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)

Friday, April 6, 2007

MONSTERpalooza & "Drive it Home to Monster!"

It’s time to DRIVE IT HOME to Monster that the company must treat workers fairly!!

No more excuses to workers, community and elected officials. We demand a FAIR SEVERANCE NOW!

WHO: laid-off workers, musicians, allies and YOU

WHEN: 11:30 am, Sat. April 14, 2007 (please note time change)

WHAT: MONSTERpalooza Outdoor protest concert in downtown Burlingame, followed by a car/truck caravan protest to the CEO’s mansion.

WHERE: Meet at the Chevron station on Burlingame Ave. and El Camino Real, downtown Burlingame.

To carpool from Balboa Park BART station (meeting at 10:30 am), please contact by Thurs. 4/12.

Featuring Musical Guests:

  • Julia Lau and bandmembers;
  • S.O.M.O.S. ONE and the Brown Buffalo Project;
  • and more! (check back for updates...)

Please contact if you are a musician and can join us!

RSVP: Picnic Lunch for those who RSVP to

Monday, April 2, 2007

"Monster, We Won't Be Fooled!" April Fool's Day Protest

On Sunday, April 1, 2007, over 50 laid-off workers and community supporters marched in downtown Burlingame and declared, “Monster Cable, We Won’t be Fooled!”. Laid-off workers were joined by a number of community allies including 16 youth from AIWA (Asian Immigrant Womens Advocates). For nearly two hours, they marched and leafleted hundreds of curious shoppers and restaurant-goers on Burlingame Avenue, an upscale shopping area near the CEO’s home. The protest culminated in a boycott picket in front of the Apple Store, at 1301 Burlingame Ave.

“In response to overwhelming community support for the workers and pressure on Monster Cable, Monster Cable has tried to cover up by claiming to be a responsible employer and saying that they have done enough for workers,“ says Feiyi Chen, community organizer with the campaign. ”On April Fool’s Day, we’re reminding the company that the workers and community won’t be fooled. We know that the company can pay a fair severance and we hope they do the right thing before workers are forced to escalate this campaign further.”

For the first time, workers were forbidden from entering the store. Two worker leaders and a translator were turned away repeatedly at the door by store security and finally the store manager, who told them, "I am not at liberty to speak with you" and referred the workers to Apple's media line. This new tough attitude signals that Apple is getting tired of these protests and has stepped up their response in hopes of deterring future pickets. However, workers have no intention of letting up the pressure, and in fact plan to escalate their actions if their demands are not met. As a reminder, protesters chanted "We'll be back!" as they left the storefront.

With the continued public pressure and involvement of numerous elected officials, including US Congressman Tom Lantos and State Assemblymember Gene Mullin, workers believe that Monster Cable CEO Noel Lee would indeed look like a fool if he continued to reject their demands for a fair severance.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Upcoming Actions to support Monster Cable workers

THIS Sunday: April Fool's Protest in downtown Burlingame
Our next protest will be this Sunday, April 1st, April Fool's Day.
Action theme is "Monster Cable, Don't Take us for a Fool!" Workers demand
that the Head Monster come to the table with a serious offer.
Meet this Sunday 11:30 am at the Chevron station,
Burlingame Ave. and El Camino Real, downtown Burlingame.

MAJOR action: Saturday, April 14, 2007, downtown Burlingame/Hillsborough

Meet at 10:30 am at the Chevron station on Burlingame Ave. and El Camino Real. in downtown Burlingame.

Please contact if you are a musician and want to perform!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Monster Bash at CEO's Mansion in Hillsborough

Nearly 100 workers, community allies and musicians marched, protested, and sang songs outside the CEO's mansion in his wealthy neighborhood in Hillsborough, CA.
The private security officers hired by CEO Noel Lee did not faze protesters as they marched down the hill to his mansion, where members of the Penninsula Raging Grannies waited to greet them with lively songs about greedy CEO's. Chinese drum group Hei Gu rallied folks at the meeting spot and accompanied their protest at the Head Monster's front gate as they chanted "Beware, Beware, Monster Living There!" and "Boycott Monster Cable".

