READER COMMENTS ON
"'Working Stiffed': The Daily Show's Mandvi Exposes Union's Non-Union Picketers of Walmart"
(7 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2010 @ 11:21 am PT...
As a union member I was very disappointed in what I saw. I fear those who are anti-union will hold this up as an example of why unions are bad. In my union we walk our own picket lines when we feel a picket is justified. All I can say about the substance of the issue between the union and Walmart is what I was taught as a child; two wrongs don't make a right.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2010 @ 12:02 pm PT...
While I didn't like what will eventually be the diminishing of the cause of Unions, I did like the underlying message. Unions demand "their guys" get a decent shake, but that doesn't extend to everyone. I'm guessing this only applies to SOME Unions, as every union is different (right?).
Yet, the "report" was about a false equivalency. Wal-Mart is a huge corporation, they have access to huge amounts of resources, and their ends are for the few at the top to be filthy rich. It makes sense, then, to demand they adequately care for the workers that are helping "share holders" and "corporate officers" (who make millions a year) get all that money from the labor of the workers. That is _clearly_ different than "common workers" trying to get a message out, and using their personal incomes to do such things. The workers aren't "making profits" like a corporation does, they don't have the access to resources like corporations do, they don't get to write off those expenditures like corporations do. So acting like the Union is "bad like a corporation" for "hiring temporary workers" ends up being a fairly dishonest presentation. You might as well say that when you hire someone to come and clean your house (free lance) you should offer them a year's worth of insurance since Janitors working at some local corporate headquarters has benefits at that job, through their Union.
The only part that stuck out at me was that these workers are getting minimum wage.. yet, they are doing minimum wage jobs! .. I don't know if the guys in that Union have health coverage, but if they DO they seemingly had little to "picket about". We don't know, so I would call that a "failing in the Journalistic premise". But calling Union workers out as the same as Wal-Mart is, in my opinion, disingenuous.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
Mark E. Smith
said on 9/21/2010 @ 3:25 pm PT...
I was in a union once. Every single union rep who stood up for me against management, got promoted and moved to a different worksite. Management had a very effective way of dealing with union demands--it just co-opted the troublemakers.
But I remember back when most unions didn't welcome people of color or women. The unions in most of the high-paying industries had primarily white male memberships. Decades later, one of those unions sent me a snailmail offering me an "associate membership" for a small annual fee. Being unemployed, I turned down their kind offer. A few years later they offered that same associate membership to the unemployed for free, which I thought was mighty white of them, but I still didn't join.
I support unions led by people of color and low-wage workers. As for the old-style unions that threw in with their capitalist bosses, I think they deserved what they got.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2010 @ 6:06 pm PT...
"This is the one where I nail you."
But I am a union worker, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've done non-union teaching work overseas. I have many disagreements with my union leadership, because in the end, they have to have some sort of working relationship with the district, and sometimes the students do get the short end - but not nearly as often as we would if the districts had their way. There's good and bad in everything. We all gotta do our best to put food on our families.
My biggest beef with the WEA was when they endorsed Sam Reed for SoS.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 9/22/2010 @ 6:10 pm PT...
I am a Union member and have been for over 25yrs.
We use our own members and those on our extra board to do our informational picketing.
"Informational Picketing" is what I seen being done here. No one was on strike which is a whole different situation and on UFCW strikes
(or lockouts)we have had here in St Louis in the past, those lines were made up with the Checker's and Bagger's I see daily when I shop there.
Now I am not trying to defend Mike from Local 711, he should of been more well versed to respond to this but as Savantster hit on, I'd also have to say, this is a minimum wage job.
And of course it makes sense to hire from a temp agency for those workers instead of employing
them. It is a temporary job.
But it was a good piece non the less!
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 9/22/2010 @ 6:14 pm PT...
Did anyone catch this btw?
Marijuana Growers Join the Teamsters Union
Their newly negotiated two-year contract provides them with a pension, paid vacation and health insurance. Their current wages of $18 per hour will increase to $25.75 an hour within 15 months, according to the union. …
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 9/23/2010 @ 7:03 am PT...
The first time I saw Mandvi on the Daily Show was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. It was about the fake, (undeclared war), in the middle east.
Now, we have fake union members. Which side do they represent? How can we know if there's even a side anymore? Maybe all Americans are fuckheads out for the buck.
Maybe we'd better find out.