Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Family Comes First

Sometimes life imitates made-for-TV drama. Almost perfectly timed to coincide with the finale of “The Sopranos”, The Village Voice reports of an equally intriguing family story unfolding in Long Island.

The family-run Special and Superior Guards Association, an independent union which represents 2,700 security guards on Long Island, recently kicked out 60 members who work at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center. The Voice reports:

This addition-by-subtraction approach emerged as the leaders sought to combat a growing group of dissidents who have challenged their control of the union. Their solution? They decided to fire a healthy chunk of their own membership.

Officially the union said the guards filed “too many grievances,” but the union’s president, James Pizzulli, offered a more candid explanation:

“Let’s put it this way, a union is only as strong as its membership. So if the membership is weak at a certain location, it is like a cancer. It spreads. They start to spread rumors, things that are untrue. And before you know it, you weaken the foundation of the house you are trying to build …

“I said if they don’t follow the leadership of the union on what we direct and how we do things, then I will drop youse as a group. I won’t renew the contract. I will just go there and say, ‘I don’t want youse no more. You take your group and if it makes you happy, go form your own little union.”

Categories: Ending Secret Ballots