Chris Chandler & Anne Feeney's
Flying Poetry Circus & Wandering Minstrel Show
One Night Only!
Tuesday, July 1st, 2003
WISE Hall, 1882 Adanac St., Vancouver
(behind the Vancouver East Cultural Centre)
Doors 7:30 pm, performance 8:00 pm
Donation at the door $2-$20
Nobody turned away for lack of funds
Adults only, sorry about that
Sponsored by the IWW Vancouver/Coast Salish Territory.
All proceeds to the workers at Common Ground Magazine to aid in their fight for a first collective agreement with their anti-union employer.
For documentation of some of Common Ground's anti-union activities, go to: http://www.lrb.bc.ca/decisions/B1$2003.pdf
"The working class and the employing class have nothing in common."
Solidarity Notes tentatively to open the show but not yet confirmed
For more information
IWW Vancouver/Coast Salish Territory
(604) 682-3269 ext. 8493 http://vancouver.iww.ca
visit Anne Feeney's website
Review - "Confessions of a Union-Buster" by Martin Levitt
"Union busting is a field populated by bullies and built on deceit. A campaign against a union is an assault on individuals and a war on the truth. As such, it is a war without honour. The only way to bust a union is to lie, distort, manipulate, threaten, and always, always attack. The law does not hamper the process, rather, it serves to suggest manoeuvres and define strategies. Each "union prevention" campaign, as the wars are called, turns on a combined strategy of disinformation and personal assaults.
When a chief executive hires a labor relations consultant to battle a union, he gives the consultant run of the company and closes his eyes. The consultant, backed by attorneys, installs himself in the corporate offices and goes to work creating a climate of terror that inevitably is blamed on the union.
Some corporate executives I encountered liked to think of their anti-union consultants as generals, but really the consultants are terrorists. Like political terrorists, the consultants' attacks are intensely personal. Terrorists do not make factories and air strips their victims; they choose, instead, crippled old men and school-children. Likewise, as the consultants go about the business of destroying unions, they invade people's lives, demolish their friendships, crush their will, and shatter their families."
For union busters, like Levitt, the NLRA is a "union buster's best friend".
According to Levitt, "in its complexity the nation's fundamental Labor law presents endless possibilities for delays, roadblocks, and manoeuvres that can undermine a union's efforts and frustrate would be members." The union buster's key strategy, when confronted with an election, is delay the ballot, thereby buying time to organise a so called counter campaign known as "Counter organising drives".
The two key targets of the "counter organising drives" are the rank-and-file worker and their immediate supervisors. Supervisors serve as the shock troops of the union buster - The union buster aims to create a climate where the supervisor feels personally threatened by the union - "I knew that people who didn't feel threatened wouldn't fight", Levitt confesses, "So through hours of seminars, rallies, and one-on-one encounters, I taught supervisors to despise and fear the union. I persuaded them that a union organising drive was a personal attack on them, a referendum on their leadership skills, and an attempt to humiliate them. I was friendly, even jovial at times, but always unforgiving as I compelled each supervisor to feel he was somehow to blame for the union push and, consequently, obliged to defeat it like any hostage - most supervisors could not resist for long. They came to see the fight through the eyes of their captor and went to work wringing union sympathies out of their workers".
Having turned the supervisor into an anti-union force, Levitt turned his attention to workers with union sympathies - what he termed "pushers". The strategy here was to personally discredit unionists. This required information. No means of obtaining information was ruled out. According to Levitt his team of union Busters "routinely pried into worker's police records, personnel files, credit histories, medical records, and family lives in search of a weakness that we could use to discredit union activists".
Where it was not possible to get "dirt" on a unionist, Levitt made it up. "To fell the sturdiest union supporters...I frequently launched rumours that the targeted worker was gay or was cheating on his wife. It was a very effective technique, particularly in blue-collar towns.
If the lies and rumours failed to muzzle union activists, the union buster resorted to sackings. These sackings are illegal under the NLRA. Section 8(a)(3) clearly outlaws discharging employees because they urged other employees to join a union. Nevertheless, union busters know that reinstatement procedures are complex, some dragging out for years after the incident. The aim of the union buster is to remove the union support, based in the crucial period, prior to the ballot.
Levitt's confessions not only highlight the defects of the US Labor relations framework, they also provide crucial insights into the important role supervisors play as opinion setters in workplaces. The lesson for unions seeking to organise the unionised workplace is - ignore the supervisor at your peril. Unions seeking to organise a workplace must ensure that supervisors are won over, or at worst, neutralised.
Links to reviews and info on ordering "Confessions of a union-buster":
visit the BOBCO_INC page for a parody of a union-busting website
In Memorium -Grana, Horacio, 62, Thousand Oaks
posted on Carpenters Jawin:
21 Jan 2002
Horacio Grana, retired .member of Carpenters Local 1506 died today. He was the first Carpenter to start an Anti-McCarron Website. http://members.tripod.com/unionplainfacts/index.htm He fought the good fight , never quitting, never wavering. He was a good man ------ He was a GOOD UNION MAN, and that's all that needs to be said. He will be sorely missed.
26 Jan 2002
Retired Carpenters Drop Lawsuit
Thank you for the beautiful postings on Horacio
From: The Grana Family,
The Grana Family wants to thank all of those who posted kind and beautiful words for Horacio, he would of felt so proud. Horacio was laid to rest Friday January 25, 2002. The service was beautiful and all the postings were read at the service, which made it very special. Horacio was not a quitter and he even proved it towards the end, but when the God calls to us there is no fighting it. Horacio died peacefully in his sleep and did not suffer for very long, which means that God was very merciful towards him. Again thank you, keep the battle going and God Bless!
November 21, 2001 CALIFORNIA
Labor: Three members had accused their union president, a contractor and Sen. Feinstein's husband of misusing the pension fund.
By NANCY CLEELAND, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Three retired carpenters union members have dropped a civil lawsuit alleging the misuse of a $2-billion union pension fund by its trustees, including union President Douglas J. McCarron and contractor Ron Tutor, as well as prominent financial advisor Richard Blum.
McCarron backers were pleased by the decision to drop the suit, which was often cited by dissidents within the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners as evidence of wrongdoing by the union president.