(Warner Todd Huston/The Union Label) – This is always the most amusing sort of union story, but a union boss is mad at one of his members for organizing a union and allegedly fired him over it. Confused? I can understand why. After all, aren’t union members supposed to organize workers? So, how could a union member get fired for doing just that? Read on, McDuff.
As the story goes, one Mr. David Highnote seems to have gone out on a low note from the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). Highnote recently filed an unfair labor practice charge against his union alleging that the ATU threatened him and then fired him for organizing other union members.
He wasn’t just organizing workers of businesses, however. Highnote was organizing the staff that works for the union itself.
Highnote says that when it became known he was trying to organize a new little union chapter among those who work for the union itself, he was threatened and ultimately fired.
Highnote said that he experienced similar intimidation. Only two weeks after Highnote signed his union card and started an organizing campaign, a senior advisor to Hanley allegedly threatened, “I only want to say this once. Larry (Hanley) is sensitive to all of the things going on in and outside of the office. If we find out that you are discussing workplace conditions with co-workers or anyone else, then one strike and you’re out.” Other senior Hanley advisors are also alleged to have harassed and attempted to deter him from organizing, but he continued to work to form an in-house union to represent the professional staff as a bargaining unit of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild.
It is sort of a man-bites-dog story in that these union thugs are trying to prevent their own members form being unionized.
Now, this isn’t the only time this has happened. Last year I reported on a similar story that happened with the United Federation of Teachers where one of its members wanted to organize the union’s HQ staff. The union was against the idea and tried to fire the organizer over it all.
Still, it makes one wonder: if unions are so great, why are unions against having their own staffs organized?
Clearly unions realize that unions are an impediment to the job.