Labor Group Calls on Khanna to Return Donations from Tech CEO Who Paid Some Workers $1.21/hr

Tech CEO Guy Gecht with Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison. Gecht was ordered by the U.S. Department of Labor to pay $40,000 in back wages to eight worker the company paid as little as $1.21 an hour.

CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | The Alameda Labor Council wants congressional candidate Ro Khanna to return a maxed-out contribution to his campaign from the CEO of a Fremont tech company who paid some of its workers $1.21 an hour to install computers.

Guy Gecht, the CEO of Electronics for Imaging, contributed $2,600 to Khanna’s campaign in September 2013 to unseat South Bay Rep. Mike Honda. However, around the same time, Gecht was alleged to have paid some Indian immigrants as little as $1.21 an hour, according to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor. The company was ordered to pay over $40,000 in back wages and a $3,500 fine, according to news reports.

Josie Camacho, the executive secretary-treasurer for the Alameda Labor Council issued a stern call for Khanna to return the donation. Khanna, like Honda, is a Democrat.

“When Khanna approached us for support, he promised that he was a progressive, but we’ve long been concerned that Khanna has been acting as a tool for right-wing millionaires and conservative CEOs to push their policies,” said Camacho. “Hopefully even he can agree that that there is no room for this kind of practice in Silicon Valley. Ro should immediately refund the $2,600 donation from Gecht.”

Khanna’s campaign responded, saying, “Congressman Honda seems to have just discovered that wage theft exists two weeks before an election. Further, he has had no problem taking huge amounts of money from defense contractors, big pharma, and many other special interests including PG&E–even after their criminal negligence resulted in the death of eight people. It’s unfortunate that Congressman Honda is playing politics on the backs of workers.”

However, this is not the first time Khanna’s large group of wealthy tech contributors has reflected poorly on the candidate. Last April, Khanna donated $5,200 in contributions from tech entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal to a non-profit that helps women and children victimized by domestic violence. Chahal faced 45 felony counts of battery against a woman, which was also taped by video cameras. The charges were later greatly reduced.

In addition, some contributors to Khanna’s campaign asked for their money back after claiming they only gave money to him in 2011 under the auspices he would run to replace Pete Stark in the 15th Congressional district, upon his retirement.

Categories: alameda labor council, CA17, campaign finance, congress, contributions, Electronics for Imaging, Fremont, Guy Gecht, Josie Camacho, Mike Honda, Ro Khanna, technology

6 replies

  1. By MW:

    According to what I read earlier today, the company that paid some of its employees only $1.21 per hour, after the first newspaper articles came out about the situation then did an “investigation” into its conduct in the matter, and as a result “discovered” the “reason” it so grossly and outrageously underpaid its workers was not that they were a cabal of sleazy scumbags, parasites, and blood sucking leeches who would pull whatever they thought they could get away with but due to an “administrative error.”

    That means we can totally get rid of OSHA and CAL OSHA, all DA's offices, and all other regulatory and law enforcement agencies, and also all court systems and prisons, etc, since in the future no one will ever be guilty of any crimes whatsoever, but only of administrative errors and misunderstandings.

    In fact,, Pol Pot and his co-conspirators were not guilty of genocide and murdering millions of people but only of administrative errors and misunderstandings. So therefore I propose they each donate five dollars to charity and also one or two local politicians and we then thank them for their generosity.


  2. Nice to see Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison, with his Diet Coke.

    Oh yes, he is a Honda supporter, even though he appears to be buddies with Guy Gecht, the $1.21 / hour employer.


  3. 1.21 per hour? They ought to throw him in JAIL!


  4. By MW:

    Rather than paying some of its employees only $1.21 per hour, and which saved it at least hundreds of thousands of dollars (the penalty of only $40,000 was a joke) and giving Mike Honda an election campaign contribution of $2,600, it should have paid those employees an even lower only five cents per hour, given10K each to Honda, Nancy Pelosi, Willie Brown, Dianne Feinstein, and to various charities, and also spent a few thousand dollars on treating various newspaper reporters to dinner in fancy restaurants, and then the SF media and local politicians would have made the company's owners into local heroes, and just as they did for Jim Jones, and later of Jonestown infamy..


  5. He gave Khanna the 2,600 dollars not Honda.


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