Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Irony Anyone?

Via WaPo - Outsourcing the Picket Line: Carpenters Union Hires Homeless to Stage Protests
The picketers marching in a circle in front of a downtown Washington office building chanting about low wages do not seem fully focused on their message.

[. . .]

Although their placards identify the picketers as being with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters, they are not union members.

They're hired feet, or, as the union calls them, temporary workers, paid $8 an hour to picket. Many were recruited from homeless shelters or transitional houses. Several have recently been released from prison. Others are between jobs.

[. . .]

The carpenters union is one of the most active picketers in the District, routinely staging as many as eight picket lines a day at buildings where construction or renovation work is being done without union labor.
Is it just me, or does anyone else see the irony in using non-union labor to protest the use of non-union labor?

On the one hand, it is nice to see that there are groups out there that are willing to hire the homeless and ex-cons. On the other hand, I feel like this whole thing says something not too good about our society at the moment. The bottom line here seems to be all about the bottom line. In other words, they don't want to have give up their own paid time to go protest. They just want to pay someone else to fight their battles for them while they continue with life as usual. To me at least, that does not say anything good about them.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I will say that my father-in-law was a union carpenter for much of his career in carpentry. His local union was very good to him and has continued to be very good to my mother-in-law since his death.

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