September 6, 2011
CAPS Fighting Union Caucus Rank and File Election Bulletin #6
AUSTIN V RACHLIS
On labor day at 10 am CAPS Vice President Candidate Charles Rachlis was served with a temporary restraining order which will prevent him from attending to business at the CAPS office, from attending meetings where Blanning and Baker LLC (B&B) staffer Matt Austin and other named individuals are present. Matt Austin is seeking to make this restraining order permanent at a hearing this Friday September 9th at 9:00am at San Francisco Superior Court 400 McAllister St Rm 514. Working class and union activists, members and nonmembers of CAPS are invited to come and show support for our struggle against the corporate control of our union and for union democracy.
I went to the union office August 29th in order to examine the membership list as per California law, only to be physically blocked/assaulted at the door by B&B staffer Matt Austin, despite having noticed CAPS of my intent to on August 28th. For years every attempt to reach the membership to explain the conditions of our union and pass on the material we have accumulated has been blocked. Our struggle for our legal right to examine and copy the membership list has now turned into an attack on my personal integrity and rights in the guise of a restraining order.
This is part of an on going attempt to prevent our caucus from brining the violations of bylaws to the memberships attention.
My defense will address three issues. 1) Factual-the story concocted by Matt Austin has little to do with the reality of the situation and does not put the incident in a contextual setting. 2) Legal grounds-Under Code of Civil Procedure section 527.3, the court has no authority to issue injunctive relief against lawful free speech activity in connection with a labor dispute. This includes a dispute between the members and the staff of the union.
3) Political grounds: the role of B&B is playing has included prejudicing the president of the organization against myself in e-mails we have entered into the public record. The violations of bylaws and California Corporate code by Blanning and Baker’s staff as they are the executive director, have deprived the membership of an opportunity to discuss the strategy and tactics of the organization as it faced the worse attacks in its history over the course of the current and deepening economic crisis. Thus B&B act in the interest of the ruling 0.01% against the interests of state workers.
The CAPS union has been held captive by B&B, our membership has been denied our right to annual membership meetings for a decade, prevented from finding our co-workers across the state and engaging in democratic discussion, while our funds are funneled into the coffers of B&B, its favored law firms, lobbyists and politicians.
Our slate asks for support from workers both inside and outside our union because of the long term denial of our rights has prevented us from knowing our other members, who they are, where they work or how to talk with them.
Elect Will Wright President, Charles Rachlis Vice President Giorgio Cosentino Treasurer
Please pass this information to those who support union democracy!