Former Mayor Willie Brown and Public Defender Jeff Adachi – author of Prop. B, which would require city employees to pay more for their pension and health care costs – yesterday crossed a union picket line at Le Méridien, which is being boycotted by hotel workers with Unite-Here Local 2, to attend a fundraiser for the measure.
San Francisco Labor Council President Tim Paulson called it “such an outrageous thing in San Francisco.” Even Sup. Sean Elsbernd, perhaps the most conservative member of the Board of Supervisor, was shocked today when told of Adachi's crossing the line, saying he would have never done so. Local 2 spokesperson Riddhi Mehta told us, “It shows their true colors. By no means are they for working families.”
Adachi has been public enemy number one of local labor leaders since he authored the measure with little input from unions or other public officials, and Paulson said this action was emblematic of Adachi's hostility to unions, adding that it was even more surprising to see Brown, a longtime ally of unions, supporting the measure and crossing the line.
“It was not unexpected for Jeff Adachi, with the way he's been acting lately, not caring about labor, but it was a little surprising for Willie Brown considering his career and record,” Paulson said.
Adachi told the Guardian that he was unaware at the time that it was a Local 2 picket line. “The honest truth is that when I got there, I thought it was a protest against Prop. B,” Adachi said. Yet he also that even if he had know, “I still would have went to the event.”
“I completely support the workers' right to strike, but at the same time, I am on a mission to save the city $120 million a year,” Adachi told us. “The resources that the opponents are pouring into this are completely unreal.”
La Merdien has been on the Local 2 boycott list for several months, and both Paulson and Mehta said the picket was independent of Prop. B, although some SEIU members did show up with signs criticizing the measure. As for scheduling future fundraisers at other boycotted hotels, Adachi told us, “I'll be more mindful of that.”
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