UnionFacts.com Launches a Broadside Against the AFL-CIO

By February 14, 2006Labor Unions

We about sprayed our copy of the Washington Post with coffee yesterday morning upon seeing this full-page ad on page A5. Yup, that wold be the front section, Main Street. Unbelievable. That was good enough to hold us over until somebody sent us a few pictures.

Apparently this group — The Center for Union Facts — staged a protest out in front of the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington yesterday. Remember, folks, the AFL pickets, they don’t get picketed — at least not until today. Of late, the AFL folks in Washington are fond of rallying around a giant inflatable rat and contracting out the dirty work by hiring homeless people for substandard wages — and no benefits — to picket for them while the chiefs stay warm inside on these cold winter days. Well this group went one better and found themselves a giant inflatable dinosaur, and not a homeless person in sight. In this shot you can see the dinosaur with the banner on the side that says, “UnionFacts.com – The Facts They Don’t Want You to Know”. In this one, you can see the dinosaur and the AFL-CIO sign in the background with at least one apparently bemused or bewildered passerby. Classic. Finally, in this shot, you see the pickets with their signs: “Labor Leaders Dis-Organized” and “AFL-CIO Colossal Fossil”. Wish we’d thought of it.

Lest all be lost on fun, there is a fair amount of substance behind this effort. We went and checked out their site, and would urge you to check it out, too. There you’ll find a treasure trove of information. There is detailed information on over 100 unions, including the salaries of their top officers and an accounting of their political donations. There is an entire section for union members, listing their rights in elections, decertification and as whistelblowers. All in all, pretty powerful information in the hands of the average union member who doesn’t really agree with the direction of their union or how their dues money is being spent.

So check out UnionFacts.com, and please do your part to get it around to union members. If they know the truth, to paraphrase the Biblical adage, it might one day set them free.

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Loney says:

    About the guy complaining about getting fired on non-union jobs above.

    I was union. I got hurt on a job and had to be drug tested. I failed the drug test because of a prescribed weight loss medicine. The company claimed they called me about it for two weeks which they didn’t (I even caught them admitting they didn’t know my phone number). I was fired and the union did……..nothing.

    On another job, I hurt my back and had to be out for two weeks. I was told I was being put on workman’s comp. Instead I never got anything for those two weeks. The union said….get a lawyer. What am I paying dues to them for?

    Now I’m no longer a union member. The truth is they are scared sh@#less of large companies and will not go against them for you.

    How to break down conditions, hire enough guys out of the hall.

  • JAMILA BUSH says:

    Pat-

    Union members aren’t being held against their will. They are Union because they want to be Union. Some people have solidarity in their blood. Some people care about their neighbors, brothers and sisters, and their fellow human beings. If it weren’t for Unions would there be FMLA, sick leave dependent care, annual leave, good health care, raises for people who aren’t sleeping with their managers, etc. The list could go on. If Unions weren’t so great, then why would scabs want all the benefits Union members get? Why would they not be satisfied with making the $8 an hour the company really wants to pay them, or do they really want that $17 an hour rate the Union can get them? How come its always the lazy ones that want to climb on the hard working employees back to take a ride?
    They all want what Unions provide but don’t want to give up the dues that pays for it. Where has this country gone when everybody is too lazy and blood sucking to pay they’re dues. I can’t wait for the day Unions negotiate for Union members only, see if those scabs come running to pay dues when they are making THE minimum wage. HEY YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. And as a PROUD UNION MEMBER and President of my Local Union, I can truely say Unionfacts.com IS FULL OF BULL***T! Why do they use the term “BOSSES”? They are called “Officers” these Officers do what the Union Body tells them to do, nothing more. Members are the ultimate ruling body! I am married to guy who is in “Management”, he says the only reason he would not like Unions in his workplace is because he couldn’t do what he wanted to do. But if he were a regular employee he would be a Union member. Unionfacts.com is DISHONEST, they are using reports filed by Unions to twist the truth. They show that my Union has used almost 2 million to contribute to Politicians, however the neglect to say, the Union members contribute this independantly out of their pay checks. They never say they DO NOT use our dues money. Yes, I choose with thousands of other members, to contribute my hard earned money TO PROTECT MY RIGHT TO MY UNION amongst other things! Mind your own business if you want to be a scab or you choose to be devoid of honor and integrity. But don’t mess with my rights and harass my Union brothers and sister with your bogus propaganda.

