Thursday, February 21, 2008

Workers, State and City Officials Condemn Monster Cable for reneging on severance agreement and retaliation for worker organizing

Workers and Supporters Vow to Continue Boycott

Workers, community, and elected officials gathered at San Francisco City Hall today to protest Monster Cable’s reneging on severance promised to workers in retaliation for their organizing campaign. After 6 months of community mediation and offers by workers to accept the ORIGINAL severance that was promised to them, the company is refusing to offer ANY severance at all to over 60 workers.

Supervisors Jake McGoldrick, Chris Daly, and representatives from Assemblymember Fiona Ma and Gene Mullin’s offices spoke out against Monster Cable’s irresponsible behavior and vowed to continue supporting the boycotting workers until justice was won.

Laid-off worker Wei Ming Li, father of 5, demanded, “Where is CEO Noel Lee’s conscience? For just a little bit of self-interest, he is hurting the workers who made his products and made his company successful. We workers are very angry about Monster Cable’s retaliation and we will continue this boycott until the company resolves this!”

CPA Board Chair Leon Chow announced that due the strong community response towards the plight of Monster Cable workers, community supporters had decided to create a community-based worker hardship fund to be hosted by Chinese for Affirmative Action. He also shared advance copies of “Boycott Monster Cable!” the CD, an album compiled of boycotting musicians which will be used in fundraising effort to support laid-off workers.

Upcoming actions include a CD release party and further actions to let Monster Cable consumers and associates as well as the public know what Monster Cable now represents: corporate greed and worker repression. Check back soon to purchase the CD!

Monster Cable Refuses to Pay Severance to 60+ Workers, Retaliates for Boycott Campaign

In the past 7 months, CPA and Monster Cable workers halted public protests to try to resolve this conflict with Monster Cable. Workers even offered to end their boycott if the company restored the original 4 weeks severance offered. Unfortunately, the company has refused to pay ANY severance at all, rejecting community mediators’ efforts to reach a settlement and ignoring appeals by workers. Workers and CPA believe that the company is upset over the negative publicity from the boycott campaign and video, and retaliating against workers who were involved in it.

The result: over 60 workers have received $0 in severance from Monster Cable. In a few months, workers’ retraining and unemployment benefits end and they will face the challenge of finding stable living-wage jobs. Meanwhile, in December 2007, Monster Cable laid off the remaining production workers, a total of over 200 workers laid off in the last year and a half.

Monday, May 7, 2007

MonsterPalooza Concert and Car Caravan a Success!


On Sat. May 5th, nearly 80 workers, community supporters and musicians marched up and down Burlingame Ave. The protesters chanted to the swinging rhythms of a brass band (The Brass Liberation Orchestra), offered curious onlookers “WANTED: The Head Monster” flyers and attracted lots of attention. Joining laid-off workers in their march were members of local labor unions and community groups, including UFCW Rise Up, Unite HERE!, the Teacher’s Union, the American Federation of Musicians Local 6, the ANSWER coalition, and many others.

The march ended in front of the Apple store for “MonsterPalooza” concert and rally, featuring Folk This! and Seth Newton as musical performers, as well as words from Monster Cable worker Yijun Huang, San Mateo Labor Council Executive Director Shelley Kessler, San Francisco Day Laborer Program Womens’ Collective leader María Fernandez, and Bob Twomey, District Director for State Assemblymember Fiona Ma.

Protestors then boarded cars decorated with bright red “Boycott Monster Cable!” slogans and caravanned around downtown Burlingame and finally to the Head Monster’s mansion in Hillsborough, where they marched and held a final brief rally accompanied again by the Brass Liberation Orchestra.

Workers denounced the company for failing to fairly resolve their demands despite the wealth they have generated for the company, for refusing to meet with the team of elected worker representatives, and for stonewalling on resolving this 6 months old issue.

For some great pictures by the amazing David Huang ("Poetic Dream"), check out:

Friday, May 4, 2007

Sat., May 5th: MONSTERpalooza in downtown Burlingame!

Don't miss the hottest protest concert and march of the year!

11:30 am, Saturday May 5th
Meet at Burlingame Ave and El Camino Real.
Featuring performances by:
  • The Brass Liberation Orchestra
  • The Raging Grannies
  • Folk This!
  • Seth Samuel Newton
Join us to march, protest, and tell Monster Cable they are OUT of tune with the community.
Followed by Tour d'Justice car caravan to the CEO's mansion in Hillsborough!

Lunch for those who RVSP to shaw san [at]

Monday, April 16, 2007

WORLD PREMIERE of "Boycott Monster Cable!" the MOVIE

Yes, it's finally here.
And if you've been at our actions--you may be in the movie!

Click here to see the 5-min video on YouTube NOW

(url is)

Thanks to our volunteer Kennedy Helm for his many hours spent producing this movie for the workers. Feel free to post, link, and email out the link!

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Black Friday for Head Monster

On Friday the 13th, laid-off workers and community leaders declared a “Black Friday for the Head Monster”. They denounced Monster Cable CEO’s latest moves to further prolong this “nightmare” conflict with workers. Joining them were San Francisco Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, local musician Jack Chernos, Pilar Schiavo from the San Francisco Central Labor Council, Chinatown Community Development Center, and UFCW Rise Up!, and. Workers also premiered the “Boycott Monster Cable!” video which will be released to the general public over the weekend (check this blog again on Monday!)

This week, Monster Cable CEO Noel Lee canceled a meeting with worker representatives and State Senator Leland Yee which had been scheduled for Tues, April 10, at 8:30 pm. Workers and community leaders alike blasted the CEO for this “ultimate act of disrespect to the workers who gave their lives to your company,” (Pilar Schiavo, SFCLC).

“This is the second time he agreed to meet with workers and then backed out (last time was with Supervisor McGoldrick). He has proven that he is not trustworthy—not to workers, not to the community, and not even with elected officials. It is wrong for him to say we are hurting current workers, when he has long planned to outsource jobs to Mexico anyways. If the CEO wants to improve his reputation—he must meet with workers and resolve our demands.”
Huilian Li, Monster Cable
worker, 8 years.

“What we are asking for is fairness! It would take so little for the CEO to resolve our demands, some $500,000. We don’t understand why he won’t sit down at the table and meet with us.”
Lai Ping, Monster Cable worker, 19 years

“Spring is a time of rebirth and for a fresh start. It’s time to reconnect with your workers and hear them out. There is no need to be afraid. We welcome you back to meet with the employees who worked so hard for you.”
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick

“The workers only know victory. We will continue to fight for justice. We call on the CEO to honor his agreement to meet with us and advise him not to throw away his reputation in the Chinese community! Unfortunately the CEO forces us to escalate our actions. We will be contacting his clients, his family and his friends and plan a major boycott action on Sat. May 5th.”

Li Shen, Monster Cable worker, 9 years

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Head Monster Tells Laid-off Workers to Go Find a Job

Over this past weekend, most of the 128 laid-off workers received a letter signed by "Head Monster" Noel Lee.

The letter:
  • told them they should spend time finding jobs instead of fighting for a fair severance
  • claimed that their protests hurt the remaining workers at the factory
  • offered to meet personally with individual workers (while cancelling the 4/10 meeting with worker representatives and State Senator Leland Yee, which had not been publicized as per company request).
The CEO also reassured laid-off workers that he knows "that you are all good people" and that he did not blame them for anything, because it is CPA which had "persuaded" them to participate in protest actions.
Insulted and angrier than ever, the workers responded in writing. See below for the workers response and the Head Monster's letter.

The CEO's letter to workers:

Workers Response To the CEO (English translation and original below)