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SEIU protests at Google

Original post made on Jun 6, 2013

For some, a job at Google is the stuff dreams are made of, but for security guard Manny Cardenas, it's been more of a nightmare.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 6, 2013, 6:38 PM

Comments (31)

Posted by Wo\'O Ideafarm
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Wo\'O Ideafarm is a registered user.

The union / free market issue is never really about workers' rights. It is about freedom and individual accountability versus socialism and extortion.

First, we must fix the labor market by eliminating all involvement by government, primarily by eliminating the minimum wage and by amending the law to give employers broad immunities for employee related lawsuits.

Then we must outlaw all unions for government workers.

Then we must outlaw all unions.

Workers do not need socialism. Workers do not need unions. What workers need is a free market for labor with zero meddling by government and by the courts. Government: Hands Off! Court: Hands Off!

Posted by Wo'O: ABD
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 6, 2013 at 10:47 pm

A free market is a theoretical concept which is physically impossible (e.g., complete information); it's a convenient simplification for economists. Get real, Wo'O.

Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 6, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Wo'O is firmly on the side of the robber barons of yesteryear, the child slavers who inspired Dickens. Our Great-Great-Grandparents fought an died for the 40-hour week, for an end to child labor. You give all that up so you can get cheap stuff from Amazon. Jeff Bezos is worth 28 BILLION dollars, and he treats our fellow Americans who work in his filthy sweatshop warehouses like Third-World SLAVES.


Posted by Bias?
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 7, 2013 at 7:41 am

Quoting ONE Google employee who happened to voice something obnoxious and clueless is not good journalism in my opinion, just an attempt to paint Google employees, and twenty-somethings, as selfish jerks. I'm certain that were you to survey the larger Google population, you would find many who do care about the disparity between employees and contractors. And for those who aren't aware, a little education could go a long way.

Posted by mr b
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 7, 2013 at 9:22 am

If Google employees were in touch with reality, they would recognize their compensation and perks are soooo far beyond what regular workers receive, they might exhibit a little more humility. In my experience, that Googler's response was maybe extreme in language, but well within the norm of my experience.
Take away Googlers salaries and perks, pay them for their true contributions to the company (only a minority of Googlers are responsible for the truly revolutionary stuff - the majority are riding the wave of advertising scale and talent shortages) THEN you'd find a much more vocal and supportive group of Googlers.
This generation of Silicon Valley 'inventors' is the most entitled and least socially responsible of the bunch. They don't even use their own inventions to identify and attempt to solve problems like these.

Posted by Bruno
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 7, 2013 at 11:08 am

If the employee said it then what's wrong with quoting it? Don't want it to seem like Google doesn't care about their security guards? Well it looks like there's plenty of other proof of that outside of this one quote. If anything it's a prime example of the "I've Got Mine F Everyone Else" attitude that rules the valley.

Posted by vfree
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm

To all the union sympathizers and espeically SEIU: Just go away.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm

If you have a job you don't like, should you: A) find a better one, or B) Join up with a bunch of hooligans to intimidate your employer?

Posted by IHeartMTView
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 7, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Interesting story, who knew? Anyway, Google = rent increases in Mountain View. Google's attractive jobs = scouting for interns and then offering them jobs for immediate placement after college. Google = bragging rights for City of Mountain View. Google wifi service in Mountain View = poor service that some individuals in Mountain View go to Starbucks, Mountain View Library etc.

Posted by Angie
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm

The story is of Google's have-nots. Google's haves are in full force as shown in comments. As a Mountain View native, who is enjoying the value of properties, I can only say: Enjoy Google while you can. When AOL and other Dot Com companies went downhill in the early 2000s - individuals left Mountain View. In turn, rental property owners offered free cable, free internet service etc. to prospective renters., and vacant signs where on almost every apartment. Back to the story, Google's have nots are what makes Google campus safe, comfortable, clean, etc. For every bike used for clean air, also think of an individual making the campus safe.

As for the Google person quoted "Whatever, I don't give a (expletive)", some of these individuals are interns so on a temporary basis in the community, or stuck with their college bills etc. and enjoying the perks (free organic meals, transportation services, bringing dogs to work, etc.). Googlers can be the most humble people. However, their nerdy attitude can make it challenging for them to understand the struggles in the community.

Posted by Wo\'O Ideafarm
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Wo\'O Ideafarm is a registered user.

Freedom is not a "theoretical concept". It is the birthright of your children, which you are supposed to be preserving and developing for those who will come after us.

When you boil away all of the complexity, there are two kinds of economic systems. In one system, each family owns its own dinner pot, is responsible for putting something into it, and has the exclusive right to eat out of it. In the other system, the group owns a common dinner pot, the group dictates who puts food into it, and the group dictates who gets to eat from it and how much.

