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 Francisco 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 P.O.Box 15086 San Francisco, CA 94115, 415-867-0628 Endorsed by 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: 'Strange fruits 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 required duties." 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 the plant. 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.

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