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View Diary: Goodbye Scabby the Rat and All You Represent (40 comments)

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  •  Yeah, you do. (4+ / 0-)

    The Union rat is a highly visible sign of the picket line at his feet, indicating a labor v. management issue that could not be managed by negotiation is present. In the places where the Rat is known, his meaning is clear, but he is a bit more visible than the inevitable picket line with leaflets and union workers at his feet. Not every union dispute can be solved by white collar, polite, means, and it takes a tool away from unions to say that picket lines and leafleting, and the rat who keeps them company, is somehow now out of line. Beside's the rat is cute.

    •  The rat is cute? I can't go there. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6412093

      I would just point out that "indicating a labor v. management issue that could not be managed by negotiation is present". Two points. 1) the rat doesn't tell anyone what that 'issue' is. 2) the rat pushes as many people away from Unions as it does from the business.

      Also, I never said that "picket lines and leafleting" are "somehow out of line". Take your kids with you to picket, not a giant rubber rat. People can relate to kids and it will educate witnesses to the family and community effects of being Union.

      •  Why even strike and picket? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KJG52

        That generates bad PR also.

        I know why you had to strike, and I supported your decision. But if you are worried about PR, why picket and risk angering the public?  You made some people angry just by striking.

        In your Hostess strike, management didn't try to break your union by training thousands of strikebreakers like Greyhound or Phelps Dodge or Boise Cascade or Int'l Paper or Good Sam Hospital or American Sugar.

        They didn't hire BE&K or Gettier & Associates or Strom Engineering or USN to supply scabs and maintain the equipment.

        Hostess also relied on consumer loyalty. Public Relations could actually put pressure on Hostess.

        Good PR doesn't always matter much in a labor dispute, especially regarding a construction project.  The rat is mainly about construction jobs.

        The worst PR in the world won't influence a company from using non-union construction.  Few will boycott their product, or even remember, three years later after their plant is built.

        Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

        by 6412093 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 02:04:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unions need to engage the public (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tmservo433, 6412093, congenitalefty

          I am not afraid of bad PR. I want to engage in the PR war to show people that Unions are right. Scabby is a handicap in that battlefield.

          Hostess did try to break the strike for 4 days but the management was so incompetent they couldn't even do that. They prepared for the strike for a year and had total control of the timing of the strike because we told them we would walk when they imposed the contract. They stalled to prepare and then failed anyway.

          I am not saying PR will win labor disputes. I doubt you're saying the rat does either. I am saying that if private sector Unions do not engage the public we will always lose in public opinion, which ALWAYS hurts negotiations.

          •  THe rat is in its own way a whimsical and highly (0+ / 0-)

            visible way of telling passers by that a labor dispute is in progress wherever it is seen, and, if anything, encourages them to come find out what the dispute is and who is involved, without having children catch cold in picket lines in places they are usually too small to be seen in directly, anyway. The first  Union rat e I saw was wearing a T shirt and a baseball cap. I stand by the idea that he is cute, and attracts others to ask not necessarily hostile questions.

    •  Amen. This attempt to get ever-more "nice" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6412093, Justus

      every time we get pushed back, as if we're going to convince people on the other side to stop kicking us if only we somehow get "nice" enough, is obviously a failure. We've been trying it for over 20 years now.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 01:25:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your experience is not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron

      Everyone's experience.  I get your point.  As a kid, though, growing up in rural Kansas, I had first hand with more then a few giant, blow up rats.  

      But they were at county fairs to sell pesticide to farmers.

      I think that's part of the difference in social script I'm talking about.  This is where we get to:

      In the places where the Rat is known
      Here it's not so much of an impact.  At least not the one you want.  I'm much more familiar with union workers standing outside of a building with a large banners that read:

      SHAME ON XXXXX

      Those banners tend to be effective and get the point across.

      A giant rat in front of a food production facility just strikes me as a bad bit of rhetoric.  Not as effective as you'd want it.

      JMHO

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 02:18:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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