The Union Label Is Hypocrisy: Unions Hire Minimum Wage Non-Union Workers To Do Their Picketing For Them

Unions scream that employers should unionize workers, pay high wages, and offer unsustainable benefits.

Unless THEY’RE the employer, of course.  That’s different.  Then they show just what hypocritical vermin they truly are.

When it comes to unions hiring workers to do their dirty work for them, suddenly unionization is irrelevant, minimum wage is more than fair, and paying out benefits is stupid.

JULY 16, 2010
To Protest Hiring of Nonunion Help, Union Hires Nonunion Pickets
Jobless Recruits Get Minimum Wage ‘To March Around and Sound Off’


WASHINGTON—Billy Raye, a 51-year-old unemployed bike courier, is looking for work.

Fortunately for him, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters is seeking paid demonstrators to march and chant in its current picket line outside the McPherson Building, an office complex here where the council says work is being done with nonunion labor.

“For a lot of our members, it’s really difficult to have them come out, either because of parking or something else,” explains Vincente Garcia, a union representative who is supervising the picketing.

So instead, the union hires unemployed people at the minimum wage—$8.25 an hour—to walk picket lines. Mr. Raye says he’s grateful for the work, even though he’s not sure why he’s doing it. “I could care less,” he says. “I am being paid to march around and sound off.”

Protest organizers and advocacy groups are reaping an unexpected benefit from continued high joblessness. With the national unemployment rate currently at 9.5%, an “endless supply” of the out-of-work, as well as retirees seeking extra income, are lining up to be paid demonstrators, says George Eisner, the union’s director of organization. Extra feet help the union staff about 150 picket lines in the District of Columbia and Baltimore each day.


In Atlanta, Timothy Baker, a 40-year-old unemployed warehouse worker, says his money-making strategy has been to walk picket lines for $8.50 an hour for the Southeastern Carpenters Regional Council. “It’s something to do until you find something better.”

While many big unions, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, frown on using nonmembers in picket lines, “we’re not at all ashamed,” says Jimmy Gibbs, director of special projects for the Southeastern Council. “We’re helping people who are in a difficult situation.”

For four hours at the recent Mid-Atlantic carpenters’ union protest in D.C., about 50 picketers-for-hire—some smoking cigarettes, reading the paper, or on their phones; a few leaning on canes—walked in a circle outside the McPherson Building. The place is home to a Starbucks, a spa and offices. “Some days, the beat is very good,” said James Harff, chief executive officer of Global Communicators LLC, a public-relations concern, tapping one foot in his second floor office. Other days, he can hardly hear himself think.

“Low Pay! Go away!” and “That Rat Gotta Go!” the union stand-ins chanted as other workers banged cow-bells and beat on a trio of empty plastic buckets. Eric Williams, a 70-year-old retiree who said he needs extra cash to buy groceries, wore a sign saying that Can-Am Contractors, a nonunion Maryland drywall and ceiling concern, “does not pay area standard wages & benefits.”

The target of the campaign is the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, which is opening new classrooms on the second floor of the McPherson Building, and is having renovations done, including dry-walling by Can-Am.

“It is bizarre,” says Lynne Baker, a school spokeswoman, about the union’s hiring of nonunion picketers.

Inside, Juan Flores, Can-Am’s foreman, said his nonunionized workers are paid fairly. Of the protesters, he said, “I don’t blame them—they need the money, but they look like they are drunk or something.”

The union’s Mr. Garcia sees no conflict in a union that insists on union labor hiring nonunion people to protest the hiring of nonunion labor.

He says the pickets are not only about “union issues” but also about fair wages and benefits for American workers. By hiring the unemployed, “we are also giving back to the community a bit,” he says.

That’s another thing about liberal hypocrites.  Do you remember the Democrats falsely demagoguing the Tea Party events as “AstroTurf”?  And that wasn’t some token Democrat, that was Nancy Pelosi.  That was a giant lie, of course, because there was no evidence the tea parties were doing anything of the sort, but plenty that liberals were doing it.  Oh, liberals don’t mind “Astro Turfing” to their hearts’ content.  But don’t you dare do what liberals do, because it’s evil and they’ll scream bloody murder about it.

Which is another way of saying this:

I like the union that makes their non-union picketers wear a sign that claims that the outfit they’re bitching about “does not pay area standard wages & benefits.”  I mean, neither does the union that’s doing the bitching.  But moral consistency is hardly the left’s cup of tea.

And you have to love that self-serving claim: “By hiring the unemployed, we are also giving back to the community a bit.”  Because that’s exactly what businesses would do if the left just allowed them to do it without picketing them for it.

Just remember, the next time you see “union members” out picketing, it’s probably “Astro Turf.”  While the real union members – who don’t have the personal integrity to stand up for what they’re bitching about – are home drinking beers.

Last point: this sounds like the jobs Obama created through his “stimulus.”

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