Brickbat: Look for the Union Label


Welcomia /

The United Auto Workers is building a lakefront home in Detroit for its retired president, Dennis Williams. To save money, the UAW has hired a nonunion electrician, a nonunion excavation company, and is in talks to hire a nonunion plumber to work on the three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath, 1,885-square-foot stone home. Officials say using union labor would be too expensive.

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  1. It’s different when they spend their own money.

  2. Well, “they” are spending their members’ money. But this time people are watching.

    The choice they have made seems to say interesting things about the current state of unions and their politics. Seems they were more worried about being seen as spending too insane an amount of members’ money than they were at being seen using nonunion labor. (And remember how heavily unionized this particular trade still is, especially in a state like Michigan.) This may say something about the mentality of today’s UAW members regarding union solidarity versus their own pocketbooks, or concerns about corruption. Or it may just say something about how fearful UAW brass are of the FBI versus any wrath from their own members.

    What’s also interesting is that they never seemed to put much stock into the third option that would have avoided this dilemma entirely–cutting back on the project a bit. Let the ex-prez know the heat is on and he might have to do with a less lavish summer cabin. And in fact as the article says, the previous retired presidents, which one might have figured to be more in the union’s heyday, got much more modest dwellings. Hmm, I wonder how much this outgoing president knows about where the bodies are buried in this union… (Figuratively and literally perhaps!)

    1. He knows where Hoffa is buried? He’s a undercover member of the #me too movement?

      1. “He knows where Hoffa is buried?”

        Wrong union. This is about United Auto Workers, Hoffa ran the Teamsters union.

        1. Oh I know. I spent a couple of summers working in just outside Detroit in the 70″ s.

  3. Explained away as UAW not being representative of unions because it is part of the evil kkkonspiracy to keep kkkars superior to the People’s Crowded and Inefficient Municipal Transportation Systems.

    1. Oooh good save! They have probably paid far too little attention to trans inclusion as well.

  4. “Officials say using union labor would be too expensive.”

    They’re correct and generally don’t argue otherwise when advocating for hiring of union workers. When doing so they will add “but it’s worth the extra cost because of the superior quality of the work”.

    Not when it’s their own money I guess.

  5. “This changes it from a story of suspected misuse of union funds, which some union members have a surprising tolerance of, to a story of hypocrisy,” Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business professor, said. “A union that is in favor of union labor until it costs more is the same as any company that fights against union labor.”

    The FBI doesn’t investigate hypocrisy. (Although the word does contain the letters R, I, C, and O.)

  6. Forget all that – the guy in the picture is wearing a hardhat and safety goggles and protective gloves, all so he can handle a lightbulb……but he obviously hasn’t even bothered to cut off the breaker so he’s working on a live circuit? This guy’s got some weird safety priorities.

  7. Well, I am not sure that the (no longer) secret room is going to be big enough to hold all the skimmed money – – – – – –

  8. Similar thing happened to my company. Union owned apartment project but they couldn’t make the numbers work for their guys to do the work. They came to us, an evil open shop, but wanted all kinds of bullshit stipulations that would have raised our costs so we ran the other way. Don’t think the project ever got off the ground.

    1. Which makes it all your fault, of course.
      Look for the union label and buy something else.

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