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

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