Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Is UFCW’s “Bad Production” Using Non-Union Labor?

The United Food and Commercial Workers union officials continue to target a grocery chain called Farmer Joe’s. Unlike most subjects of this harassment, there is a blog from a guy who’s concerned about Farmer Joe’s. That’s pretty cool. Here’s his account of the latest scene, with our emphasis:

I have to give the whole UFCW local 5 theatrical scene yesterday a two thumbs down. First, they started late. The union’s “rally” was supposed to commence at 5pm. Local 5 has to drive in from out of town so someone is always holding up the show because of bad traffic. Finally, their “rally” got started with a little over twenty people – executive board members, paid organizers, and the hourly non-UFCW folks you’ve seen in the parking lot who don’t speak much English and don’t really care what’s happening. The manager of Pete’s popped her head out the door and told them to take the freak show away from her store. The “rally” walked down the sidewalk and was left circling in front of the plywood of the soon to be opened La Farine French Bakery across from Joe’s on Fruitvale Avenue. Their bullhorn broke.

I guess it was about that time I lost interest in the bad production. I walked back to Farmer Joe’s entrance and talked to customers. Some were laughing. Some were rolling their eyes. Some wanted harassment forms.

There are a couple of interesting points. First, the usual tactics really only make customers mad at the union activists. More interestingly, though, is it sounds like the UFCW is continuing the trend of hiring their “supporters” who don’t really care about the issue. It happens all too often — whether it’s the unions paying millions to ACORN or the Carpenters hiring the homeless, it seems union bosses just can’t find good help without paying for it. Consider this earlier post from the Farmer Joe’s blog:

How long have the picketers been harassing us? Almost 7 months. The perverse thing about this snapshot is all these guys in this photo with orange leaflets are hourly workers, bought and paid for by the UFCW, but not belonging to the UFCW. It’s the latest in dirty tricks. It’s called “Outsourcing the Picket Line.”

Categories: UFCW