We told you yesterday about one of the latest elections losses — and an embarrassing one at that — for the Teamsters. Now we find video, courtesy of the Union News Blog, of video showing Teamsters members behaving … um … less than professionally. Bonus: see if you can spot intimidation of replacement workers! (Here’s some background.)
Archive for December, 2007
Employer Report writes on the writers’ strike:
Click over to get the full story. And this recent Get Fuzzy comic strip may amuse you, or it may be another sign that the writers’ strike (like so many modern labor disputes) is better suited for the funny pages than the news section.
The Teamsters have been fighting an embarrassing battle against its United Food and Commercial Workers brethren for rights to collect dues from employees of FreshDirect, a New York City grocery novelty. So who won the big vote? Neither! According to a UFCW website:
FreshDirect workers voted against joining a union, but the United Food and Commercial Workers will renew its push to organize the online grocer in the new year, according to reports. Employees of the company, based here, had been courted by both UFCW Local 348S and Teamsters Local 805, but 80% of the 530 warehouse workers who voted over the weekend chose not to organize with either union, the reports said.
It’s not a proud moment when you have to admit 80 percent of the voting public reject you. In politics, it’s a landslide. For today’s organized labor, it’s another day at the office.
And some still wonder why union bosses want to rid themselves of the anonymity of the voting booths that allow such outcomes.
UPDATE: Similar rhetoric from the Teamsters after another election loss can be found at NRTW’s blog.
There’s this interesting tidbit, which weakens the union case of employer intimidation during secret ballot elections:
After a lengthy trial, on November 30, 2007, the NLRB Judge ruled that the Union engaged in physical and verbally threatening conduct against pro-Hospital employees. The Judge also found that a Union representative had improperly offered a bribe to the leader of the decertification effort in exchange for his abandoning that effort. The Judge concluded that such incident “coerced the exercise of freedom of choice in the election” and overturned the Union’s former narrow victory.
Union member dues dollars are funding a new 527 ad in Iowa. Most notable is how prominent SEIU is in funding the group — as in providing almost all of the money (with a token from UNITE HERE officials). From MSNBC’s First Read:
The group, Alliance for a New America, is funded mostly by local SEIUs, a group which has endorsed Edwards. Mundy Ketowitz Media got the bulk of the money ($750,000) with music and postproduction outsourced, according to FEC documents. In who’s given to the group, it’s mostly SEIU and one contribution from UNITE HERE. Here’s how the money breaks down: Ohio SEIU ($122,000), California SEIU ($400,000), local SEIU in Los Angeles ($100,000), local SEIU in Oregon ($60,000), local SEIU in St. Paul ($18,000) and Minneapolis ($36,000), Chicago UNITE HERE board ($100,000), NAGE COPE ($50,000), which is the political education arm of the National Association of Government Employees, which is also SEIU. COPE stands for Committee on Public Education.
We wanted to be sure to draw your attention to a recent op-ed in the East Valley Tribune from the Center for Union Facts offering some perspective on the lawsuit by an Arizona grocery chain against a union attacking the company. Basha’s, a local family-owned firm, has been in the crosshairs of the United Food and Commercial Workers union for quite some time, and the labor organization’s tactics have gotten aggressive — allegedly illegal, even. We thought we’d add the global view:
The union has an equally cynical campaign against Bashas’ — with an equally cynical name: “Hungry for Respect.”
But now UFCW’s hunger for member dues money has taken it to the courtroom. Again.
nstead of limiting itself to defending against UFCW’s endless smears on the publicrelations battlefield, Smithfield made the decision to file suit under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. So, too, Bashas’ has gone to court, charging the union with defamation and interfering with the company’s operations.
Click here to read the whole thing. Meanwhile, Bill Stanton of the Tucson Citizen is lauding Basha’s:
No surprise here:
•Expect any substantive workplace regulatory changes to be put on hold pending the outcome of the presidential election. There’s not likely to be the political will to do anything but possibly a minor adjustment to the Family and Medical Leave Act.
But, if and when a Democrat takes the White House, expect to see the Employee Free Choice Act, which would allow employees to form unions when a majority signed cards authorizing union representation.