Joining laid-off workers were members of: UNITE HERE Local 2, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 3267, the San Mateo Labor Council, United Healthcare Workers, UFCW RISE UP, SEIU 790, the Harvey Milk Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Democratic Club, Young Workers United,The San Francisco Living Wage Coalition, San Francisco State University student groups, the Raging Grannies, San Francisco Board of Supervisor's Jake McGoldrick's office, Hei Gu, singer-songwriters Valerie Orth and Bob Sanders. Highlights include worker testimonies, Raging Grannies performing and leading songs, an acoustic performance by Valerie Orth and Bob Sanders, and street theater featuring Bill Sable as the Monster.

Around 12:30 pm workers and supporters took their Monster Bash on the road, heading into downtown Burlingame where they marched down the main drag to the Apple Store. Workers picketed the store for nearly an hour and sent a delegation in to speak with the manager, who said he would contact corporate HQ and Monster Cable.

For more photos taken by David Huang (Poetic Dream), see

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

US Congressmember Tom Lantos Urges Monster CEO to Resolve Unfair Treatment of Laid-off Workers, Offers to Mediate

On Wed., Feb. 28th, U.S. CongressmanTom Lantos, District 12 of California, sent a letter to Monster Cable "Head Monster" Noel Lee. Congressman Lantos urged Lee to resolve the unfair treatment of workers and offered to mediate a session between the CEO and his laid-off workers.

"We Are Families": Monster Cable Workers Join Action Against ICE Raids

On Wed., Feb 28, laid-0ff Monster Cable workers joined the Week of Action against the ICE raids that have been terrorizing immigrant families across the Bay Area and the country. Over 150 protesters gathered at the San Francisco Immigration Building, where workers, mothers, and students denounced the recent rise in immigration raids. "We are all immigrants as well, and we have families," laid off Monster Cable Amy Guo told protesters who came from several immigrant rights organizations and student groups. "We stand with you in calling for an end to the raids."

The group then marched to Radio Shack on Pine and Sansome where they were joined on the boycott picket line by musicians including banjo player Jack Chernos and Chinese drum group Hei Gu. Worker representatives entered the Radio Shac to speak with the store manager. But after listening to the workers plea for support, the manager expressed sympathy for the workers and the unfair treatment they had received, and agreed to call CEO Noel Lee.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

On Valentine's Day, Laid-Off Workers Ask "Monster Cable, Where is the Love?"

On Wed., Feb. 14, dozens of community supporters and musicians joined with laid-off Monster Cable workers in a Valentine's Day boycott picket. Workers were supported by members of over10 organizations including: Young Workers United, St. Peter's Housing Committee, UFCW Rise Up, American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, San Francisco Labor Council, the SFDay Laborer Program and Womens Collective, POWER, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, Partnership for Immigrant Leadership and Action, the Raging Grannies; as well as local musicians and representatives from the SF Board of Supervisors.

Protesters passed out flyers and sweets, asking consumers and retailers to boycott Monster Cable products, and celebrated the passing of the Board of Supervisors resolution in support of Monster Cable products. Carrying giant hearts, they marched to the Apple store to deliver a Valentine’s Day message and continuing to bring their boycott message to consumers.

SF Board of Supervisors Passes Resolution in Support of Monster Cable Workers

On Tues., Feb. 13, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in support of the laid-off Monster Cable workers and their demands for a fair severance and community fund. The resolution passed 8 to 3, with Jew, Elsbernd, and Alioto-Pier voting no.

“Despite company efforts to lobby the Board of Supervisors with propaganda, yesterday’s vote shows the commitment of the Board to support workers in reaching a solution with Monster Cable,” says community organizer Shaw San Liu. “It's unfortunate that the company focuses resources on PR, instead of working with laid-off workers and the community to resolve their demands and find ways to support workers. We call on consumers and retailers to support the boycott of Monster Cable products until the company resolves workers demands fairly.”

