Look for the Union Label

Count me among the majority of people who believe that labor unions are ultimately destructive to the American economy. I have little doubt that environmental extortion being accused in this report is in fact happening and I would further speculate that Trades Council officials would not only admit to it off the record but do so happily.

The use of environmental laws to forestall development is not unprecedented and only serves to underscore how perverse the complex web of environmental regulation has become in California where desired projects, housing, that have met review requirements could be threatened at any point by any organization with an agenda not driven by environmental concern. It is just one of the many reasons why the building cost per square foot is so high in the Bay Area relative to other parts of the country.

Spiers should pull the plug on this development unless the City steps in to fight for the integrity of the overarching system but being as how this is SF and a labor union is involved, I can’t see any scenario where that would happen… meanwhile jobs that could be created are stalled and tax revenue from property and construction activity is lost.

He contends the appeal on environmental grounds is a strong-arm tactic to get him to agree to have the project done exclusively with union labor. (Documents show Spiers has committed to using a union general contractor and said about 70 percent of the work could be union.)

“Even if his claim to us that the project may be ’70 percent union’ is to be believed, this means at minimum that three (out) of 10 jobs on a large, prominent and highly valuable project will almost certainly not pay wages and benefits that are standard for this area and necessary for a decent standard of living,” Building and Construction Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer Michael Theriault wrote in response.

[From City Insider : Developer says green concerns really a shakedown]

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Get the Gist of Things Quickly

I’ve been participating in the private beta for Gist and have many good things to say about the product but to simply say that finally there is a product that brings your inbox together with web content and activity streams is huge. What Friendfeed did for social networks Gist can do for email and it is beyond question that the email marketplace is several orders of magnitude larger than social networks, now and in the future.

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What do I like about Gist? In a nutshell the fact that it is a cloud based service as opposed to something I have to download and install means two things. First, I am not frozen out if I use Gmail (which I do) instead of Exchange and secondly I can expect the service to expand faster than an on premise solution in terms of the range of content services enabled. I also appreciate that I have to manage very little in terms of profile and settings in order to make it work, Gist is very good at determining the appropriate settings for external content.

The Gist team has done a lot with a very small team and what we are seeing with the evolving product is essentially the realization of social CRM as a category. Not only can I quickly see previous correspondence and profile data for a contact – my real social graph – but I can also see what that person is publishing, which speaks directly to their interests and perspectives.

There is so much to appreciate in this service that I think it’s best to stop writing and send you over to Gist.com to signup for your own account, you won’t be disappointed.

More on this topic (What's this?) Read more on Beta at Wikinvest