Think you hate your neighbor? Be glad you don’t live on the 1600 block of Market Street. That stretch of San Francisco features both a bar and a union hall, the latter of which has made no bones about its utter contempt for the former.
The union hall is the confines of plumbers’ union UA Local 38, and is named for union generalissimo Larry P Mazzola Sr.
Mazzola just happens to loathe with a passion former supervisor Chris Daly, who just happened to recently purchase and take on operations of the bar, Buck Tavern. Why does Mazzola hate Daly so?
There’s a litany of reasons, from Daly’s perceived anti-union stance (one wonders if Trinity Plaza and One Rincon Hill were non-union job sites) to Daly’s opposition of appointing Larry Mazzola Jr. to a seat on the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (yes, dear reader, this was a Very Big Deal for a hot second way back in 2009).
Daly is close with Supervisor John Avalos, who used to be Daly’s legislative aide and now offices in Daly’s old quarters at City Hall (and who patronizes the Buck Tavern from time to time).
Avalos was chief architect of a local hiring ordinance that will some day — unless folks like San Mateo Assemblyman Jerry Hill gets his way — require job sites in San Francisco to find at least half of its workforce from San Francisco’s labor pool.
Hill hates local hire because it favors San Franciscans over San Mateans for S.F. projects (go figure). Mazzola hates local hire, he wrote in the most recent union newsletter, because it violates federal law and it circumvents the union hiring hall process.
Read his argument for yourself here. Mazzola did not immediately respond to a telephone call seeking comment Monday. The union rep who answered the phone at the Mazzola union hall said he could not comment.
Should it not be enough that Mazzola’s enmity be directed to the legislation that some of the Buck Tavern’s patrons favor, it’s also directed to the Buck Tavern itself, all of its patrons (in full disclosure: this author is one), its employees and its owner Daly.
Also included in the union newsletter is a boycott notice, asking “all journeymen and apprentices of Local 38” to “boycott and not frequent [Buck Tavern] this establishment before, during or after classes and/or after regular Union Meetings — or for that matter at any other time.”
“Chris Daly has been a long time enemy of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 38,” Mazzola wrote. “For me to tell you of all the problems our union has had with Daly and his anti union attitude… would take endless pages.”
A message for Tim Paulson, executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council — who has on at least one occasion patronized Buck Tavern — was not immediately returned.
Daly, who promised “free Happy Hour pool for any rank and file Local 38 member that wants to challenge their union’s leadership” in an Appeal interview last September, today offered his own analysis to the Appeal.
“Larry Mazzola hates San Francisco,” Daly said. “There’s no other explanation. He’s against San Franciscans having jobs, he’s against San Franciscans patronizing a local business.”
But aside from selling some Boilermakers to some union plumbers, all is not lost: a copy of Mazzola’s boycott letter is now prominently displayed on a wall at the Buck. And Ted Strawser, Daly’s business partner, plans to print T-shirts with “Boycott the Buck” on the front and the letter on the back. Charming.
“This is going to be better than when [Police Officers Association head Gary] Delagnes said, ‘I don’t drink Diet Coke, I drink screwdrivers — and I don’t sit down with Chris Daly,'” Daly said.
If you say so. Meet you at the Buck for a Mazzola.