If there were a Pulitzer Prize for labor reporting, it would go to Stacy J. Willis of the Las Vegas Weekly for “Picketers for Hire.” Willis went to the new Wal-Mart in Henderson and spoke to the six picketers placed there by Local 711 of the United Food and Commercial Workers union.
Except that the six hard-working folks aren’t UFCW employees.
Nor are they members of UFCW.
Nor are they members of any union.
They are employees of the Allied Forces/Labor Express temp service. They are paid $6 an hour with no benefits for standing outside in 104 degree temperatures. One picketer suffered heat exhaustion and never returned. Another developed blisters, so the dutiful picket line foreman took her inside the air-conditioned Wal-Mart, where the pharmacist recommended a certain balm. The rest of the picketers bought some.
The union drops them off in the morning and returns for them five hours later. Except on the weekends, when they have to make their own way.
“We’re paying these people. They were out of work before (joining their picket lines),” said UFCW organizer Bill Hornbrook, like a character from The Grapes of Wrath.
Yes, the UFCW is outsourcing its picketing to non-union workers, at a sub-standard pay rate with no benefits, in unsafe conditions, with no transportation or means to leave the premises, in order to protest the poor jobs inside Wal-Mart, where workers make twice as much.
Hat tip: Opinion Journal.