FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Pot, Meet Kettle: Union protests ACLU’s hardball negotiations, ACLU accuses union of ‘extortion’
It is important to note that the American Civil Liberties Union “champions” unions and collective bargaining. At least it claims it does.
See, the ACLU even says so on its website:
The ACLU has championed the right of workers to organize unions since its inception more than 90 years ago, beginning with efforts to counter the vehement anti-union crusades of the 1920s.
The ACLU continues to support the rights of employees, both public and private, to organize unions and bargain collectively. Collective bargaining statutes provide critical and necessary protection for workers who exercise basic civil rights, in particular, the rights of speech, association, and petition. Efforts to strip workers of these protections have no place in our democracy. [Emphasis added.]
Given that, one might find it somewhat peculiar to find the United Auto Workers accusing the ACLU–that champion of workers’ rights–of being rather mean to its workers.
You see, according to the UAW, the union that represents the ACLU’s legal assistants, receptionists, bookkeepers, accounting assistants, mail clerks, and most of the rest of the ACLU’s support staff plans, the ACLU is demanding draconian givebacks from its workers.
The scope of the concessions ACLU is asking for are unprecedented despite the union’s good faith effort to negotiate, says Eden Schulz, secretary-treasurer of Local 2110.
“We came in with pretty modest proposals, but management came in with a mountain of givebacks,” says Schulz. “We’ve had very standard contract language for people’s rights on the job for more than 30 years.”
Moreover, reports the Village Voice, ACLU management wants to include “disloyalty” to its list of things workers can get terminated for.
The ACLU management hopes to narrow the infractions protected by the arbitration process, and to make “disloyalty” a fireable offense without defining what exactly disloyalty means.
The ACLU’s UAW-represented workers have taken their negotiation grievances to the streets, including a protest last week in front of ACLU headquarters, chanting the slogan: “ACLU says giveback, we say fight back!”
Meanwhile, according to the ACLU’s Executive Director, Anthony Romero, the ACLU is running an $8 million deficit which is why the ACLU is asking its workers to contribute $20 dollars monthly to their healthcare premiums.
Romero also told the Village Voice that the UAW’s going to the press is “a subtle form of extortion.” [What was that about the Right to Speech?]
Apparently, after decades of proclaiming to be a champion of workers’ rights, the ACLU is now tasting some of the fruits of its own labor–and it’s not liking the taste.
“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)