Monday, April 14, 2008

How can this be?

As first, I couldn't believe that this story was true, but it has now shown up in several on-line stories and was also in today's Boston Herald, whose story started, "DEARBORN, Mich. - Outraged nursing union members claim they were attacked by purple-cloaked members of a rival union which stormed their conference." (Sorry for not providing a link, but according the Herald site, this story is no longer available on line.)

5 comments:

Dr. A said...

This is really weird. I did a news search and the only stories I found were press releases from CNA. I even did a search of the Dearborn and Detroit newspapers online - nothing. Me? I don't believe this story (at least for now.)

me said...

Wow, I read through the links. Appalling behaviour. Do we really want these people in our town?

Mike Pringle said...

Adults acting like children. That never happens. Believe it Dr. A I posted the photo on my site www.healthcaretwoday.com.

I agree with you Paul. Some how incredulous doesn't seem to be enough here.

Anonymous said...

Paul, Since you're such a neutral and fair-minded guy about this issue, I assume that you will now be posting articles about SEIU members who are beaten up on picket lines or workers who are fired for trying to organize. If the story you've posted is true, the behavior is reprehensible. (I also haven't been able to find credible corroborating news sources.) But I can find lots of stories in credible sources about workers and union members who have been treated badly, and often illegally, by employers.

I think many of us who read and enjoy your blog regularly are surprised and dismayed by your approach on this blog to SEIU. It's so out of keeping with the tone and openness of the rest of the blog. I just don't get it. Please don't respond if you are just going to be flip or arrogant or condescending. I really am trying to understand your virulence on this issue. (And just so you know, I have absolutely no connection to SEIU or any other union.)

Peter

Paul Levy said...

"Please don't respond if you are just going to be flip or arrogant or condescending." Well, thanks for setting up any response I give.

My "approach" on this blog to the SEIU stands on its own, for all to read. I have been presenting its approach to organizing, i.e., using a corporate campaign that attempts to put pressure on the board and management of a hospital to agree to concessions in the organizing process that would decrease the opportunity for meaningful discourse on the issue of unionization. In all the dozens of comments I have received on this matter, no one has suggested that this is not the case. And the reason for that is that is very simply is the case, as demonstrated in many situations throughout the country.

Why are you offended by my posting pieces on that topic? Why do you think it is inappropriate? It is the major labor issue of the day, potentially affecting not only our hospital but all of the hospitals in Boston. It is not about whether there should be unions or not. It is about the appropriateness of the actions of this union.

Meanwhile, too, this union seeks to change the federal law to make the organizing process even less democratic. I think these issues are legitimate topics for discourse on this blog.

On this particular post, although I had read the blog reports, I did not post it until a newspaper confirmed the story. This is not about the relationship of employers and a union. It is about the relationship between two unions. I think that is incredibly interesting. It has become a major story elsewhere in the country but has not had much attention here in Boston. The follow-up may be even more interesting, i.e., if the nurses union actually "constructed" the situation or the story to discredit the SEIU.