Monday, March 14, 2011

Michigan Unions Use Astro-Turf Protests to Intimidate Businesses

From the Blaze: This is an old story that just wont go away. That's because the unions are still using their brand of anti-business threats and intimidation. These same union hire people at minimum wage to stand at the polls on election day. The union doesn't pay overt minimum wage or give any benefits. Talk about hypocracy.

Imagine that you are a business owner and the local union demands that you reveal the private payroll data of your 120 non-union employees within a week.  If you choose not to answer this demand, the union will consider you to be obviously “paying substandard wages and benefits.”
In addition to that proclamation from the Union, your customers will be notified by mail that a labor dispute exists between the union and your company and that any job sites where you have contract to perform work will be subjected to protests in the form of ‘bannering’ and the distribution of leaflets.
Got it?
  • The union has targeted a non-union business.
  • They demand that the business allow the union to examine private payroll records, or else.
  • Customers of the business are also targeted with on-site protests with banners and picket lines (often staffed with non-union day labor being paid less than union wages and not afforded health benefits).
This has happened, and in fact is an ongoing story.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, has brought to light the attempted strong-arm tactics of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters in a story by Ken Braun.
Video #1 offers the overview of the story:

Video #2 backs up the charge that the Carpenters Union is using astro-turf tactics, hiring non-union day laborers, paying these workers less than union wages and not offering benefits.

The unions should note that the unemployment rate in Michigan (from where this story originates) is still sitting at 11.3%, almost 2 1/2 points higher than the national average.

According to a statistic quoted in the Mackinac Center piece, more than 78% of the carpenters in Michigan are non-union workers, and the company under attack claims their 120 employees have not complained about wages, benefits or employer treatment. This appears to be nothing more than union bullying.


  1. Chris did you hear about those Wisconsin protesters going on a hunger strike? Many have been found eating when they thought no one was looking.

    Faking a hunger stike? While the left-wing have been fawning over people like,"Matthew Schauenburg - Prepared to Die For Democracy" the real media have been following these Gandhi wanabes to see where they go after not eating all day. It turns out they go to eat.

  2. Harrazing non union businesses will continue. Unions need to refill their FUNDS to back all the States making stands against Public Unions. The only other alternative is to Raise Dues and that could alo happen.

  3. Great post Chris!

    AstroTurf is one thing but it really comes down to greed on the part of union, any union, leadership.

    This is proven when a company with an established union workforce are in contract negotiation's, which by definition is a "labor dispute", there is no, repeat no, bannering or picketing.


    The union is already receiving the dues from the membership.

    It's all about greed from the top.

    Chop-off the head of a snake and it dies.

  4. It's great to see a Governor actually DOING something other than forcing daycare providers into a union against their will, and kicking the can down the road, and blaming Bush, and skipping around the world on our dime. Please go here to show your support

    A Summary of the Governor's Budget and Tax proposal by Brian Calley

    One thing is clear, our current tax and budget systems are failures. While you can balance this year's budget in any number of ways, to truely balance the budget long term, there is only one way - Jobs. Our main objective is to create an environment where jobs can grow. We believe that people want jobs more than welfare, special tax treatment or increased state services.

    Foundation for Michigan’s Reinvention

    Tax Reform:

    Making Michigan competitive again - a net quarter billion dollar tax cut. This proposal establishes a simple, fair and efficient tax system that treats everyone the same with a competitive, low rate for all tax payers.

    Corporate Income Tax (CIT)

    ▪ Repeal the job killing MBT
    ▪ Implement a simple, fair and efficient 6% Corporate Income Tax
    ▪ End the practice of government picking winners at the expense of losers
    ▪ End the double tax on 95,000 Michigan small and mid sized businesses (S Corps, LLCs, Partnerships and Sole Proprietors)

    Personal Income Tax
    ▪ Maintain scheduled rate reduction from 4.35% to 4.25%
    ▪ Eliminate most credits and exemptions (including pensions), ending the practice of picking winners and losers
    ▪ Maintain 100% exemption for Social Security Income
    ▪ Maintain Homestead Property Tax Credit but modify to treat all tax payers the same
    ▪ Maintain disability and military exemptions

    Budget Reform:

    A budget that is truly balanced and structurally sound now and in the future

    ▪ Spending reductions of $1.4 billion
    ▪ Incentive based revenue sharing
    ▪ Tuition incentive to keep the cost of a college education affordable
    ▪ 48 month, life-time cap on welfare benefits (exemptions for incapacity and hardship)
    ▪ State spending tied to measure outcomes through use of performance metrics
    ▪ More police, fewer buildings in the state police budget
    ▪ Medicaid maintained for the poor and elderly
    ▪ Over 50% of state tax revenue devoted to education
    ▪ $125 million in economic development appropriations

    Addressing Long-term Obligations:

    Taking responsibility

    ▪ The state has borrowed money at a faster pace than personal incomes have grown over the past 20 years
    ▪ $1.6 billion in outstanding general obligation debt
    ▪ $14.5 billion in long term liabilities for "Other Post Employment Benefits"
    ▪ $27.6 billion in long term liabilities for school “Other Post Employment Benefits”
    ▪ $15.1 billion in state and schools unfunded accrued liability for pensions

    While other states are still taking on more debt, this budget is balanced and actually pays $400 million down on this debt

  5. Any of you seen the trailer for Snyder's new movie, Gone in 60 days. Its a story of how an Outsider republican Governor manages to drive the votes away from his party within the first 60 days.

    I hear our grandparents and the AARP all have big roles in it. I can't wait till to see it.

  6. Joe Im a Great Grandparent and know many in my generation whom support the Govenor. AARP is now a faction of the Demoncrats which explains why membership has gone down. Did they not get some 4000 million dollar program involving Socialized Insurance.

    Snyder is just trying to recover some of the last 8 years from the Canadian Govoner who is now teching in California. Hope its not Government 101 the "Blown away Years".

    Once again we will see. I have no doubt Public Unions will pull a Wisconsin here too. Union dues just for the transportation of those Professional Protesters will be staggering but I understand some .Org out of the White House is helping. Time will tell Joe thats a fact!

  7. Al,
    I know plenty of retirees pissed about the pension and these are white collar engineers. We'll see how bad it gets.

  8. @Al LOL, that was one funny post!

    Reading through Jeremy's post, I thought that some of this Governor's proposals are too liberal. For instance, the keeping schooling affordable part does not address the underlying issue of WHY the cost of schooling is growing out of the reach of many, particularly the low wage earners. Some things in the plan hurt me or people I know, and some things will help me or people I know. The homestead will probably hurt, the MBT change will help. All in all a fairly middle-of-the-road proposal. WHY are liberalunatics foaming at the mouth about this??!?! I thought we all had to sacrifice, but apparently "all" doesn't apply to the communists. Nothing spends as well as other people's money does it jerks?

    The thing with the Emergency Financial Managers is a non-starter. Look what Bob Bobb, appointed by a DemocRAT, has to go through to make reforms to a failed school system? These towns, and this school in particular, have had their chance to straighten themselves out. Something needs to be done. I have not laid my eyes on ONE proposal from the democRATS, other than throw more money at it and hope the problem goes away. DemocRATS are welcome to be so irresponsible and reckless with their own savings, but not with the taxpayer's contributions.

    The EMF is a last resort anyways. If you democRATS would learn to read you would know that. But it's so much easier to listen to amateur accountant and aspiring communist Michael Moore and his commie union thugs than it is to actual take a look at the problem and it's causes and then apply a common-sense solution.


Please keep it clean and nice. Thank you for taking the time to post you thought. It means a lot to me that you do this.