Monday, February 5, 2007

Monster Cable Workers Launch Boycott; Musicians and Community Organizations Join Campaign

Summary of Boycott Launch Action 2/05/07

On Monday, Feb. 5, at 10:30 am, over 50 laid-off Monster Cable workers and their supporters launched a boycott of Monster Cable products. They were joined by community supporters including members of the San Francisco Day Laborer Program and Womens Collective, CJWP, the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Young Workers United, and the United Food and Commercial Workers; as well as musicians including singer-songwriter Valerie Orth and Bob Sanders of the band Locura. They went to put pressure on electronics retailers to support the workers boycott, picketed, leafleted consumers and collected petition signatures. In the afternoon, workers went to lobby at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors "Land Use and Economic Development" committee meeting for the resolution supporting Monster Cable workers. The committee voted to sent the resolution for a full vote by the Board next Tuesday and currently has 8 co-sponsors.

Calling on Apple to Support Monster Cable Boycott
They marched to the Apple Store on 4th and Market, where protesters filled the lobby and asked the store manager to tell Apple headquarters to respect the boycott on Monster Cable products. Workers and community members then held a press conference just outside the Apple store. Laid-off Monster Cable workers explained that they decided to launch a boycott because despite the previous three months of protests, CEO Noel Lee is still refusing to take their demands seriously and resolve their concerns for a fair severance and community fund, despite his amply wealth. Community members expressed their support of the workers and the boycott as the fight against injustice and disrespect is a struggle that all workers share. Bob Sanders of Locura declared that while he and his band have used Monster Cables and want to use high quality equipment, they have decided to join the boycott on Monster Cable, because they will not support a company with such poor labor practices and unjust treatment of workers.

Radio Shack Manager Listens
Workers then marched to the Radio Shack store at 6th and Market, where the manager was sympathetic to workers concerns, expressing his understanding of the difficulty of being laid off from a company workers had been loyal to for so many years. Laid-off Monster Cable workers pointed out that the company could easily afford to honor their demands but is unwilling to do so. The manager agreed to contact corporate headquarters, both the district and regional, and to contact the company and register his support of the workers.

Workers Remind Public Officials the Need for Their Support and for Good Jobs
Finally, workers marched to City Hall. After a lunch break, they went to follow up with District -- Supervisor Ed Jew. Supervisor Jew has asked laid-off Monster Cable workers to send resumes to him so he can help them find jobs, but at the same time will not support the Board of Supervisors resolution in support of the laid-off workers campaign for a just severance and community fund.

During the Board of Supervisors “Land Use and Economic Development” committee meeting, Monster Cable workers and CPA representative Alex Tom spoke during public comment, addressing the resolution in support of laid-off workers. They shared the impact of outsourcing on their community, from the perspective of older workers. They connected the challenges of laid-off manufacturing workers to why San Francisco’s economic development strategy must address the needs of low-wage and immigrant workers for stable, living wage jobs. SF Supervisor Jake McGoldrick expressed his support for the real problems of real workers while critical of Monster Cable’s focus on PR and spin rather than resolving problems. Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval stated that since purchasing naming rights to Candlestick Park, Monster Cable had a responsibility to be a good neighbor, be an exemplar for the community, and at the very least, to not embarrass the City of San Francisco with its treatment of laid-off workers.

Workers plan to continue boycott pickets and protests, as well as garner support of musicians and community members. If you are a musician or part of an organization that wants to sign onto the campaign, please contact

Friday, January 19, 2007

"Monster Cable Stole our Future" Worker Testimony

“I worked at Monster Cable for 8 years. I have four children who are ages one, six, eight, and ten; and my husband was recently been laid off from his job, too. I don’t have money for rent, to buy food for my children, or buy health insurance. The boss says his economic situation is hard, but I think that my economic situation as a laid-off worker, is much harder. All we’re asking for is what’s fair.”

