Has Labor Leader Ben Field Dropped the Ball on 49ers Wage Theft Violation?

By Robert Haugh

On September 19, 2019, South Bay Labor Council CEO Ben Field joined with City and community leaders at a press conference about wage theft at the stadium. 

Also, in attendance was Mayor Lisa Gillmor, City Attorney Brian Doyle and Ruth Silver Taube with the Santa Clara County Wage Theft Coalition.

The City announced its action to terminate the 49ers stadium management contract.

The City had discovered that the 49ers had failed to pay workers at least $85,000 for one contract for NEXSystems

Field said he believed that this was just the tip of the iceberg and that the team had many more possible violations. Field publicly urged Attorney General Xavier Becerra to investigate. 

But after three months, numerous sources say Field has dropped the ball. 

An active labor council member says nothing has been shared about this issue or any contact made with the Attorney General. 

City Hall sources say Field has not been responsive with any information.

We gave Field a couple of weeks to respond with more information about his actions, and to respond to his critics. 

We got a brief reply. “It is best not to go into much detail at this point, but we will certainly let you know when there is a newsworthy development,” Field wrote in an email.

49ers Financial Contribution

A few sources believe that Field made a mistake taking a $10,000 contribution from the 49ers in February. 

According to a labor source, Ed McGovern “facilitated the team’s contribution.” McGovern is a former 49ers lobbyist and a political consultant who works on a lot of campaigns for labor. 

We discovered and wrote about the 49ers’ contribution in August. Back then, Field told us:

“The Niners contribution was not a major part of our total fundraising.  I suspect that they would like to improve their relationship with Labor, which Labor would like as well.  We certainly have not refrained from fair criticism of the team.”

We’ll continue to follow this story and future 49ers political contributions. We’ll update it with any new information from Field or other sources.


  1. The problem with McGovern is that he hires the emotionally and mentally unstable to harass people online. He’s been doing it for years against SC Plays Fair and anyone who didn’t support the 49ers boondoogle of a stadium. Now McGovern has employed the same tactic against the mayor, councilwomen, and others. More light on McGovern and his cockroach would be appreciated.

  2. Shame on the righteous indignation heaped on Ed McGovern who has the Patton-esque qualities of a military general when it comes to political campaigns. For those who seek a rock upon which to build a foundation, McGovern is the best possible choice. His detractors deserve no pity and much scorn.

  3. I thought unions were about fair wages and benefits? Representing the little guy? This smells bad especially with a creepy guy wearing purple hangs around SBL and helps SBL candidates and is same guy who promoted the stadium and worked with McG. Hmmm, McG, creepy guy, SBL and Fields? And the 49ers? What a tangled web we weave….

  4. Hella good report, Robert.

    But really. Is anyone surprised a labor leader is corrupt?

    Maybe you should send your report to the Attorney Gen. Maybe he should be investigation more than the 49ers.

    • Let me get this right, you are OK with the Santa Clara POA making a contribution to Jeff Rosen and running an item about Jeff Rosen endorsing Pat Nikolai?? Come on man!! I have to give you the Jaborini award for hypocrisy.

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