Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

UNITE HERE, Unless You Wish to be Treated with Respect

UNITE HERE officials have a lot of gall. Their reason for existence is to protect the interests of employees. Yet they are being sued for as much as $75 million for allegedly slashing a key retirement benefit for their own staff. Now there’s word from Employment Law 360 of another bizarre case exposing UNITE HERE leadership for their hypocrisy. An August 1 story says in 2005 the union was sued by at least one of its own staff members for misclassifying its employees to avoid paying overtime.

We don’t know how this will turn out, but it’s clear that the union leaders are fighting to make sure their organizers — who may work as much as 80 hours per week — are kept on a short leash and held to the same standards that union bosses complain about for other working Americans.

As the plaintiff’s lawyer rightly says, “It’s a funny case, in that the unions are supposed to be protecting their workers … But in this case, they’re not.” No, they’re not.