In the first system, the dinner pot is owned by an individual. In the second system, the individuals are owned by the dinner pot.

Freedom. Or communism. Either you own what you create, or you do not. Most people in the United States are confused on this point because they are slaves. People who are truly free can see the point clearly.

Posted by Wo'O: ABD
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 7, 2013 at 9:35 pm

You still haven't addressed my main point about free markets: they have absurd properties that are incompatible with physical reality. You are clinging to the economic equivalent of a perpetual motion machine and defending it with a false dichotomy.

By the way, when you criminalize unions, you wouldn't have a free market any more because you've just introduced a regulation on the market. Congratulations.

Furthermore a dinner pot is personal property, which is distinct from private property (i.e., means of production). Private property is a basis for economic oppression, personal property is not. Educate yourself.

Posted by Wo\'O Ideafarm
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2013 at 9:21 am

Wo\'O Ideafarm is a registered user.

I concede Old Ben's point about robber barons, although I plead not guilty to his charge. Labor unions played a critically important beneficial role to counter the power of the robber barons of 19th century United States. My point here is simple that ALL monopoly is evil, notwithstanding whether the monopoly power (power to extort) is on the side of business organizers (employers) or workers (employees).

With today's computer and communications technology, it is indeed possible to create a worldwide perfect market. E-bay was founded on that vision. The economic centerpiece of the plan for the launch of IdeaFarm (tm) City is to create just such a market.

Even if perfection is currently out of reach, the closer we can get to a market characterized by vigorous competition on both sides, the more all participants, both workers and business organizers, will be empowered. True individual liberty is the road that will take us to justice, freedom, and economic empowerment for every human being on the planet. That is the vision of IdeaFarm (tm) Operations. "Lift a finger" with me and we can make it real in our lifetimes.

Posted by OR
a resident of Castro City
on Jun 8, 2013 at 9:38 am

Two Google employees I know, one is super nice and the other, is alright. The super nice friend, was educated in Austria where the education cost is about $400 per semester.

Google doesn't care where they get their talent - they just can't find it here because our local university costs are in the tens of thousands. The other person I know, has over $100k in university debt but generous family members are helping him pay that off quickly.

Our local big name CEO's constantly complain to Congress they can't find enough Bay Area talent and say we need more H1B Visas. Easy solution: lower the education costs comparable to that of Europe, have a greater home-grown educated workforce, so that there's opportunity for the security guard, janitor and waitress to work themselves up to engineer! It is a system and sadly, "I don't give a F*" has been my experience also the past 10 years. I'm surprised Google hasn't found a way to completely automate their security system.

Posted by Wo\'O Ideafarm
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Wo\'O Ideafarm is a registered user.

Nonunion security guards in this area should understand that the unionization of Google's security guards will LOWER the nonunion pay rates for security guards in the area. This is because the conversion of an employment site from nonunion to union results in a loss of jobs at the newly unionized site as the site moves up the site's demand curve to the higher, collectively bargained pay rate. Those lucky or influential enough to be retained benefit, but the rest of those workers are now diverted to the nonunion sites, competing down the pay rate there.

This effect survives even when the minimum wage is binding. In that case, those receiving the minimum wage do not see their pay rate reduced, but workers in other, similar occupations who are receiving a pay rate above the minimum wage will see their pay rate reduced.

For those who have had an economics course, all of the above statements are obtained from comparative static partial equilibrium analysis.

Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 9, 2013 at 6:34 am

Otto Maddox is a registered user.

To all you union fans, wake up. The days of the "robber barons" hiring 12 year olds to work in their factories in the U.S. are behind us. That's now ILLEGAL. So whatever "gains" you think unions might have brought to our work place have long since been passed by strike after strike of these same unions holding companies hostage.

The truth is anyone who is pro union tends to either be a union member or has never actually had to hire (or deal with) union labor.

Posted by Wo\'O Ideafarm
a resident of another community
on Jun 9, 2013 at 8:31 am

Wo\'O Ideafarm is a registered user.

All concentrations of power, almost by definition, disempower the individual. Worse, all concentrations of power become corrupt. Every concentration of power has a visible charade and a carefully hidden reality.

The Mountain View Municipal Corporation is a handy example of this; it is the most corrupt city in California. (I can prove this, and I intend to, by publishing an expose on DVD.)

If you want justice and liberty, empower the individual. The only institution that empowers the individual, be he a worker or a business organizer, is the free market. All other institutions disempower the individual because all other institutions concentrate political and/or economic power.

To promote justice, liberty, and economic empowerment, you young people of the United States must live unselfishly, organize, and seize power from the selfish people. Then, when you are organized and empowered, you must (1) develop the free market, including a worldwide perfect market, and (2) dismantle and destroy all concentrations of economic and political power.

