• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Big Labor’s $250,735 Gaffe

    Michael Kinsley once observed that “a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.” By that measure Michael Gittings, the treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 711, committed an enormous gaffe when he appeared in a recent Daily Show segment.

    Gittings’s Las Vegas–based union is protesting Wal-Mart for paying low wages and hiring non-union workers. As he put it, such behavior “comes down to greed.”

    Perhaps that is why his local outsources its protests of Wal-Mart to non-union workers and pays them the minimum wage. As Gittings admitted on air:

    You are talking about the actual protestors? Those are temporary workers who are provided through a temporary employment agency. … You have to realize our union members are working. We don’t have union members that are able to go down there on a daily basis.

    Protesting low-wage non-union labor with low-wage non-union labor? Ouch. The Daily Show exposé will probably ruffle many union feathers.

    Fortunately, union members do not need to rely on Jon Stewart to find out if their union says one thing and does another. The law requires unions to disclose their spending to their members.

    A quick check of Local 711’s financial disclosure forms reveals they spend a lot for rent-a-protests.* The union paid temporary help agencies a cool $250,735 for “picket line labor” in 2009. Rank-and-file members can debate the merits of protesting with non-union workers without waiting for The Daily Show to tell them about it.

    Of course, that can make for some awkward conversations in the union hall. The president of nearby UFCW Local 7 lost his re-election bid after these financial disclosure forms revealed he had put his children on the union payroll.

    That is why union leaders have lobbied Obama to gut these transparency regulations. Unfortunately, President Obama has decided to accommodate them. His Labor Department has begun rolling back the union financial transparency reforms of the past decade. Soon the only gaffes for the union movement to avoid will come on television.

    * Enter file number 028-079 to access UFCW Local 711’s annual LM-2 report.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Big Labor’s $250,735 Gaffe

    1. Bobbie says:

      Thank you James Sherk, It's always enjoyable when gaffes admit truth. Michael Kinsley, that was AWESOME! The people that took part, AWESOME! Unions have shown to be more destructive than their worth. Unions talk about greed that is there own. People who can speak for themselves ought to take a second thought about paying for this service.

    2. Brown Ohio says:

      All I can say is that Bobbie when you used the word (Awesome) in your comment about the interview I have to agree the interview was spectacular..I also agree that the people in the USA need to know that they have the right to be without union representation in there place of business ..Go to (unionfreeamerica.com) and they will help you get the UFCW out and or help keep them out of your plant! there are many links at this site that will point you in the right direction.Also I would like to add that if you are considering trying to decertify and or keep a union out you will need help from the outside as the ufcw will do anything they can in there power to keep the oposition of the union out including making up lies about the company and the people who oppose the union openly..I also would like to mention that if you go to the ufcw website you can read back on their news releases and all of the companies they want to organize are all unfair,they descriminate,they harass,fire,abuse and I can go on and on about how bad the companies are ,of course until they win then the very same companies they teardown to get into are great companies because the union has renegotiated the contract..Look at Motts what a great company to work for but yet they are terrible because they didn't want the union there,The contract was renewed and yet the ufcw say's neither side(employees)are happy.(see in their own words at http://www.ufcw.com) …I bet you the ufcw is happy as they get your money reguardless if your happy or not as that business(union/ufcw) continues to get paid. Like Bobby said if you can open your mouth and speak why would you need a union?Freedom of speech is one of many services you can provide for yourself you don't need a union to do it for you…

    3. Brown Ohio says:

      Did anyone see the dispicable Comment that is on the ufcw website that Obama had enough audasity to make about Walmart?? Funny he has the approval rating of a house fly but yet he gets a nice spred on the ufcw page how perfect is it when he has enough time to smack down a company like Walmart

      when those people don't want to be unionized or it would have happened already.My guess is after seeing the video of the treasuer(see video above) of the ufcw those people who suposedly running their mouths about Walmart don't even work there,And when you have been a target of the ufcw 95% of what they say about companies is a flat out lie.My guess is that if Obama didn't get the support(financially)from the ufcw and the ufcw from him both sides wouldnt have a good thing to say about each other as the ufcw is all about the politicians who support the unions and Obama is all about the union supporters who support him which in my opinion don't mean nothing as he isn't going to be around a second term.

      Walmart employees unite(say no to the ufcw and say no to Barac Obama

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×