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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jesus Christ Loses Woodfin Backwages Fight

Woodfin CEO & Christian Evangelical Laments:
In Emeryville It's 
Woodfin Workers: 1, Jesus: 0

Woodfin Hotels CEO Sam Hardage tries to do the Lord's work.  A self-professed Christian evangelical, he's a member of the Council for National Policy,  a right-wing group pushing what it terms Christian precepts on policy-makers.  It's also why Mr. Hardage fought so hard against Emeryville's 'Living Wage ordinance for Hotel Workers' and then refused to disburse unpaid wages, even after ordered to do so by a 'secular' court.  As a good Christian, Mr. Hardage was presumably following Christ's example. After all Jesus would certainly never have paid His workers what they earned if He had owned a hotel chain back in the day in the Bethlehem/Nazareth metropolitan region.  Mr. Hardage put up a good fight but in the end the Woodfin workers proved more than a match for Sam or Jesus.
Sam Hardage: Works
for Jesus and against
his employees.

The non-profit organization East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), recently announced that Woodfin workers finally received their back pay, some $125,000 in a negotiated agreement divided among 54 workers.  Woodfin for its part, hired a phalanx of attorneys and fought the workers and the City of Emeryville for four years in an effort to impose upon the employees the moral philosophy of Jesus Christ: that the wealthy dwell upon a mountain of riches and dispatch the less fortunate to penury and pestilence. Mr. Hardage and Woodfin spent an undisclosed sum on their losing cause, a figure likely exceeding what was owed to the hotel maids.  After their bruising loss, they have indicated they now intend on obeying Emeryville's laws.

Nora Davis:
Not too fond of
working families.
Measure C, the ordinance that mandates a living wage for hotel workers in Emeryville was passed by voters and implemented five years ago in December.  During that time, Measure C has delivered a cumulative 1.2 million increase in employee wages. The ordinance increased the pay-rates by up to $5 per hour (most received less), putting up to $5,000 a year into the wallets of working families, helping them make ends meet without relying on public assistance.

Ken Bukowski: He's poor so
why should workers make money?
The Measure was passed by Emeryville voters on November 8, 2005 and was endorsed by the Alameda Labor Council, UNITE HERE Local 2850, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Assemblywoman Loni Hancock.  54% of Emeryville voters approved Measure C despite $115,000 spent by the Chamber of Commerce and the hotels to defeat it.  Local politicians who worked to defeat the living wage in Emeryville include Council members Nora Davis, Ken Bukowski and Dick Kassis.  Political operative and Chamber of Commerce political action committee (EMPAC) chairman John Gooding also joined in the fight against the living wage.  See Tattler story (May 18).

Another loser: John Gooding,
strangely he works for Barbara Lee
and against living wages.
Mr. Hardage, in addition to spreading Jesus' word, has sat on many conservative councils and public policy think-tanks including the Council for National Policy, an umbrella organization for social conservative activists described by the New York Times as a "little known group of the most powerful conservatives in the country".  Mr. Hardages' colleagues on the CNP board included Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.   Mr. Hardage also sits on the board at the Adam Smith Institute, an anti-government libertarian think tank that is among the most effective groups advocating for privatization of government functions in the United States.  Rounding out the list of powerful appointments is the Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger  appointed State Commission on Judicial Performance.
Mr. Hardage was the Republican nominee for Governor of Kansas in 1982 and was twice an elite 'Bush Pioneer,' the highest echelon of campaign donors that each bundled contributions of more than $100,000 for former President George W. Bush campaigns.

The impressive political work of Mr. Hardage was joined by our own Emeryville City Council members and Jesus in their fight against living wages for Emeryville workers.  


  1. So sad to think of how much that jerk spent on lawyers' fees to squash his workers' rights.

  2. For the most part, these workers were undocumented, working illegaly at the hotel. Thanks to the union pressures and the company washing their hands of inpropriety, these poor souls lost their jobs. A living wage does not mean much to an unemployed illegal where most of the time a job is a job and puts a meal on the table for their family. There is a cause an effect to everything. Look who gained out of this game of charrades. Shame on the union, the lawyers, and EBASE.

  3. We had to destroy the village in order to save it. Shame, shame, shame.

    If we can just root out the last vestiges of unions in America and corporate power can operate without regulation or union harassment, then everyone will be much better off because the wealth will trickle down. This I know for the Bible tells me so.

  4. Dear Lord,
    I'm not a praying man, but could all of these people get what's coming to them for their hypocrisy and the hatred in their hearts?

  5. All this verbal defense of Woodfin over the years from the Chamber and their Council sycophants is where the shame belongs. After Woodfin lost in court, there's now no defense: Woodfin Hotel is a lawbreaking corporation in our midsts. Why is anyone coming to the defense of that?

  6. People who are against unions...get ready to start sending your little children back to work in the mines. I think the age of 7, or maybe its 8, and they can start earning some money for the family! No more will you little children burden you as they spend 14 hours a day working the mines. Not only do you NOT have to pay for child care, they bring home a small amount of money for you to spend of booze and paddles you can beat them with!

    Do some research on job conditions during the industrial revolution, you will soon understand the need for unions.