On Wednesday I was listening to the Quinn & Rose Show and what I heard had me in shock. If you thought that Union thuggery in Chicago was bad - You ain't seen nothing yet. Pittsburgh is much worse because it is Right Out in the Open with threats and intimidation toward businesses.
There are only three businesses in an area of Pittsburgh called Rankin. One of these businesses just happens to be a non-unionized steel company, called W&K Steel. W&K Steel has been targeted by the local union for years because its employees refused to join the local iron workers union. They don't need the unions. The W&K Steel workers are already very well paid and have excellent benefits. The company gives legal refugees and immigrants the opportunity to learn a new trade as well as learning english as a second language. But these are LEGAL REFUGEES, which is not a "protected" class.
Because all of the attempts by the union to force the company to unionize failed, they resorted to below gutter low and voted that the company be labeled a "sweatshop". There are eight criteria which must be met in order to be considered a "sweatshop", and W&K Steel does not meet any of these criteria. Since W&K Steel has always had a superb record with OSHA one would think it would be impossible for the company to be considered a sweatshop, but because of underhanded tactics, the impossible did happen.
Two disgruntled former employees got into bed with the local union to make this successful non-union business pay. Rich Fitzgerald, a Democrat running for Allegheny County Executive and other Democrats on the County Council held meetings on whether the company would be labelled a sweatshop without notifying the company. Then, at the last minute, the company was notified on about the remaining council meeting that would take place before the final vote would take place. Every current W&K employee showed up at the meeting in support of the company and waited the entire time to be able to testify, but the County Council refused to allow them to offer testimony in that meeting, nor during the sunsequent meeting in which the resolution would be passed. W&K President Ed Wilhelm has understandably characterized the council's action as a "kangaroo court". All eleven Democrats voted to label the non-union steel fabrication firm a "sweatshop" on account of the opportunities it afforded to legal immigrants. All four Republican abstained from the vote, and the motion passed on Tuesday.
As a result of calls from outraged listeners to the Warroom, the Quinn and Rose morning show on WPGB Newstalk 104.7, County Executive Dan Onorato released a statement vowing to veto the County Council's action. He gave three reasons for his decision to veto the council's action, and promised more details supporting his reasons will given in his veto letter. Onorato will have seven days from the time he officially receives the decision of the council in writing to veto it. Unfortunately, all it will take for the council to override Onorato's veto is if ten out of the eleven Democrats who voted for the original motion vote continue to support it.
Please be aware, this isn't just a local issue. Wherever you live, this is your problem, too. These tactics are going to be implemented by unions everywhere.
Note to the Reader: You will hear phone numbers to call during the second youtube clip. Keep in mind that if you call Dan Onorato, it should be to offer moral support for his decision to veto the council's action. He doesn't need to be berated. He got that already and has decided to do the right thing. But if you want to call the County Council number and give them hell, I will not discourage you.