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Alternative Voice for San Jose:

tim gildersleeve

Candidate for San Jose City Council District 1, 2022


I was among the minority that voted no on Measure B (pension reform). The reason is philosophical: workers should negotiate directly with management on issues of work-related issues. Measure B circumvents this process. Everyone knows that the city of San Jose is facing tough fiscal issues. A bankruptcy would be devastating for the city of San Jose and would probably have a national effect. I give the union workers the benefit of the doubt that they care about the city and would negotiate a package that would work for all involved.

In a broader sense, I believe in the unionization of “big-box” stores. Many low wage jobs have been created in recent years by these establishments. These workers have no one to represent them when dealing with unjust management decisions. Their wages can remain stagnant for long periods of time. Many of these workers are trying to support their families on these low wages.

The smaller businesses and family owned stores should be left alone. I do not want to see union involvement with these establishments. However, I believe unionization of “big-box” stores would give these smaller businesses a more level playing field. The issue to me is balance of power, checks and balances, and fair treatment for all involved.

My anger was fueled when big business tried to sell Californians proposition 32 during the November 6th, 2012 election. In my opinion, the best way for businesses to bust unions if that is their goal is to: 1) Pay their workers well, 2) Treat their workers fairly, and 3) Be transparent and keep the communication flowing between management and workers. In reality, this doesn’t happen. But to use tactics and propaganda to bust unions is unethical and immoral.

"Walmart should be unionized. So should McDonald's. So should every major big-box retailer and fast-food outlet in the nation. So should every hospital in America.  That way, more Americans would have enough money in their pockets to get the economy moving. And everyone - even the very rich - would benefit. As the president said, America cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it." From Robert Reich (February 8, 2013 San Francisco Chronicle)