Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Supreme Court Backlash Highlights Union Hypocrisy

President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has incensed union officials, who cite the nominee’s “pro-business stance” as cause for concern. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka recently warned that Kavanaugh “too often sides with employers in denying employees relief from discrimination in the workplace.” He even claimed the nominee has a “dangerous track record of protecting the privileges of the wealthy and powerful at the expense of working people.”

Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), followed suit. In her words: “President Trump has doubled down on his rhetoric and policies that tilt our country further towards billionaires and greedy CEOs, and away from all working people.”

Hypocrisy personified. Last year, four SEIU executives were fired or resigned amid allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct. Caleb Jennings, the leader of the union’s Fight for $15 campaign in Illinois, reportedly grew violent and shoved a female subordinate against a door frame. More than a dozen current and former staff members claimed the union’s culture of sexual harassment was an “open secret,” and that union leadership ignored their concerns until public pressure from the #MeToo movement became too much to ignore.

Around the same time, the AFL-CIO’s chief budget officer, Terry Stapleton, resigned after the “lewd” messages he sent a secretary became public knowledge. So much for protecting workers’ rights.

And don’t forget the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which has been linked to sexual harassment in the workplace by a group of female employees at a Ford plant in Illinois. Tonya Exum, a UAW member and one of the victims, put it bluntly: “Such harassment was not an isolated experience; it was pervasive behavior afflicting every corner of the plant.” Even worse, Exum’s union “representative” stopped at nothing to keep her silent—from slashing her tires to threatening her at home.

The bottom line is this: Before union officials judge Brett Kavanaugh, they better take a long, hard look at the skeletons stacked in their own closets.

Categories: AFL-CIOAFSCMESEIUViolence