John Earl responds to Register article on hotel unions’ efforts to organize Anaheim communities.


Photo of Anaheim coalition members by Ken Steinhardt, OC Register

A message to Eric Altman quoted in the Register article “Coalition: Latino voice needed to ease tension in Anaheim.”

I hope that the city of Anaheim gets district voting —  district voting that isn’t gerrymandered to only make things worse.  Even with the added risk of cronyism, that might help bring more equal representation — more so in the long run, but probably not by much.

The real key is the hotel union that you used to work for and that shares control of the organization you currently work for — the same union I once worked for (then called HERE, now UNITE/HERE).

That union is the biggest obstacle to progress for Anaheim working class people because it is corrupt to the bone; if it weren’t, it would have been much more successful in helping to organize what is a virtual political gold mine of grass-roots “power of the people” in the Disney Resort area.  There is nothing more powerful than the right to vote — not to work, if necessary — in an area where the economy is dependent upon the tourist industry workers for success.

But how pathetic that the hotel union has failed to organize much of anything in the past 10 years in Anaheim because it has been preoccupied with its own internal power grabs instead of the needs of the workers; and now, it and the other local corrupt unions seek to co-opt community grass roots efforts. Same old same old.

Anaheim residents: Are you tired of police abuse and lack of political representation? If so, then beware of the smooth talkers who would co-opt your movement for their own power gains–and join the IWW or start a real union of your own, run from the bottom up.

—–John Earl · Founder, Editor and Publisher at Surf City Voice and former organizer, researcher and dues paying member of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union, Local 681 (now Unite/HERE Local 11).

About Surf City Voice

John Earl is the editor of the Surf City Voice. Frequent contributor Debbie Cook, a former Huntington Beach Mayor, is board president of the Post Carbon Institute.