Category Archives: San Francisco

Human Rights Fishermen Now Doing Well in San Francisco

According to an AP story, two fishermen who claim that they had been held against their will aboard Honolulu-based fishing vessels are now living in San Francisco using emergency visas designed for those who have been victims of human trafficking. The fishermen have also filed a lawsuit against their former employer saying that they were forced to work 20 hour shifts without the proper equipment, pee in buckets and sleep where bed bugs could cause running sores on their bodies. The two men say that they signed the contract in Honolulu believing that they would be well treated and be able to leave the boat whenever they chose. The two claim that they were held aboard the board against their will in a move that their lawyer compares to slavery.

Earlier this year, the AP investigated many such claims involving 140 boats where workers claim to make less than 70 cents an hour. As a reaction to the criticism, the Hawaii Longline Association has created a new contract. Owners wanting to sell their fish at seafood auctions beginning on October 1. By signing the contract, workers acknowledge that they understand that they will be living on boats for up to one year while their passports are held by the ship’s owners.

Currently, owners do not have to provide basic rights to their workers. Many human rights advocates are calling on Congress to rectify the situation so that these workers are treated like all workers in the United States.

Today, the two fishermen are doing well. They do, however, avoid Fisherman’s Wharf. Both men are employed by a liquor store. After completing their first job, one man goes on to drive a car for hire while the other man takes inventory at a large department store.

The men say that they like their new life. They admit to being scared of their previous boss saying that they want to avoid him. They say that the reason for their lawsuit is to bring people’s attention to this problem believing that most people are not even aware that the problem is going on today in America.



Bikeep Looking to Bay Area to Put Dent in Bike Theft

With San Francisco and the entire Bay Area serving as a popular community for bicyclists, dealing with the scourge of bike theft is something that has become a necessity. Looking to make their own imprint in this area is Estonia-based Bikeep, which installed their innovative bike locks at the BART station located in the 16th Street Mission district of San Francisco on the morning of June 13.


Connecting with BART allows those with transit cards that are used for reloading easy payments to rent the device, which offers a metal-shaped item that’s so far been impossible to get past. The CEO of the company, Kristjan Lind, indicated that his lock been put into use over a million times, with no thief achieving success in the theft department.


Using high-tech measures to battle this concern seems an obvious nod, given the massive nearby influence of Silicon Valley. In this case, such usage begins after signing up and then scanning in a code from a smartphone. This unique feature means that the only person that will be unable to unlock the device is the individual that rented the device.


Current plans are seeking to adapt this device so that removing the lock can be handled in remote fashion. Such an advancement will allow usage for others, presumably friends and family.


Right now, payments for the locks have been upfront, though customers lacking the money for such an investment have the option of paying on a monthly basis. Some experts believe that the company will eventually adopt a model that primarily mirrors recent success stories like Airbnb and Uber.


It’s likely that Bikeep will also look to another thriving biking community in Portland to make sure that the value of their product reaches the demographic that can benefit from such usage.


One factor that has limited greater funding for growth across the United States is the current lack of ways to help broaden the scope of revenue collection.