Thursday, June 30, 2005

IF WE CAN'T ENFORCE LAWS ON THE BOOKS, THEN WE'LL JUST DO A CAR WASH SWEEP. Becky Monroe recently brought the DLSE to the carpet about the Carwash Worker Law [AB1688] that has been on the books since 01/01/04 that DLSE has blatantly ignored. Well, not really ignored; they did pull garment enforcement agents (trying to enforce AB633 regulations!) to assist in this week's car wash sweep. The Labor Commissioner's boss, Jose Millan, is quite the political veteran of state service. He was Labor Commissioner back in the days of Howard Hernandez, the 1999 DLSE convicted extortionist. The current Labor Commissioner, Donna Dell, was watched on television stating DLSE's car wash position with a, "we're working on it" response. It's a shame that Becky Monroe doesn't know how things work at DLSE: little or nothing is done at DLSE unless someone complains to or involves the media. Then, in a rush to cover their collective posteriors, they'll offer some useless sound bite. Afterwards, they'll scratch their heads and come to the wrong solution. By then, enough time should have passed to ignore it. If it can't be ignored, then a new puppet-head replaces the old puppet-head and the "changes-are-a-comin" sound bite reappears (think about TIPP in the 90s and EEEC in 2005, both spearheaded by Mr. Millan). It's amazing to see the speed of DLSE's knee-jerk reaction. On 05/16/03, NBC investigative reporter John Grover did a story on dirty secrets at the car wash <>. After former Labor Commissioner Art Lujan took his lumps, Mr. Grover did a follow up story discussing the citations & fines issued by DLSE staff, but you can know more details. Request a Public Records Act (PRA) and mail it to: Thomas Grogan-Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, PO Box 420603; San Francisco, CA 94142. Specifically, you'll request the car wash sweep citation amounts, citation types, and the citation dispositions (dismissed at hearing, sent to collection, money collected?). Fast forward to 2005. Bet Tzedek criticizes DLSE on June 21st, and the DLSE responds with a sweep 8 days later. Instead of addressing the issue of not having car wash businesses regulated and licensed, DLSE falls right back into their old habits with the "stop-what-you're-doing-and-start-the-sweep" mentality. Shortly, I believe that Mr. Millan will issue some lame press release about how his unit issued a million citations for a total of a billion dollars! Then, he'll want a pat on the back for a sweep well done! Unfortunately, it's the aftermath of those citations that really tell the tale.


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