There are several union-friendly candidates in the race for Anaheim mayor. Attorney and progressive Democrat Ashleigh Aitken is solidly in the union camp, particularly with UNITE-HERE Local 11 – the militant hotel workers union spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to impose the nation’s highest minimum wage on Resort district businesses. Former Councilwoman and Democrat Lorri Galloway also has a track record of supporting union priorities.
Another is council gadfly Cynthia Ward. Although she’s an alternate member of the Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee, Ward supports unionizing Anaheim Resort workers – which would dramatically amplify the political clout of radical unions like UNITE-HERE and their ability to elect progressive Democrats and defeat Republicans.
Her rationale echoes the progressive-Left narrative that the private sector manufactures poverty, thereby burdening government – i.e. taxpayers — with subsidizing the poor and dealing with ills such as traffic congestion, school over-crowding and lack of affordable housing. Writing on Facebook on December 23, 2017, Ward states:
“Union workers have stood up to Disney in Florida (with the potential for this spilling over into the Anaheim hotels) UNITE-HERE refuses to accept poverty wages any longer.”
“Who backfills the gap between what is needed to survive and what comes home in a pay envelope? Either We People offer social service programs to help a small paycheck stretch, or we live with the impacts of those trying to make ends meet with creative income efforts like the never-ending yard sale, cars for sale by owner lining the streets, and the always-popular doubling up in housing and its spillover parking and school crowding, etc. OR…we sit in traffic alongside those commuting from the apartment they can afford elsewhere and the job in our community.”
What do you know? For years, we Republicans have labored under the delusion that California’s high cost of living, rising housing prices and rent, failing and crowded schools, congested highways, etc. stemmed from taxes, fees, regulations, legitimizing illegal immigration and general policy stupidity authored by progressive Democrats in indentured servitude to government unions, the trial bar, the open borders crowd and the environmentalist lobby. According to narrative advanced by Ms. Ward and the Left, the fault lies with Disney, Resort businesses and Corporate America in general for not paying a $25 minimum wage.
Ms. Ward seems to think the solution lies in expanding UNITE-HERE representation of Anaheim resort workers – swelling dues revenues this politically radical union could use to support progressive Democrats, defeat Republicans and wage intimidation campaigns against non-unionized hotels.
More UNITE-HERE Members = Bad For OC GOP
Politically speaking, Ward’s prescription would be a disaster for Orange County Republicans, who fighting to be competitive in central OC seats like the 39th Congressional District, AD65, SD29 and SD34, and the 4th Supervisor District.
Local 11’s membership tripled between 2000 and 2017 – to 26,239 members; monthly dues have doubled during that time to $63 for annual receipts of $18.4 million in 2017.
Local 11’s growth has been in Los Angeles. UNITE-HERE has never successfully organized an Anaheim hotel by a vote of hotel employees. There are thousands of unrepresented hotel workers in the Anaheim Resort – adding them to the ranks of UNITE-HERE Local 11 would vastly amplify the radical union’s political strength.
Local 11 has no compunctions about applying existing resources in a bareknuckled fashion. In 2016, UNITE-HERE spent $160,000 to qualify referendum’s on two 4-Diamond hotels approved by the city council – not because those properties would receive a tax rebate, but because they rebuffed UNITE-HERE’s demand to represent their workers.
Disney obtained the same assistance for its planned 4-Diamond hotel, but UNITE-HERE didn’t referend that development agreement because it had an agreement with Disney that employees of the new hotel will be UNITE-HERE members.
UNITE-HERE was attempting to blackmail the hotel developer, offering to drop the referendum campaign in exchange for unionizing their workforce – which didn’t bother Ward, who was ecstatic when UNITE-HERE qualified the referendum:
Also in 2016, Local 11 flooded District 3 with union precinct walkers, which proved decisive in electing Jose F. Moreno, a left-wing academic who has been busily building a network of Berniecrats on central OC city councils and school boards. Growing the ranks of UNITE-HERE only serves to place considerably larger resources at the disposal of this progressive political project. Why would any member of the OC Republican Party be supportive of putting more resources at the disposal of the Democrat Party?
Ward “Proud” to Support UNITE-HERE Mobocracy
Ward also “proudly” supported the apex of UNITE-HERE thuggery in December 2015, when the union intentionally disrupted an Anaheim City Council – stomping and chanting “Shut it down! Shut it down!” to the point where Mayor Tom Tait adjourned it before the council could complete its business. UNITE-HERE didn’t get its desired outcome on a matter related to districting, and literally forced the council meeting to shut down. Afterward, UNITE-HERE leader Ada Briceno threatened to shut down future council meetings unless the councilmembers acceded to the union’s demands. to approve the so-called “People’s Map.”
In a Facebook conversation with left-wing Councilman Jose F. Moreno about the Newman recall, Ward reminded him of her support for mobocracy in action:
“The People’s Map. Shut it! Down! (For those like Mo too new and green to recall those days (way back in 2014-2015) THIS Republican was willing to protest alongside union folks I used to oppose, often quite loudly, after my own government skirted the clear will of the majority of Anaheim!”
UNITE-HERE’s action wasn’t protest – it was mob action intended to prevent the duly-elected council from carrying out the people’s business. And it had nothing to do with the “will of the people” – Anaheim voters never weighed in on “The People’s Map” (which was authored sub rosa by a Democratic operative) or any other district map.
Since Ward intends to be mayor – the chief presiding officer of the council – it’s curious she still points with pride to supporting a mob action to prevent the mayor and his colleagues from conducting the council meeting. That’s not how representative government operates – at least outside of banana republics.