Rank and File Scientists Demanding our Rights

Blanning and Baker Thug H. Mattson Austin Laughed out of Court 

California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS) members want to know was CAPS money used by H. Mattson Austin in his unsuccessful attempt to slap a three year restraining order on CAPS member and candidate for Vice President Charles Rachlis?

After assaulting and threatening Charles Rachlis, H. Mattson Austin with the help of his Blanning and Baker (B&B) corporate lawyer Lisa Crvarich failed to convince the judge that the Rachlis attempt to examine and copy the membership list was either stalking or civil harassment. The Judge was not amused by H. Matttson Austin’s pathetic attempt at red-baiting by quoting a blog discussion out of context.  When corporate union thugs red-bait you, you can bet they are trying to hide their dirty under clothing!   Co-workers, CAPS members, solidarity trade unionists and community activists who attended the proceeding to support union democracy and to stand against the targeting of Rachlis laughed the B&B team out of court!

But the euphoria of this victory must be  short and circumspect.  Because B&B has successfully eliminated democracy from the CAPS election process by censoring the CAPS Fighting Union Caucus candidates campaign statements. This, on top of the erasure of the members right to an annual membership meeting, as per the 2011 February amendments to the bylaws has destroyed any vestige of democracy in CAPS.

Members should receive our caucuses censored statements in the ballot booklets in the mail on October 3rd or 4th.   The combination of censorship and denying the caucus access to/or even use of labels from the membership list (as is our right as per California Corporate Code 8330) has prevented our caucus from reaching the entire membership with our critique, program and action plan.  DEMOCRACY DENIED!

By slapping the temporary restraining order on Rachlis, B&B showed that they lie about and then use the courts against members.  Any half wit lawyer could have told them their case was baseless but they proceeded.  This was an attempt to drain Rachlis and the fighting union caucus of energy and trick us into foolishly wasting money on a lawyer.  Rachlis and others lost work pay to attend to and fight this baseless charge.

Yes we beat Lisa Crvarich and H. Mattson Austin without a lawyer because we had truth and labor solidarity on our side.  This abuse of the court system and attack on CAPS members for pursuing our rights is a sign that B&B don’t want the membership to know that  for them CAPS is merely a corporate profit center adding to their bottom line.


Our caucus supporters helped construct an e-mail list of CAPS members and that allowed us to reach some members. But then someone intervened and got the State to bounce many of our e-mails.  So if you find this information useful please share these posts with other CAPS members as you may be the only person in your unit, branch or department getting access to the uncensored statements posted at our blog.

In these closing days of the campaign our attempt will be direct members to our blog

And to our You Tube presentations.  The first two outline the problems of democracy in CAPS while the third opens a discussion of our action plan.  Planned future posts will explain our action plan and program (found in Election Bulletin #1 on the blog) further.

In closing:

One of our co-workers asked what would you have done differently than the current leadership.

With union democracy and regular membership meetings we would have initiated a discussion among the members of the various strategy and tactics that labor can apply.   As described in reports posted at the fighting union caucus blog we proposed alternate methods of organizing when Blanning and Baker were informing us of their, soon to fail, strategy of relying on the courts and politicians.

We argued against wasting money on the politicians and law suits which were dead end bets.  At the DTSC meeting two years ago we predicted that they would lose in court. Rather we advocated for and built solidarity unionism because we know the crisis is bigger than just our bargaining units.  At CDPH we built the  inter union organizing committee because CAPS, SEIU, and the other unions’ leaderships did nothing to organize the membership.

CAPS missed many opportunities to build local and statewide solidarity during the fight against the furloughs and later they ignored the support of the Wisconsin public workers.  When the ILWU 10 took it on the chin for standing up for public workers, answering the AFL-CIO call for No Business and Usual ILWU 10 shut the port!  But the CAPS board  refused to defend ILWU 10 with even a solidarity letter! CAPS/B&B joint leadership takes job actions off the table –strictly verboten!  A union which is unwilling to withhold labor power has no power!  This corporate unionism is totally incapable of mobilizing the workers to win. But they easily funnel our dues to B&B’s partners (Blanning, Austin & Voight’s) pocket books.  Even while failing the state workers B&B partners make bank!

So the question is do we face the crisis and put the blame squarely on the billionaires and their failed control of the economy or do we buy the lie that workers cause the crisis with our over bloated pensions, holidays and benefits? Working people have already paid for this crisis with declining wages, unemployment, and foreclosures!  Today we hear that the TWU (the most important union in NYC) has joined the Wall Street occupation movement, there is a rumbling in the labor movement.   Will CAPS join and take a lead in the growing movement of labor and working people who say “enough is enough”!  Do we stand by and ignore the 46 million American driven into poverty, while those who administered the crisis make off like bandits?  Or do we fight for our children and our future by uniting with labor, black and brown, with students and teachers with unemployed, unorganized, undocumented and marginalized workers in a united march toward workers power!  We say: Labor must play hard ball to win!

CAPS under the current leadership will continue on its course and it negotiating team sign more give back contracts or we can change course build a strident negotiating team that bases it strength in a united workers movement.  We can get organized and build a united strong labor movement to create solutions developed and initiated by and for workers!  The choice is ultimately yours.

If the membership thinks it can send PAC money to the politicians, to B&B, to the lobbyists and lawyers and regain all they have lost with that strategy then we are deluding ourselves.  Resignation, demoralization and defeatism follow this course and inertia kicks in.  This is what keeps B&B’s profits flowing. Instead the CAPS fighting union caucus suggests we get organized and change the very world we live in! We’re scientists damn it not sheep!


October 2, 2011 - Posted by | CAPS election 2011 | , , , , ,

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