UNITE-HERE Battle; Death of SF Chronicle; Evicting the Homeless …

by on April 8, 2009

To the Editor:

While I wholeheartedly agree with your defense of HERE, and especially Local 2, I think you are giving Bruce Raynor too much blame/credit. Raynor’s whole strategy is dependent on SEIU’s support to finance and staff this attack. While Raynor’s history of “raid and trade” organizing may have some similarities with this current struggle, it is SEIU’s attacks on other unions in recent years that provide the gameplan for Raynor. Raynor should be condemned, but Andy Stern needs to be held accountable for creating an environment in the labor movement where internal conflict has taken a priority over fighting employers AND for making Raynor’s ploy possible.

Ben Runkle

Dear Editor:

I’m surprised at your observations about the Chronicle and their irrelevance. I’ve been a subscriber since 1956, and canceled last week after years of mounting tolerance and avoidance of editorial incompetence. Their coverage is skimpy at best in all areas, and their editorial policies don’t bother hiding their slathering devotion to downtown interests and conservative values. Their blind support of Mayor Newsom and endless criticism all all politicians who dare criticize unbridled greed and corruption is their only badge of courage.

A little fact that contributed to my final separation from a lifelong commitment to this rag was their last bill which came last week in a copy of my PAID invoice for six months home delivery for $156.00 covering six months that they had already billed to my credit card with no invoice. The last bills were for approximately $30.00 for three months delivery Thursday through Sunday and they raised the bill and charged my credit card 500% without notifying me. We all know they’re in trouble but to bill me six months in advance at a much higher price than I’d been paying when they might not even be in business is almost criminal.

So with heavy heart and fond memories of the paper when it was “The Voice of The West,” I bid a sad adieu.

Stu Smith
San Francisco

To the Editor:

The Hearst Corp. has done countless things wrong, but it’s universally agreed to be the right thing to do for its staffers when an employer offers buyout packages before starting with involuntary layoffs. It’s unenlightened from the workers’ point of view to criticize the company for handling staff cuts that way rather than simply wielding the ax on out-of-favor employees.

It should be evident that Hearst management’s opinion of which staffers “produce an inferior product” would be unlikely to jibe with Paul Hogarth’s, or any individual reader’s, for that matter.

And it’s ironic to implicitly take a pro-labor tone in the comments about Julian Guthrie’s covering Cesar Chavez celebrations, while espousing the more anti-worker mode of handling staff cuts.

By the way, Guthrie was not employed at the Chronicle before the 1994 strike. She started working at the Examiner as a strikebreaker, and, unsurprisingly, was hired as a permanent Examiner staffer after that. She moved over to the Chronicle with the rest of the Examiner staff when Hearst bought the Chronicle in 2001.

The big picture in all of this goes beyond Chronicle detractors’ glee over the possibility that the paper may fold. The newspaper industry is in freefall; the broadcast news business isn’t far behind; and it’s a frightening thing for democracy to envision our nation without a professional press corps at all.

Caroline Grannan
Spouse of newly retired Chronicle employee

To the Editor:

Pattie Barnes’ quote about the encampment becoming a concentration camp aptly described Ontario’s “color coding” of its homeless residents. How can any one think of such a scheme without any sense of history? Why not borrow designs from the marshmallow bits from a box of Lucky Charms?

TJ Johnston

You can submit letters to the editor by clicking on this link: feedback@beyondchron.org or by writing to:

Beyond Chron
126 Hyde Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-771-9850 (phone)

Filed under: Archive