Thursday, May 07, 2009

Because it can

There are sightings of a new mobile billboard hired by SEIU to burn fuel through the neighborhoods of Boston. Add to that the likely rental of bus and trolley stop ads, the ubiquitous internet ads, on top of purchasing full paid ads in the local newspapers. I am sometimes asked, "Why does the SEIU do this?"

As you all know by now, the ads have nothing to do with organizing workers. They are meant to denigrate the reputation of the hospital as part of a corporate campaign. Even if any of the accusations made in the ads were to be accurate, why would the existence of problems at BIDMC be an argument for unionization? By that logic, what would one conclude from certain types of problems at the SEIU?

SEIU believes that spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in a periodically renewed ad campaign is effective. It has an endless source of funding for these ads from the dues it collects every week. In this environment, keep in mind which is David, and which is Goliath.

So, the answer to the question asked above -- "Why does the SEIU do this?"-- seems mainly to be the punch line to the old joke, "Because it can."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Paul,I've been reading your posts for a long time, and it really hit me today how wrong it is -- from a worker's perspective -- that the SEIU is spending this kind of money (ads are REALLY expensive!) in these tough economic times, rather than helping laid off workers and their families get through this terrible fiscal crisis. I am stunned frankly and I think there ought to be much greater government oversight and public accountability for union dues and precisely how the dues are spent -- and this should be disclosed in plain language to union members and on file with the Attorney General. Workers need greater transparency of union activity undertaken with their hard-earned dues.