Unions protest a business whose employees do not choose to be unionized.
A new labor union
tactic targeting non-union business owners has come into the Mackinac Center’s
sights. Communications Specialist Kathy Hoekstra produced a video explaining
the recent trend of “bannering,” put into practice in Michigan by the Michigan
Regional Council of Carpenters.
As a result of a recent
court ruling, unions are allowed to demonstrate against a non-unionized
company, even one whose employees are happy not to belong to a union.
Hoekstra’s video featured an interview with a West
Michigan contractor who found himself a victim of this tactic. Hoekstra and her
video camera also tracked down a union protest in progress outside a Grand
Rapids hospital. Her questions to a union official at the scene of that protest
revealed even more about how far the carpenters union will go to disrupt honest
Hoekstra followed up
with a second video revealing the underhandedness of the carpenters union in
outsourcing its picketing to non-union workers — from Grand Rapids-area
homeless shelters supported by the targeted business, no less.
Representatives of the
trade group Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan were so impressed
with Hoekstra’s videos that they plan to show them at their upcoming national
convention in Florida. ABC-MI hopes to raise awareness of this tactic and find
ways to address it to preserve the credibility and prosperity of its
In the meantime, the
story, also covered in Michigan Capitol Confidential, quickly spread through
the blogosphere, with links landing on such diverse websites as the Huffington
Post, the American Thinker and the Washington Examiner.
Over 40,000 people have watched the videos, which are
available at www.mackinac.org/14571.