As the movie “The Expendables”, featuring a cameo appearance by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, opens in theaters across the country today, state workers are staging protests across California to show they are feeling pretty expendable themselves.
Locally, protests were planned in Oakland and San Francisco Friday night.
Gabe Weis, a spokesman for state workers with Service Employees International Union Local 1000, said many members feel attacked by the governor’s imposition of pay cuts and furlough days.
Local 1000 filed a lawsuit against the state based on the governor’s most recent furlough order, claiming among other things that Schwarzenegger does not have the authority to implement the furloughs.
On August 9, an Alameda County Superior Court judge ruled to temporarily block implementation of the furlough days until a Sept. 13 court hearing in the case.
The furlough days were originally supposed to begin Aug. 13 and would amount to roughly a 15 percent pay cut for state workers, according to their lawsuit.
The governor has since appealed the ruling. As of Friday afternoon, the appellate court had not ruled on the appeal.
Although the protests are taking place at movie theaters, Weis said the union has no hard feelings against the movie itself or the people who worked on it.
“We’re not asking (movie-goers) to boycott, specifically,” Weis said. “But we will be happy if when (Schwarzenegger) makes his appearance on the movie, people boo.”
SEIU Local 1000 members gathered at 5 p.m. in front of Regal Cinemas Jack London Stadium 9, located at 100 Washington St. in Oakland. Workers are also gathering in front of AMC Loews Metreon 16, located at 101 Fourth St. in San Francisco.
Additional protests are planned in Salinas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, Fresno, Paso Robles, Ventura, and Simi Valley.