To: All Bay Area Union Representatives, Members and Supporters
From: Dawn Torres, Business Manager, LIUNA Local 1141
Subject: San Francisco Magazine article on The Presidio Trust
Date: December 13, 2001
As some of you may be aware, San Francisco Magazine has published an article in its December 2001 issue entitled "Trouble In The Presidio". The article, written by Kerry Tremain, chronicles the background and activities of Jim Meadows, former Executive Director of The Presidio Trust.
LIUNA 1141 believes that the information contained in this article provides the public with important insight into the inner workings of the Presidio Trust and its management. Furthermore, the article raises serious questions about the future of the Presidio as a financially viable National Park.
Those of us at Local 1141 are all too familiar with the discrepancies and unethical behavior of top officials at the Presidio Trust. For a year and a half we have attempted to secure a collective bargaining agreement with the management of the Presidio Trust. We have not been able to secure such an agreement primarily because The Presidio Trust has continuously failed to bargain with us in good faith.
After reading the San Francisco Magazine Article on the Presidio Trust, it is evident that the Presidio Trust has been allowed by Congress to reestablish and follow a system, known as the "spoils system", that was previously determined to be corrupt. The Trust is allowed to circumvent laws designed to prevent patronage, nepotism and arbitrary actions including those laws involving hiring, termination, wages and benefits.
Federal employment laws, regulations and standards concerning fair employment, veterans rights, due process, etc. do not apply at the Presidio Trust. These losses of federal civil service rights have occurred because of a self-serving interpretation of the 1996 Presidio Trust Act by Presidio Trust management. As an example of their outrageous behavior, this interpretation has been used by Presidio Trust management to justify their nepotistic hiring practices (some of which are described in Mr. Tremain's article).
Presidio Trust management has consistently maintained that they have the unfettered discretion to hire and fire at will outside of the rules of the Federal Civil Service System. From The Presidio Trust's inception, its presidentially appointed board allowed Mr. Meadows to bring many of his associates to work at the Presidio Trust in high paid management positions without having their qualifications subjected to impartial review or set standards. At the same time the Presidio Trust terminated employees without access to due process, including a union brother suffering from a terminal illness.
For decades federal workers have fought for and won various labor rights, including job security and merit based hiring and promotions. Many of these workers have sacrificed their families and livelihoods defending these rights. Despite this, since Congress has failed to control the power of the Presidio Trust, Presidio Trust management believes it can ignore or even eradicate basic worker rights.
LIUNA 1141 calls on all members, persons and organizations who are interested in and involved with the 21st century labor movement to contact their Congressperson and request that they pressure the Presidio Trust to enter into good faith bargaining with Local 1141. Listed below are the names and mailing addresses of some bay area Congressional representatives:
Hon. Nancy PelosiHouse of Representatives, CA. 8th District, 450 Golden Gate, 14th Floor,
San Francisco CA 94102
Hon. Lynn Woolsey House of Representatives, CA. 6th District, 1101 College Avenue, Suite 200, Santa Rosa CA 95404
Hon. Tom Lantos House of Representatives, CA. 12th District, 400 South El Camino Real, Ste. 410, San Mateo, CA 94402
Hon. Barbara Lee House of Representatives, CA. 9th District, 1301 Clay Street, Suite 1000N,
Oakland, CA 94612
Hon. George Miller House of Representatives, CA. 7th District, 1333 Willow Pass Road, Suite 203, Concord, CA 94520
Remember an injury to one is an injury to all!!
top - back