DOCUMENTS DELIVERED TO NLRB IN SAN FRANCISCO
Five Calpine employees delivered authorization cards to the National Labor Relations Board in San Francisco on Dec. 1, the latest step in a campaign to gain union representation for workers at Calpine’s power plants in northern California.
The Calpine employees were joined by about 50 supporters for a brief rally in front of the NLRB on San Francisco’s Market Street. Several Bay Area labor leaders offered words of encouragement to the Calpine organizers.
“We’re not asking for anything in particular. We’re not asking for better wages, better benefits,” said Mike Farmer, a long-time Calpine employee with decades of service in the industry. “What we want is a voice and some representation. We’re asking Calpine to allow us to have a free and fair election.”
Calpine employees and IBEW Local 1245, which is assisting the organizing drive, have called on company management to stop having “captive audience” meetings where employees are forced to listen to consultants who specialize in busting unions.
Also speaking at the rally was Lisa Jones, who said she wanted a transparent workplace, where the rules were known. Jones, an ICE Tech at Calpine, expressed thanks to all those who had taken time to attend the rally.
When the speeches were over, the Calpine employees delivered their petition to NLRB officials inside the building. They were accompanied by Jenny Marston, staff attorney for IBEW Local 1245.
Following the rally, the Calpine employees headed for a labor dinner hosted by the North Bay Labor Council, where local unionists were looking forward to honoring their organizing drive.
Mike Farmer, left photo, and Lisa Jones, right photo, speak at the rally at the NLRB.
Expressing labor’s solidarity with the Calpine workers are Susan Sachen, left photo, representing the two million-plus members of the California Labor Federation, and Tim Paulsen, right photo, leader of the San Francisco Labor Council.
Peter Olney, left photo, organizing director for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, expresses his union’s support for the Calpine organizing drive. At right, the signed authorization cards are handed to the National Labor Relations Board, which keeps the signatures confidential.