I like Miguel Santiago personally. I’ve spent much of my life as a union man all the way from lowly inside organizer all the way to First Vice President of a union local. But I have to mete out criticism where it is due.
The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Committee On Political Education (COPE) voted to endorse Miguel recently to succeed John A. Perez in the 53rd Assembly District where Miguel was recently hired to be District Director. COPE did so apparently knowing full well that for years, Miguel has owned a significant amount of stock (somewhere between $10,000-$100,000 worth) in the most rabid anti-union company in America — no, not WalMart: HOME DEPOT.
“Words may show a man’s wit, actions his meaning.”
― Benjamin Franklin
Would you invest your union’s pension fund in Apartheid South Africa? Or buy shares in Stolichnaya Vodka while our LGBT brothers and sisters are being persecuted in Russia? Closer to home would you sink money into WalMart stock? If these sound like rhetorical questions to you then you have to wonder why Assembly Candidate and L.A. Community College Board Trustee Miguel Santiago openly discloses on his Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests that he owns Home Depot stock!
If you’re even remotely left of center and claim to be pro-union, how can you ratify corporate bad behavior by being a long term stockholder in a firm like Home Depot and to profit from that bad behavior. Home Depot has 340,000 employees who could sure benefit from being unionized.
Home Depot is at the forefront of the anti-union movement in America. Just before founding Home Depot, Bernie Marcus and his partner Arthur Blank were both fired by their boss, Sanford Sigoloff, for setting up an improper fund to fight the unionization of Handy Dandy stores in San Jose, California.
On October 17, 2009, Marcus and Rick Berman (who runs the anti-labor “Center for Union Facts”) co-chaired a national conference call for corporate CEOs to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), during which Marcus made the following statements [Huffington Post, 2/27/09]:
“This is the demise of a civilization,” said Marcus. “This is how a civilization disappears. I am sitting here as an elder statesman and I’m watching this happen and I don’t believe it.”
Donations of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars were needed, it was argued, to prevent America from turning “into France.”
“If a retailer has not gotten involved in this, if he has not spent money on this election, if he has not sent money to [former Sen.] Norm Coleman and all these other guys, they should be shot. They should be thrown out their goddamn jobs,” Marcus declared.
Earlier he argued: “As a shareholder, if I knew the CEO of the company wasn’t doing anything on [EFCA]… I would sue the son of a bitch… I’m so angry at some of these CEOs, I can’t even believe the stupidity that is involved here.”