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San Francisco: Not as Union-Friendly as You'd Think

Scott Lucas | February 6, 2014 | Story Politics

Though San Francisco has been a Democratic town since forever, the power of the unions have declined since the days when Harry Bridges and Jack London roamed the earth. One union-backed group, called Labor 411, is trying to reverse that trend through an old-fashioned method: Fanning consumer guilt.

Labor 411 just released its 2014 directory of union-made goods and services for San Francisco. It makes for fascinating reading to see what businesses are on the list—and which ones aren't. Many places that seem from the outside to be part of old, stodgy, conservative San Francisco are in fact employers of union labor. And many spots that are considered cutting edge and progressive don't have union representation for their workers.

You can check out the whole list online, but here are some of the highlights of unionized places:

The Moscone Center
The Bohemian Club
The St. Francisco Yacht Club
Buena Vista Cafe
John's Grill
Chancellor Hotel
Claremont Resort and Spa
Fairmont Hotel
Four Seasons
Hilton Hotel (Financial District and Union Square locations)
Davies Symphony Hall
Opera House
AT&T Ballpark

And what businesses not on the list? Plenty of places that appeal to the left-of-center sensibility, like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's; practically every hippie-granola restaurant and cafe at which you've ever ordered a single origin espresso or a kale and sprouts salad; and tech giants like Facebook and Google.

So let's review: The Bohemian Club, where Donald Rumsfeld hangs out? Unionized. The Blue Bottle that you're reading this article at? Good luck.

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