Stop Racist Harassment/Retaliation
At SF PUC S.E. Pollution Control Plant
Picket & Rally
Monday January 16, 2004 4:30 PM
San Francisco City Hall Steps
Polk St. Entrance
DESPITE CONTINUED RACIST attacks at the Hunter's Point/Bay View S.E.
Pollution Control plant, the management at the San Francisco Public
Utilities Commission continues to terrorize and harass Black workers.
IUOE Local 39 stationary engineer Carmi Johnson found "hanging nooses" in
her workplace and was harassed out of the plant. The latest example is the
case of IFPTE Local 21 Ass. Chemist Anita Labossiere. Anita also faced
racial harassment on the job and took a stress leave. "Hanging nooses" were
found in the desk of a Black co-worker. When doctors said she could return
to work, the city bosses called her doctors to pressure them to continue to
prevent her from returning. When she recently received a doctor's
certificate that it was ok to return to work she was first accepted back on
the job and then turned away under a rule that said she was "violent".
This slander and harassment has to end. Behind this racist harassment and
modern day segregation is the effort to privatize the workforce. SF City
human resources director Andrea Guardine and PUC Personel Director Theresa
Madden want to privatize and contract out all city jobs. Local 39 member
Leticia Brown, IFPTE 21 member Anita Labossiere and IUOE Local 39 member
Carmi Johnson have all testified at the PUC board board meetings about the
workplace racism and terrorism but PUC Manager Pat Martell continues to
cover-up this travesty and outrage. This has to stop NOW!
At the same time these managers are seeking to privatize the whole PUC
system. Nathan Brennan., manager of operations and maintenance at the S.E.
Pollution Control plant has publicly called for it's privatization. These
bosses hope to get payoffs from private contractors who take over the work
from the city. In the mean time they want to destroy civil service so they
can bring in their cronies and eliminate competent city workers.
Also on the same day as the Newsom inauguration, long time SF city Human
Rights EEOC Senior Contract Compliance officer Kevin Williams was fired by
the city. This firing has come after Williams exposed the corruption at the
SFO project and also fought the discrimination.
We will also be having a free Town Hall Community/Labor Speakout on Saturday
Feb 7, 2004 at the Green House at 11:00 AM 4919 3rd St./Palou St. San
We say no to these attacks.
Join Us On The Martin Luther King Weekend To Protest These Conditions
Working For The City Is A Living Hell
PUC-SF Stop Covering Up Racism
Say No To Segregation, Prejudice and Bigotry
Stop Segregated Working Conditions
No More Hanging Nooses and Racist Firings
Stop Modern Day Segregation
Abolish Human Resources
No More Plantation Politics
Stop Privatization of Civil Service Jobs
Coalition For Justice and Human Rights
San Francisco, CA 94115
San Francisco Bay View
National Association Of Letter Carriers Local 214
Labor Action Coalition
Peace And Freedom Labor Committee
Campaign Against Taft-Hartley, Repression and Privatization
Labor Committee For Peace & Justice
Racism at Water Waste Plants
PUC to Investigate
by Roland Sheppard
On December 1, 2003, Anita Labossiere along with this reporter, expressed
some of our concerns at the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), that overt
Racism and "nooses" have raised their ugly head again in San Francisco. The
following are excerpts from Anita¹s statement to the PUC.
"I, Anita Labossiere, have been working for the San Francisco Water
Pollution Control Bureau for over 23 years, as the only African American
Supervising Chemist. In the City & County of San Francisco, there is a
well organized plan to harass any minorities, minority supervisors and
employees who supports us black cases, by the managers of the City.
"After I wrote the article in this newspaper, last August 'Dealing with
Racism in the Water; Waste Plants,' I have been kept away from work by the
managers at PUC. They are using every legal and illegal trick to keep me
from returning to work from my personal leave.
'.... I should never have to work in this living HELL!!!!!!! "You are
damned if you do and damned if don¹t."
"The following poem explains my feelings, I feel like I am a strange fruit
swingin' in the southern breeze:
Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swingin' in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin' from the poplar trees
Pastoral scene of the gallant south....'
"PUC Personnel have refused to allow me to return to work, I was on a leave
of absence bought on by stress. There are many black employees throughout
the City are going through what I am going through. My case is very
typical of how Mayor Willie Brown has ignored all of the black employee¹s
concerns and even allowing them to be fired on trumped up charges - we have
not gotten any help from Mayor Brown.
"The PUC needs to conduct an immediate and open investigation/hearing, of
this Racism in the Water and Wastewater Plants."
We were both well received by the PUC and they agreed that it was an
important matter. They stated, for the record, that they will investigate
this intolerable situation within the Waste Water Plant.
But the truth of the matter is that the PUC's department managers have
implemented "Sec. 120.22 Compulsory Sick Leave" in order to keep her from
going back to work.
On December 15, 2003, she was forcibly removed from the job under this city
rule, even though she was accepted back to work earlier in the day. An
absent, so far unnamed, supervisor evoked rule "120.22.1."
In that section of the city rules it states that: "An appointing officer or
designee who has reason to believe that an employee is not medically or
physically competent to perform assigned duties, and if allowed to continue
in employment or return from leave may represent a risk to coworkers, the
public and the employee, may require the employee to present a medical
report from a physician designated by the Human Resources Director
certifying the employee's medical or physical competency to perform the
In fact, this rule was put in operation after Anita wrote her article for
this newspaper on Racism in the Waste Water Plant and was already on stress
leave due to the racist environment that is allowed to exist and fester at
Under this interpretation of the rules, the "appointing officer or
designee" has the right to discriminate against any employee. Every employee
who gets injured on the job, under this interpretation of the rules, could
be prevented from returning to work.
In this case it is a another type of "noose" that is left dangling before
every city worker. Especially those, as Anita, who have "blown the whistle"
on Racism ect.. They even dare to begin to implement this policy in the
heart of the last remaining Black Community in San Francisco!
Anita is a strong person and, so far, she is standing up to and enduring
these attacks. If the Black Community stands up with her, she will win and
all of San Francisco will gain.
On Friday January 16, 2004, at 4:30 PM, a picket line will be held in front
of City Hall to address this issue. All are being welcomed to raise their
voice and attend.
We must remain ever vigilant so that a proper investigation is carried out
and that the PUC does not just go ³through the motions² of an investigation
and that racism in city government is rooted out and punished. A "town
meeting" on February 7, from 11AM-3PM will be held at the ³Greenhouse² 4919
3rd St. (Palou and 3rd) to assist this investigation by the PUC and oppose
racism in the city. (For more information: call 415-867-0628)
I want to thank the San Francisco BayView for letting me report on this
issue helping to make all citizens aware of the Racism that is openly
festering in the government of the City of San Francisco.