Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

“Only Jimmy H. is rolling. Somewhere. And, likely, out of embarrassment.”

Anti-corporate campaigns are all the rage these days for union leaders who are too lazy (or crazy) to allow workers to vote for representation through an elections process which includes both secret ballots and fair time for employers to tell their side of the story. Top (dis)honors for union leadership in anti-corporate campaigns have to go to the United Food and Commercial Workers executives, who are disgracefully attacking Wal-Mart, Smithfield, and other smaller companies with an array of underhanded tactics. Today the Arizona Republic‘s editorial page weighed in, denouncing the UFCW’s smear of local grocery store Basha’s and concluding that “The tactics of the United Food and Commercial Workers against Bashas’ food stores must have Jimmy Hoffa turning in his grave . . . no small feat, considering Hoffa’s grave may have several tons of concrete over it.”

The Republic offers some background:

With private-sector union membership in the United States dwindling rapidly, the UFCW has decided that “no” just isn’t good enough. Now, the union is giving intimidation a try.

Oh, it’s intimidation dressed up as consumer watchdogism. But the union’s intended effect, to force Bashas’ managers either to negotiate a contract or lose customers, constitutes a cartoonish paean to old-school union bully tactics.

But there’s more to the story. These are old tactics warmed over for UFCW:

This Arizona baby-formula “scandal” is almost a mirror image of a 1995 event in Virginia, also staged by the UFCW. Then, the union claimed to have found rampant evidence of out-of-date baby formula at Food Lion supermarkets, while government inspectors had found almost none. And, not coincidentally, the union accusations about Food Lion’s abuse of the public trust immediately followed its failed efforts to unionize Food Lion employees.

For more, check out