    Postal Worker by CHOICE
    UNION MEMBER BY BLOOD!

    IN SOLIDARITY,
    President Bush

  • Pat Cleary says:

    John:

    Not sure I agree entirely, but what an articulate and well thought out comment. It’s posted — thanks for reading, and commenting. Let’s hope this doesn’t start a trend toward rational debate! :)

    Pat Cleary

  • John Annal says:

    Perhaps unions are bloated, inefficient carry overs from a previous epoch. However, based upon practices I have seen (and experienced)they are more critical now than in previous years.

    I have a worm’s eye view of this issue. In order to understand the weight of what I am about to say, you have to know that I was vociferously anti-union from 1965 to approximately 2000. In 2000, a string of events led me to change my position.

    My son was injured on the job. It was a procedure that had resulted in more than twelve identical injuries previously. It was identified, the procedure re-written. Two more injuries resulted in the year from the re-write and my son’s injury. He was not a union member.

    I worked as a temp at at high tech manufacturing/repair corporation. As a temp, no union. Indeed, the whole organization was non-union. I worked there for several months, patiently waiting for a slot in repair. One opened up and I was put into it. It was not much better, only a two dollar an hour raise, but it helped. Three days into it, the temp agency informed the company that action was not authorized and they couldn’t find anyone capable of replacing me at the wage offered. I was put back into QA, promised that a slot would open in two weeks in repair. I told them that this was the fourth time they had made that promise. If it didn’t open up in two weeks, consider this my two weeks notice.

    I was fired. I wasn’t a “team player.”

    Next, I worked again as a temp for another hi tech concern. Work slowed down and they were looking at letting some temps go. Wiser heads prevailed. It was cheaper to keep them on at a reduced capacity rather than foot the bill for a ramp-up when production picked up in a few months. The decision was made at the top level to keep them on and give a full paycheck no matter what the number of hours worked.

    I local low level supervisor did not agree with this policy. He required the temps to remain on station, even without work.Several quit in disgust, or signed out and took the cut in pay. I was not affected as there were always boards needing repairs and the permanent workers couldn’t keep up. My hours and paycheck were secure.

    When I protested this action, I was fired. Again, a non-union position.

    In 2003, I was injured on the job. It took four months to get the surgery approved, and another two years to get the second surgery approved. Again, non-union. It took me getting a lawyer to get what should have been given by the company as a matter of course.

    What is my point in this? There is a need for one of two things to happen. Either a return to the unions, active membership and an honest appraisal of procedures, policies and levels of compensation for workers and union officials or:

    Those who truly desire to hold onto, perhaps increase the level of manufacturing in the U.S., to re-examine their beliefs and practices; To drop management in favor of leadership; To honestly examine wages, benefits, bonuses, incentives et al and see if it makes more sense to cut from the top down rather than the bottom up.

    You cannot motivate anyone worthwhile with money alone. A high wage/salary will not keep a good worker. However, the RATIO between the hourly wage and the compensation package given to management can do a marvelous job of driving a wedge between hourly/salary. For instance, in my last high tech position, the rate of compensation was 600 to one between the CEO and myself. I was not even the bottom of the pay scale either. It was 1200 to one for those I worked with on the assembly line.

    In order to hold onto U.S. made, you need to hold onto the workers. In order to hold onto the workers, leadership, not management, is the required model. Loyalty is a two way street and must be modeled. The CEO needs to make his bottom line the welfare of his employees, the profit margin the secondary concern.

    In my experience, when the leader takes care of his people, they take care of him. I learned this from both my father and Dr. Edwin Land and it has served me well throughout my life.

    John Annal