Ho Ho Ho? My vote for the Grinch of year is Noel Lee the Hillsborough Multimillionaire and owner of Monster Cable which laid off some 120 workers just before the holiday season and has contracted out the work to factories in China. Lee had donated $6 million for the naming rights of our beloved SF 49'ers Candlestick Park, now called 'Monster Park' but refuses to meet with or offer a fair settlement with workers that have made his company so profitable over the years. NBC Ch11's Tracy Grant did a excellent report yesterday on the workers' organizing.
Parenting & Teaching about Grinches and Solidarity:
The wannabe-good-parent that I am - I took my 6 year old daughter Jade to the rally to support the workers, San Francisco State students and the Chinese Progressive Association's worker organizing project. I love teaching moments where my daughter and I are able to talk about the local impact of globalization; real life GRINCHes; and the importance of concepts like SOLIDARITY with workers and ORGANIZING for change and justice in America.
My daughter found one of her classmate's parents on the picket line who worked for Monster for 9 years. She was laid off with over 100 others in mid-October and is demanding a fair severance and justice/justicia for all the workers, most of whom are immigrants from China, Vietnam, Mexico, and Eastern Europe. Many of the workers are parents with children in our schools. That's one reason they say that Monster Cable stole their Christmas.
US Workers as Casualties of Globalization - From 90's Fuerza Unida to Today's Monster Workers:
As a parent and teacher I also try to link the struggle of the SF Monster workers with the heroic battle of the women of Fuerza Unida! from San Antonio Texas who organized themselves after being the 'first casualties' of Levi's plant closings around the US and the rise of NAFTA and Globalization in the early 90's. The Monster Cable workers are not alone and they are the current casualities of Globalization. Like Fuerza Unida they are resisting and fighting for justice for themselves and for all workers here and abroad. Besides picketing we also asked shoppers and store managers to support corporate accountability and -
Please Call Noel Lee, "Head Monster" (CEO) of Monster Cable and ask him to show some HOLIDAY SPIRIT towards the workers who helped build his company and to resolve their concerns.
(415) 840-2000 Executive Assistant ext. 4387
MONSTER WORKERS CAMPAIGN UPDATE - San Francisco, CA – Over 100 laid-off Monster Cableworkers and their community supporters gathered yesterday to hold apress conference and holiday march for justice. Workers and community supporters marched up VanNess Ave and delivered candy canes to major electronics retailers who carry Monster Cable Products. They asked retailers and consumers to call on CEO Noel Lee's "holiday spirit" to fairly resolve the concerns of laid-offworkers.
Most recently, CEO Noel Lee left workers hanging on Monday, Dec. 11th , when he failed to show up to a scheduled meeting with him, company executives,and members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Workers were disappointed and requested to re-schedule the meeting, but were informed by company representatives that Mr. Lee was unavailable and that the severance package was not up for negotiation.
On Oct. 20, 2006, Monster Cable Products, Inc. laid off over 120 production workers from their Brisbane facility, outsourcing their jobs to low-wage labor overseas to increase profits. The company is a highly profitable company which sells high end audio visual cables, home theater equipment, etc. The laid-offworkers are mostly monolingual middle-aged Chinese,Vietnamese, Latino, and Eastern European immigrants who worked an average of over 8 years and as many as 20 years for the company. Laid off workers want:
1) a just severance as previous laid off workers and 2) want the company to address their long term unemployment issues by contributing to a Community-Worker Transition Fund.
Although it's the holiday season, the attitude of Monster Cable has been anything but one of giving. In stark contrast, the company's approach has been to ignore laid-off workers and their concerns.
JOIN THE WORKERS IN THEIR FIGHT FOR JUSTICE! - more info: contact the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA)1042 Grant Avenue, 5th Floor San Francisco, CA 94133- Website: http://www.cpasf.org/home.html