Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pickets For Sale

Word comes that many unions, like employers, are now engaged in outsourcing labor. In what appears to be an effort to mold public perception toward a belief of increased union membership, unions are hiring non-members to walk the picket line. Stop blinking heavily and shaking your head, you read it correctly.

These “pickets for hire” come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including the homeless, students, retirees and day laborers. Given the declining percentage of union membership (it is estimated that between 12-16% of American workers are unionized), it is not surprising that unions would turn to such a tactic as their most recent contribution to the art of misdirection ... “hey, Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat” [that’s a blast from the past for all of you 40-somethings who can remember when Saturday morning cartoons were cool].

In a truly ironic twist [and you know I like those a lot], these hired guns are said to earn just over minimum wage for their services and receive no benefits. A union paying low wages and no benefits to workers? Could it be that unions, like many employers, are being forced to recognize economic reality? It simply boggles the mind.

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