In the world of “the union” organizing is a game played to win, to succeed by any means necessary. Empty promises made and lies are told. The workers believe in the organizer like a sheep led to pasture by the butcher. They want to believe, they need to believe. Read More “The Butcher and the Sheep”
All union organizers, myself included, believed that we made a difference in the lives of the workers. I believed I helped, and most importantly, the worker believed it too. My promises were sincere. I knew the issues and knew how to make the worker feel included in the organizing process. The union was the workers, not me or the other unionofficials.
My job was to give them ownership and control over their campaign. Again, the illusion was that they would have a “voice”, they would meet with management and get what they wanted. Management was the workers’ enemy, and therefore became my enemy. The union campaign became the battleground, a chess game, and I never lost. My job was to do whatever it took to win, which was a simple task when I won over the trust of theworkers. The workers looked to me for the answers. I never really had any, but always provided them with the ability to hope. Read More “Setting: Union Hall”
In January of this year, Hostess filed for bankruptcy, just three years after emerging from their previous bankruptcy with ninety-three billion dollars in sales. This is compelling news, especially since the Teamsters are threatening to strike Hostess while in their weakened condition. The union is refusing to accept concessions as the company is trying to negotiate to maintain the ability to operate and show profitability. In essence, the Teamstersare willing to take Hostess to the brink of destruction and beyond if they don’t get what they want. Read More “Redemption through Pain”
As the debate about public sectorunions heats up we are hearing more stories about the abuse of power within the unions and how it affects the communities they serve and how this affects the people who these unions represent. Most organizers and local union officers start off with good intent. In the beginning, they truly feel they are doing a service for their coworkers and the community. Most local union officers never get to rub shoulders with international union bigwigs but for those who do start to move up, it can be a dramatic experience. Read More “Public Sector Union Leaders and Their Agenda”
For those who have read Confessions before, you already know that I spent many years serving as an Organizing Director with the Teamsters and Steelworkers and have writtenabout how I was the conductor in an orchestra of chaos during campaigns. The campaigns that were the most fun (before I was on your side) were organizing workers in a hospital environment. There were so many sensitive pressure points that we would make jokes behind closed doors about how we would get hospital leadership to bow down to our demands. Read More “Organizing in Healthcare”