Temp workers of the world, Unite!

July 25, 2007

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Fighting the man is hard work.  And it doesn’t pay much either.  According to this recent article in The Washington Post, even unions are outsourcing.  They’re hiring temp workers, many of whom are homeless people, to picket:

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.

Union guy explains:

John Boardman, executive secretary treasurer of UNITE HERE local 25 in Washington, said the issue of who the picketers are is less important than why they’re there. “Let’s focus on the message — that there are people in this building that are working for substandard wages and benefits,” he said.

I guess that’s a big “fuck you” to the people outside the building.  The picketers making only a bit over minimum wage (minimum wage in DC is $6.60/hr) with absolutely no benefits are protesting “substandard wages and benefits”?  You would think the union would at least pay them a living wage for DC.

This is not something new.  Other unions have used temps as picketers.  My favorite example: temp picketers hired by a union to protest wages at Wal-Mart who were paid less than the starting wage of Wal-Mart employees. 

Someone should be fired in the PR departments of these unions (oh I forgot, we’re talking about unions).

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