Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Rathke’s Rhetoric: A Union Guy Goes ’round the Bend

It wasn’t too long ago Wade Rathke referred to retailing giant Wal-Mart by saying “I love that damn store … Damned if I don’t go down to Sam’s for a new tire! They do have something that works. You can’t just convince people they’re evil.” Fast forward to 2007 and, several million dollars in union money later, the rhetoric is different – and over the top. It ought to embarrass the union bosses funding his campaign, but it probably won’t.

Rathke, a longtime union organizer and boss within the Service Employees International Union, has changed his tune. That change has coincided with a great deal of compensation from unions, such as SEIU and the United Food and Commercial Workers, to attack Wal-Mart. The SEIU International paid him personally more than $20,000 in 2005 for project coordination. The union also paid $500,000 to the Louisiana offices of Rathke’s much-criticized ACORN organization for a “Wal-Mart Organizing Project” and about $2 million in total to ACORN organizations.

That much green can shade one’s views on any matter in life. What’s Rathke saying now? On his blog on March 7, he made sure readers knew he wasn’t in the mood to reach any agreements with Wal-Mart:

… we are a long way from burying the hatchet with this outfit.

Unless it’s in between the company’s eyes!

Categories: SEIU