Tuesday, September 13, 2005

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me...

Un - Freaking - Believable!
From Las Vegas Weekly (Click on the below title to read the whole bizarre article):

Picketers for Hire

The strange business of protesting jobs that may be better than yours

By Stacy J. Willis

The shade from the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market sign is minimal around noon; still, six picketers squeeze their thermoses and Dasani bottles onto the dirt below, trying to keep their water cool. They're walking five-hour shifts on this corner at Stephanie Street and American Pacific Drive in Henderson—anti-Wal-Mart signs propped lazily on their shoulders, deep suntans on their faces and arms—with two 15-minute breaks to run across the street and use the washroom at a gas station.

Periodically one of them will sit down in a slightly larger slice of shade under a giant electricity pole in the intersection. Four lanes of traffic rush by, some drivers honk in support, more than once someone has yelled, "assholes!" but mostly, they're ignored.

They're not union members; they're temp workers employed through Allied Forces/Labor Express by the union—United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). They're making $6 an hour, with no benefits; it's 104 F, and they're protesting the working conditions inside the new Wal-Mart grocery store.

"It don't make no sense, does it?" says James Greer, the line foreman and the only one who pulls down $8 an hour, as he ambles down the sidewalk, picket sign on shoulder, sweaty hat over sweaty gray hair, spitting sunflower seeds. "We're sacrificing for the people who work in there, and they don't even know it."

(One of the workers relates) "I asked him (union organizer Hornbrook), I said, 'How come we're working here for $6 an hour? I need you to help us find a better job. I want information on the union,'" Rivera said.

He was told, he says, to secure his own job with a grocery store, and then the union would help him to be sure the store paid him appropriate wages.

"This is an informational picket line only," Hornbrook said. "We're paying these people. They were out of work before (joining their picket lines). This is an in-between-jobs stop. Picketing isn't a career.

Read: See how great we are to give these shlubs a job at all!
To the UFCW:
Be ashamed. Be very ashamed.

As a union member, I can honestly say I am appalled.
This gives people another reason to bash unions.
Sadder still, this is a damn good reason.

CUG

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