In Wisconsin last week, it was the police and firefighters unions threatening local business* with boycotts should they not support the union efforts to turn back the clock on their so-called collective bargaining rights. Now, like a pack of wolves, the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) has jumped into the age-old racket of shaking-down businesses.
WEAC has sent an e-mail to hundreds of businesses belonging to the Fox Valley Chamber of Commerce offering to put a sign in a window for those businesses that support the union goals. That is not sitting well with many members, according Shannon Meyer, president and CEO of the Fox Cities Chamber:
In the email, WEAC asks Chamber members to show their support for the union in its battle to save its ability to collectively bargain.
In exchange for signing a pledge that says they oppose limiting collective bargaining, businesses will receive a poster they can put in their window so union members with "substantially less discretionary money to spend" can support those businesses which support them.
"There is veiled threat within the email that's stating, put this poster in your window and we'll make sure your business isn't boycotted, but if you don't it's very clear that if you don't those businesses are going to be boycotted in the future," Meyer said.
The WEAC union boss is, of course, denying that his actions are a veiled threat to boycott businesses:
WEAC-Fox Valley says the idea wasn't a threat at all, and that the accusation shows a double standard.
"I go and try to defend my members' economic interest, and when there's a perception that some of the businesses' economic interests are going to get hurt they go wild. I think they're not viewing it on a level playing field," Krokosky said.
In days of old, this type of activity was relegated to street gangs and the mafia. Today, it's just another tactic in the union arsenal of intimidation.
View video clip here.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776