That is the "lawful revolt" of which I have spoken and which I have come to Mountain View to incite.

Posted by Unions were good a long time ago
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm

What has the union done for us lately,

Increased Pension funds to unaffordable levels.

Decreased the retiring age to 50 while everyone else is at 65.

Increase the pay for all public employee to well above the normal.

Control your newspaper and Media papers like this one, in order to tell you who to vote for.

They opposed any non tax initiatives, they just want more and more money.

Our income taxes are the highest in the state, next to NY. And if it wasn't for Howard Jarvis, our property taxes would be sky high as well.

Yesterday Unions good, Today the Unions are gangs.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Workers are subject to the same law of supply and demand as goods and services are. To have a legitimate place in the market, a union would need to limit supply and/or increase demand.
Unfortunately, the typical big-union model does neither, and won't actually work in the legitimate marketplace. Instead, it hides behind its government protection and extorts money from employees and businesses alike.

Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm

"You still haven't addressed my main point about free markets: they have absurd properties that are incompatible with physical reality. You are clinging to the economic equivalent of a perpetual motion machine and defending it with a false dichotomy. By the way, when you criminalize unions, you wouldn't have a free market any more because you've just introduced a regulation on the market. Congratulations.
Furthermore a dinner pot is personal property, which is distinct from private property (i.e., means of production). Private property is a basis for economic oppression, personal property is not. Educate yourself."

What nonsense. An economic illiterate.

Wo\'O Ideafarm and Steve have made some interesting remarks. They show a clear understanding of economic thinking

Posted by Wo\'O Ideafarm
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Wo\'O Ideafarm is a registered user.

I appreciate the affirmation but am uncomfortable with my correspondent being called "an economic illiterate", even though it is true. Let us edify and encourage each other. Let those who have mastered economics teach others with humility, so that all can enjoy the wonders of knowledge.

I am illiterate in many fields. There is no shame in being illiterate in economics. In the 1970's, I received an unusually good education in economics. It would give me joy to have students in this community who would allow me to give them the gifts that were given to me.

Anyone who would like to learn economics by being my student can send me email at . If there is an interest, I will take students and teach / tutor via email and the web site. See my bio page there for my qualifications.

Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I agree Wo\'O Ideafarm, but am reminded of a quote by Murray Rothbard

“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”

Most economists are humble. It's those (non-economists) who argue vociferously about ideas they have not studied but still claim to know whats true.

Posted by Wo\'O Ideafarm
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2013 at 6:35 am

Wo\'O Ideafarm is a registered user.

The "dismal science" bit comes from Ricardo's idea that a couple will have babies whenever there is more than a subsistence income and consequently is doomed to bare subsistence. This idea is interesting and there is more than a little truth to it. But there is much more to economics than this idea of Ricardo's.

IMO, economics is the most beautiful, the most wonderful, of all of the sciences. Every adult in the United States should make the effort to become familiar with the basic ideas and how they apply to current events. With these ideas, you can understand your world. Without them, you cannot.

If you want to understand your world, look at how the money flows. If you do that, it will be easy for you to see through District Attorney Jeff Rosen's phony reformer charade. If you do that, you will be able to easily pierce Police Chief Scott Vermeer's sophisticated and well funded public relations department crap about being "the most professional policing agency". Etc. Etc.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm

If Google changes its security guard contracting industry, wouldn't all the current security officers lose their jobs? they would have the start the process again to get employed through the contracting agency that replaces the old one. It doesn't just transfer over. If they keep hiring security officers, they don't need that many officers.. that's why they don't get enough days to work. SO maybe they should just fire 50% of the workers and the rest of them can have more hours? And 50% of the wage of the security officer goes to the contract agency just like ALL other contract jobs that make up Google. (yes there are more contractors out their than just the security officers, and we do the same sort of work as full time employees) but we work here for the perks, the experience, the food, the massage chairs, the snacks, the surplus of free drinks and desserts.... And we don't have benefits. It would be great to convince Google to use another contract company but which company would you suggest they use? And how many of the current security officers do you think would still be able to work at Google after that change? I don't see anything about that on the SIS website. Every other recruiting agency Google is partnered with for contract employees do not get paid sick days or vacation time either, that just comes along with being contracted. Maybe all the contract agencies should be protested. Or better yet go to a company that is small enough to employ only a few full time security officers and give them sick time and vacation. The best way to protest is to quit working there....

Posted by H1B
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 29, 2014 at 5:52 am

Sigh. Google is a big problem. They use the same type of employee as is bedeviling this guy: Web Link

Posted by FirstAmendment
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 30, 2014 at 10:12 am

I love when all the red-staters come out of the woodwork to complain about how unions are destroying america and they should be outlawed.

