Big Labor is making big news again this week – and again, it’s for all the wrong reasons. From union intimidation tactics and threats to huge political payback, let’s take a look at some of the more egregious Big Labor stories making headlines across the country.
Ironworkers Suspected Of Assault & Arson
In Philadelphia, federal prosecutors brought indictment charges against “10 members of a Philadelphia-based Ironworkers union,” Local 101, for charges including assault and arson. If that’s not bad enough, the “brazen alleged attacks [took place] on the sites of a Quaker meetinghouse and a Toys R Us.”
Making matters worse is a longstanding Pennsylvania law that exempts union organizers in a labor dispute from some criminal statutes, making it nearly impossible to prosecute someone engaging in extreme thuggery. No wonder Big Labor has such a chokehold on the city – the law is practically set up that way.
Meanwhile, In Tennessee
A second group of Volkswagen workers at the company’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant filed a petition to intervene in the United Auto Workers’ objection to recent election results rejecting unionization. In their petition, workers write that “the union and VW are in collusion to bring unionization to the Chattanooga plant.” Considering the reaction from one VW official who – after workers voted against unionizing – declared that rejection of the UAW may end up costing Chattanooga future investments from the company, we think it’s fair to say that’s not a stretch.
According to a news release from the workers’ group, “if Volkswagen officials do not respond to the UAW’s objection … then ‘appropriate arguments against the objections and in favor of upholding the election results may not be presented.’” The UAW has until March 7 to present their evidence to NLRB officials.
Senator Corker Speaks Out
In their original appeal of the Chattanooga vote to the NLRB, the UAW singled out U.S. Senator Bob Corker as one of the Republican officials that “unfairly influenced workers” to oppose unionization. A Chattanooga native, the Senator is now speaking out in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
According to Senator Corker, working with the UAW during the 2008 auto industry bailout opened his eyes to the fact that “its main interest was its own survival,” not that of the employees or companies they represent. It was that because of that experience – and his belief in speaking out on issues important to Tennessee – that he “joined community leaders and a number of employees in Chattanooga” to ensure workers understood the full picture of unionization and not just one side. Read the Senator’s full op-ed.
Even With Dwindling Numbers, Big Labor Has Big Money
Even as Big Labor struggles to remain relevant in the face of dwindling interest and membership numbers, they still manage to find a way to make political payback look like their national pastime. According to this Bloomberg piece, Big Labor is “pledging a flood of cash and volunteers” this year. Individual unions are also expected to spend “tens of millions of dollars to reach out to non-union voters.” We guess it pays to have deep pockets when membership is falling and you can’t win an honest secret ballot election.