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  • When the Going Gets Tough, Unions Protest

    What happens when the going gets tough for unions? They protest, even if they don’t have a legitimate reason to do it (other than an inability to compete and their plummeting membership rolls).

    Take the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters (MRCC), for example. As The Mackinac Center for Public Policy reports, the union has been protesting Ritsema Associates, a Michigan construction company since last summer – even though its members don’t work there. Why? The union claims that the company pays “substandard wages and fringe benefits,” but they don’t offer any evidence of their claim.

    The protest is taking a highly visible form – protesters and banners at sites where the targeted company is doing work, on top of letters to the company’s customers asking them to kick the company off the job. The MRCC goes so far as to claim that the union has a labor dispute with the company, even though no such dispute exists. See the full story in the above video from the Mackinac Center.

    But the MRCC isn’t the only union protesting businesses where it has no dispute. In January, several members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) chained themselves together in protest at a Chipotle Mexican Grill in Minneapolis. Their reason? Well, Chipotle fired a substantial number of its Minnesota employees after the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement informed the company they were illegal workers. The SEIU, which did not represent any of the workers, reportedly didn’t like the way in which the employees were fired. Notably, the SEIU didn’t claim that any of the employees were legal workers.

    Unions typically resort to these aggressive tactics against non-union companies to either try and organize the company or, if the unions represent workers at a competing business, to financially hurt their competitor. If the boycott drives customers away from the nonunion company, or discourages clients from hiring the nonunion company for fear of protests, that business goes to their members.

    We’ll see more of that come along in a big way as the United Auto Workers launches its campaign to target non-unionized transplant factories (e.g., Asian and German automakers). Strangely, the NAACP, Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow PUSH coalition, and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee have expressed an interest in coming to the UAW’s aid.

    But protests aren’t the only form of union activism. As Heritage’s James Sherk writes, public sector unions, which now account for more than 50 percent of the union membership in the United States, are seeking increased political power to effect change for their members. And with their higher pay scale and benefits, that’s going to impose a high cost on taxpayers.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to When the Going Gets Tough, Unions Protest

    1. George Colgrove, VA says:

      ". . . public sector unions, which now account for more than 50 percent of the union membership in the United States, are seeking increased political power to effect change for their members. And with their higher pay scale and benefits, that’s going to impose a high cost on taxpayers."

      Not only that, it will really begin to pour on the disgust for public employees.

      All I can say is let them protest. In these economic times when the federal government's policies and corruption threw over 9 million innocent Americans out on the streets and out of a job, these unions are getting fewer and fewer people listening. The tax based economy of the greater District of Columbia is doing extremely well while the rest of the country has lost dearly. If they want to protest, it will only make the American people sicker and have more contempt for these public servants.

      As for the private sector unions go, they should really reconsider what they are doing. There are a lot of people that would line up for those jobs. I surely hope the corporations decide to start firing people for such frivolous behavior.

    2. Bobbie says:

      I say arrest for defamation. Here is another favorite of government who doesn't have to follow the rules and can spew any lies out their mouths for the only attention they want, negative.

      It's none of anybody's business what the business pays or how it's managed unless it's government. That's between the business and the people who choose to apply. Yet another double standard of this guy using his people tools. Nobody asked for this guy to interrupt this business, yet the term "union" is a favorite of government and protected by government no matter how tasteless and disgusting they conduct themselves ruining the lives of others. it's obvious government is promoting civil unrest and will not stand for truth or decency because that doesn't reflect the government rulers…

      Unions are unneeded today and useless in productivity. Action and discipline has to be met.

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    5. Jim Jensen, Grants P says:

      One primary reason why California is broke is unions have driven nearly every if not all assembly plants out of the state. I watched General Motors in Fremont fall in 79' soon followed by the Ford Motor Company in Milpitas. Caterpillar Tractor in San Leandro left the state as did the Mack Truck assembly plant in Hayward. In 1993 the Peterbilt plant in Newark closed its doors. I worked for Mack Truck and saw first hand union employees sabotaging trucks on the line so they wouldn't start up at the end of the line. United Auto Workers Union is solely responsible for driving these companies out of the state and leaving thousands of workers out of jobs. Unions….. who needs em'? California doesn't. Democrats love unions as being in a union is about as close as you can get to being a socialist and being socialist they will certainly vote democrat.

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