Latest Press Release

Released at: February 12, 2014
Contact: Carlos Rivera

CONTACT: 

Carlos Rivera: 415-260-7134 / carlos.rivera@SEIU1021.org

Anna Bakalis: 510-387-5341 / anna.bakalis@SEIU1021.org

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More than 450 Protest Twitter to End Corporate Tax Breaks

SAN FRANCISCO — Sups. John Avalos and David Campos marched to Twitter alongside hundreds of city workers, nurses, nonprofit workers and community members to end tax breaks and to deliver a message that corporate favoritism is coming at a price San Francisco residents can no longer afford.

“Whether you are a city, a tech, a nonprofit worker or an elected city leader, we all must stand up against sweetheart deals and for a better, more affordable San Francisco,” said Larry Bradshaw, a paramedic with the SFFD and SEIU Local 1021 Vice President. 

At the conclusion of the protest, a dozen people dressed as cupids, delivered a message to end tax breaks on an oversized card, with a basket of chocolates and a heart-shaped sign that said:  “We (heart) Twitter Employees / No Tax Breaks for Twitter CEOs.”

In 2011, the City estimated that Twitter’s tax break would cost taxpayers $22 million over six years. Last year, Twitter became a publicly traded company and now that tax break is costing SF taxpayers $55 million in lost revenue in one year. City workers, who provide patient care, public security and supportive services, believe the city needs to invest those funds into vital services.

Tech corporations and giant health insurers have thrived in a city where our quality of life — access to affordable healthcare, housing and transportation — is suffering.  Evictions in 2012-2013 were up 38%, while median rents are up 21% to 57% across the city.

The city has lost more than $600 million to corporate giveaways like the Google bus program, sweetheart developer deals and Big Tech tax breaks — enough to cover the cost to operate the entire MUNI system for one year.

Corporate health giants like Kaiser, Sutter and Blue Shield that contract with the city are price-gouging residents. San Francisco’s Health Service System estimates that from 2010 to 2012, the Kaiser health plan cost $87 million above the true cost of care.

“This lack of transparency in an out of control health market is not only hurting city workers, but all city and Bay Area residents for whom health costs, housing costs and transportation costs keep rising while wages remain flat,” Bradshaw said.

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