Jie Qiu Li, laid-off Monster Cable worker, 8 years service

“ I worked for Monster Cable for 18 years, using up the “spring” of my life in the Monster Cable factory. Through our hard work, we helped Monster Cable achieve today’s success. I have three children to support. We deserve fair treatment from the company that we made wealthy!”

Amy Guo, laid-off production worker, 18 years at company

“I worked at Monster Cable for 19 years. Now I’m over 60 years old, like
many of us who were laid off. It’s very hard to find work at my age. After all our years working so hard for Monster Cable, it’s not fair .”

Polly Buu Ly, laid-off production worker, 19 years at company

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

1/10/07: Workers Disrupt MacWorld Convention and Expo, Ask Apple to Tell Noel Lee to Stop Being Such a Monster

On Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 12:30 pm, over 50 laid-off Monster Cable workers and their supporters marched from Yerba Buena Gardens to various retailers including the Apple Store, CompUSA, Radio Shack and then to the MacWorld Conference and Exposition at Moscone Center. Laid-off workers marched to expose the hypocrisy of Monster Cable CEO Noel Lee’s claims that he can’t afford to treat workers fairly, and call upon Apple Computers, Inc., which sells various Monster Cable Products, to tell Monster Cable “Stop being such a Monster!”

At both Radio Shack and CompUSA, while protesters marched outside and handed out flyers, a small delegation of workers was turned away from the store. Workers planned to deliver a brief message and letter to store managers, but the managers refused even to speak with the three workers who entered the store. At the Apple Store, the entire group entered the store. The manager Tim Cherven agreed to speak with the delegation if the rest of the workers left, and subsequently agreed to relay the message of the workers and appeal for Apple’s support, to the district-level and corporate headquarters.

At MacWorld, workers entered the lobby on Moscone North and refused to leave until a senior-level management from the conference organizers came to speak with them. Security finally forced workers to move just outside the convention hall doors, on the grounds that they were creating a fire hazard. The Public Relations Manager of IDG (the group that produces MacWorld) Charlotte McCormack, informed workers that she contacted Apple but that the Public Relations Manager was off-site. She said that he has been contacted via e-mail and phone about this issue. Because there was nobody else who could to represent the company, Ms. McCormack agreed to relay the message and letter intended for Steve Jobs to the company. Workers continued to protest outside, calling on Apple to support worker justice, and drawing the attention of hundreds of MacWorld convention-goers. A huge red banner was hung briefly from the pedestrian sky-walk across Howard Street. It read, “Apple and MacUsers: Join our Fight Against a Real Monster! Monster Cable Workers Deserve Respect and Justice”.

1/9/07: “Head Monster” Says He Can’t Afford More for Workers; Throws “World-Class” Concert in Las Vegas at CES 2007

After weeks of protest, “’Head Monster’ Noel Lee finally met with worker representatives during the holidays, only to tell them he doesn’t have money to offer them a fair severance or support the community that made him wealthy. Meanwhile Monster Cable is organizing an expensive star-studded awards ceremony and concert for over 4,000 people at CES 2007, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, boasting that this annual show has “become the biggest social event of CES in Las Vegas.” (Monster Cable press release, December 13, 2006) -

“A small group of us finally met with Noel Lee, Monster Cable CEO on Dec. 30th. He told us that company finances were not good, and so he could not meet our demands,” says Yijun Huang, who worked at the factory for over 16 years. “And yet, we know that the company owns several dozen fancy sports cars and is throwing an expensive concert at the Las Vegas CES. Clearly, they are doing well! Unfortunately, the CEO doesn’t want to pay any attention to laid-off workers, so we are going to more retailers and to MacWorld. We hope that Apple will help us put some pressure on Monster Cable.”

