answering those calls are UNION MEMBERS. Yes, police officers and firefighters are UNIONISTS and they are the ENEMY.

7. Stop paying taxes. Sure, the government will put you in prison (and the prison guards in California are all UNION MEMBERS), but if you pay taxes, the government will only use it to further the pro-union agenda.

8. NEVER travel to Europe. Most workers in Europe belong to labor unions, and by traveling there, you support international UNIONISM. Instead, travel to "free trade friendly" countries like Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Myanmar, where labor unions are banned outright. If only we had a man like Muammar Gaddafi running things here instead of that Kenyan who isn't even a US citizen (he was born in Hawaii, after all, and everybody knows it's not REALLY part of the USA).

These are just a few suggestions to get you started. But beware...union members are lurking EVERYWHERE so you can't EVER relax your vigil.


Posted by Johnny, a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 2, 2011 at 6:56 pm

YAT,

It must be tough being you. It must be weird to be as angry as you are at all of those who do not think the way you do. Ok, I am going back to enjoying the weekend outside! Cheers!!!


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Jul 2, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Oops, I made a mistake. When I said you should write to your Congressional representative TODAY, do NOT use the US Postal Service. Why? Union employees!

Nope, send your Congressional critter an email. That way, they can ignore it without wasting paper.


Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2011 at 10:26 am

Scary that YAT represents herself as a teacher in our district...

I think many would say that the unions served their purposes and did good some time ago. But tell me something the unions have done that has been positive for the U.S. in the last 10 or 20 years.

The unions accomplished their goals some time ago. They are no longer necessary in many situations.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 3, 2011 at 10:38 am

Yat,

How about adding No. 9 to your list -

Only cross the Bay on the new Eastern Span extension of the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge. The bridge was not only built with non-union slave labor, it was built by a Communist country to boot. Our state senators and assemblymen wanted to save 6%, so 3,000 American jobs were sacrificed so political bosses in China could stuff their pockets with California taxpayer billions.

Where's Senator McCarthy when America actually needs him? Just think of all the government union loving employees he could have arrested on subversive activities.


Posted by Blossom, a resident of Stoneridge Orchards
on Jul 3, 2011 at 1:35 pm

(Comments partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as innuendo, hearsay or specific accusatory information unsupported by facts.) Over the passed twenty years the unions have prevented a good deal of the wealth going to people like Leland who deserve it because he is a hero who creates jobs, jobs, jobs,. People loose their minds and go postal because of so much union pressure. Lets follow Mishell Bachman and abolish minimum wage. Start all over. Without the unions. Who needs them?


Posted by Troy Garland, a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm

The union thug comment is unrealistic; you must be watching too many movies or TV. Not all unions are the same; the bricklayers union and other building trades union members are not overpaid, lazy and do not have guaranteed employment. These highly skilled construction workers simply want to take care of their families and maybe have enough left over to send their kid(s) to college. Why is it wrong to fight for jobs in our community?? This masonry company travels in from Rancho Cordova and pays below area wages and benefits. Workers are even coming from out of state to lower wages and take more of our local jobs. Why can't companies like Safeway or other companies making billions in profit hire locally and pay a livable wage and benefits. The people who continue to make hateful comments about unions, their members and representatives are ignorant. We are just middle class people who work hard and want to make enough money to take care of our families and retire with dignity.
Union and Non-union workers need to fight to keep reasonable decent wages and benefits, which many hard working Californians currently do NOT have.


Posted by Street Educated, a resident of Parkside
on Jul 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm

YAT,

All those things you list. You forgot about unsustainable union demands and unfunded liabilities that are causing a tsunami. How can you possibly hold up such banal things on your list when we're all sinking under union practices that are not value-additives. I mean, come off it. Who are you trying to kid? It must suck to be you. I'm going out and having some fun!


Posted by Charley, a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 4, 2011 at 7:52 am

Most of the things YAT lists are socialist policies that we'd be better without. Like child labor laws. Why can't I send my kid to work in the construction industry at the age of 10 instead of being forced by the state to have union thug teachers spoon feed him union propaganda? YAT may think she's really a smartypants with all those lists and such, but Steve says unions are bad and that's good enough for me.


Posted by Christian, a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Jul 5, 2011 at 6:50 am

I personally think steve is far more credible than any list of facts that YAT might drum up. Steve doesn't need facts. He knows, and that's good enough for me.

Thanks to YAT not for putting forth all those lists. What a great way to vacate a site. Forward all kinds of lies that nobody on the right even in their own twisted minds would care to dispute.


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