-These are the same people that want the "illegals" to be rounded up and bussed out of the country. (Of course, by "illegal" they mean anyone that looks or sounds like they weren't born here.)

-These are the same people that want the ability to carry guns wherever they want.

-These are the people that may enjoy a comfortable wage that they are grateful for, but completely ignorant about how unions prop up their wage (either directly, indirectly or both)

-Many of these people barely made it through school and often proudly announce, "I didnt educate and I turned out good!"

-These are the people that want corporations to be able to set policies based on religious belief. (Well, only if it is Christian belief.)

-These are the people that believe corporations should have all the rights of human individuals.

The saddest is when self-proclaimed professionals in economics anonymously publish their opinions, because nobody in their field would take them seriously! (that's you political insider!)

Sorry folks, the Constitution was written to protect ALL of America's citizenry. Not just wealthy Caucasians and back-country hillbillies, but EVERYONE!

Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2014 at 2:05 am

Sparty is a registered user.

Seems to me that if you're not getting a lot of hours, you did something that the boss didn't like. Or that they are too many people out of the pool of guards to choose from. Do you really think Google who can afford anything would be OK with totally random staffing of security? Maybe there is a guard today. Maybe there isn't?

It's time for this guy to move on. What if the story was from the perspective of the mother of the child? The dad who wouldn't find another job. Maybe he can' which case...welcome to the "recovery"

Posted by hmax
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2014 at 6:27 am

I was never a fan of unions until the last decade or so when the disparity in wages for the blue collar sector vs. traditional "suits" was a widening gap... present day economic climate sees the haves and have mores dictating what blue collar sector will be getting paid as there is no control over what they want to pay, except for a paltry minimum wage set by the gov't. "If you can't do it for this price, I can get somebody who can"...a so-called Free Market benefits only the legions of the cheap and greedy who call Mountain View and environs home...And...Ideafarm...get over yourself...

Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2014 at 3:03 pm

How many of the pro-union voices here have actually belonged to one? The current big-union model manipulates wages based on fear and intimidation. Absent those qualities, it becomes instantly irrelevant. Legally sanctioned extortion is still extortion... I'll avoid it even if I might profit from it.

Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 4, 2014 at 7:01 pm

@Steve- "The current big union model manipulates wages based on fear and intimidation"? What, by "current" you mean in the 1930's? From what decade are you pulling your knowledge of anything unions do nowadays?

Currently, unions help workers avoid injuries and double shifts that destroy the quality of their work. Very recently 911 dispatchers were a union assisted matter because these dispatcher were forced to work 12, 16, and 18 hour shifts! Good luck with your urgent life of death emergency with them!

But their union suggested hiring more dispatchers instead of paying the more expense overtime to fewer employees, and as that occurred, many big problems were solved. That would not have happened without the one voice of many showing the benefit to all, including employers, because often assumptions are made and stuck to for no good reason. That's when unions really can help.

And with government workers, I know of many instances where the union analyses showed the various departments where they could save really big money without killing their workers medical benefits which would send them to Valley Medical Hospital on the public dole for care, or making them work without any paid sick days, so instead they spread their germs to everyone, including the public!

That's what unions have done lately.

And further more, I totally agree with what Old Ben has to say on this subject.

I also see unions helping the downtrodden and also employers greatly benefiting from them as well! So, because a union made a statement, loud and clear, to bring light on it, you call it "fear and intimidation"? I call your statement ill informed.

Learn some real truth: View the movie "Inequality for All" from Robert Reich, who has been a financial adviser to both Republican and Democratic presidential administrations. Learn and appreciate how fair wages contribute to the economy and how that helps us all. Even learn how this changes many other, seemingly unrelated, factors that influence our economy. And so much more. Somehow, I do not think you will, because one would have to be open minded to do this, and to really strive to understand it to learn & grow.

Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm

@hmax- Your comments show that you get it: The widening gap between those nearly starving and those who have (& have more) is making our economy very unhealthy for all. Huge money in a few hands is largely removed from circulation to mainly just be sat upon & held. Nor does it create jobs. Decent living wages for everyone working is put into circulation daily, except when workers must forego most spending because their wages are still equal to those wages for the same work that was paid in the 1970 (with the cost of living making them actually spread way further). This again makes our economy do worse.

Unions are the voices of many raised to reveal that they need fair treatment.

The Amazon business model employs a total of about 60K employees, all the while putting the retail book stores & all the little mom & pop places everywhere more & more out of business. The whole world is buying from Amazon. Good, let them. Then around here, I look for alternatives so we can have choices handy locally and get to pick from with hands on inspection, with easy return without shipping costs, and without having our complaints dealt with from a great distance.

Local workers are valuable. We should treat them as such. And knock the bashing of the one help they have: Their combined voices in their union.

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