Workers are turning to Apple Computers Inc. and to electronics consumers to tell Mr. Lee “Stop being such a monster!” They hope to raise awareness about the plight of Monster Cable workers and more broadly, the issue of labor practices in the electronics industry. Currently, Monster Cable Inc. makes a number of products for Apple Computers Inc., including the iTV link, iEZClick, iSplitter, iCruze, iCarPlay, iCable and iStudioLink, with cost up to $100 per product.

12/22/06: "Monsterous" Christmas Carols at factory holiday party

On Friday, Dec. 22, at 2:00 pm, over 100 laid-off Monster Cable workers and their community supporters gathered outside of the Monster Cable factory during their Annual Holiday Party to deliver a giant Christmas card and sing “Monsterous” Christmas carols created by workers and supporters to call on CEO Noel Lee’s “holiday spirit” to fairly resolve the concerns of laid-off workers and address their long term issues of unemployment.

“After CEO Noel Lee refused to meet with workers about their concerns, last weekend workers took there issues to major retailers such as Home Depot, Radio Shack, Circuit City, Cambridge SoundWorks and Guitar City and received support from local store managers,” said Shaw San Liu, Chinese Progressive Association organizer. “But still, hundreds of workers are left with no Christmas this year.”

A small delegation of workers went to deliver the giant card to CEO Noel Lee, but were asked for their party tickets at the door by company lawyer Dave Tognotti. Having been laid off and no not invited to the party, they of course had none. Subsequently Tognotti asked workers to leave, not allowing them to deliver the card, and told them he would notify Mr. Lee. After nearly an hour of waiting, workers finally asked a police officer to go inside the party and get a company representative (Sue Sami, HR Manager) to come out and receive Mr. Lee's card. Workers marched just outside the party, chanted and sang Monsterous Christmas carols despite the cold and wind. Workers were joined by supporters from various community groups, including the SF Day Laborer Program, Young Workers United, POWER, and others.

12/16/06 Workers Deliver Candy Canes to Retailers

On Saturday, Dec. 16, over 100 laid-off Monster Cable workers and their community supporters gathered at the Southwest corner of Van Ness and Sutter to hold a press conference and holiday march for justice. Workers and community supporters marched up Van Ness Ave to deliver candy canes to major electronics retailers who carry Monster Cable Products. They asked retailers and consumers to call on CEO Noel Lee’s “holiday spirit” to fairly resolve the concerns of laid-off workers and received positive responses from Cambridge SoundWorks and the Guitar Center store managers.

Most recently, CEO Noel Lee left workers hanging on Monday, Dec. 11th , when he failed to show up to a scheduled meeting with him, company executives, and members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Workers were disappointed and requested to re-schedule the meeting, but were informed by company representatives that Mr. Lee was unavailable and that the severance package was not up for negotiation. “It’s the holiday season, but the attitude of Monster Cable has been anything but one of giving. In stark contrast, the company’s approach has been to ignore laid-off workers and their concerns,” said Shaw San Liu, Organizer for the Chinese Progressive Association.

“The boss has made it clear that he is not concerned about us, and is treating us disrespectfully. This is not the right attitude of a high-level CEO,” says Yijun Huang, who worked for 16 years at Monster Cable’s Brisbane factory and was only offered 4 weeks of severance pay. “His behavior is extremely disappointing to us. All he wants is talk about how well he treated us in the past, without any sincere intention to resolve our current issues—a fair severance and support for a community transition fund.”

12/05/06: Worker Press Conference with San Francisco Board of Supervisors

At 11:00 am on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006, over 100 immigrant workers and community supporters will rally on the steps of City Hall to declare that workers shouldn’t have to pay the price for “Monster Profits”. They demand that Monster Cable take responsibility for outsourcing their livelihoods overseas by paying a fair severance package and contributing to a Worker and Community Transition Fund to mitigate the long-term impacts of mass layoff on the community. They will be joined by members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who will be introducing a resolution that day to support the demands of the laid-off workers. Since early November, workers made their demands in person and in writing to management, and at time of press, have received no response.