May 18, 2006

Which Side Are You On?

Driving by Data-Mail in Newington today, I noticed a couple of young men at the front gate - one held the flag of Puerto Rico, the other had a Dominican Republic flag draped on his shoulders and carries a small UAW flag.

At the other entrance, two women - one with an American flag, the other had a another flag (unidentified) and both carried posters. I beeped and waved. Go them. Apparently, the UAW is working to unionize the facility. A small tent with a UNION NOW banner was set up at the nearby Knights of Columbus parking lot.

I find the flags interesting. It's as if the recently energized immigrants rights movement is bleeding into other forms of activism - as if unionizing is a form of cultural pride. I often drive by the bus stop that brings workers to the facility, from Hartford and New Britain - and the workers seem a lot more diverse than the general Newington population. Obviously, those taking the bus to work are going to be a filtered sample of the worker population.

I'm always of mixed mind about unions, or any sinecure (tenure, unions, stagnant corporate management structures, or incumbant elected officials) since in my experience these sorts of organizations sometimes lead to embedded incompetence. My enlightened management side finds a union to be a failure of management - if management was really doing its job and taking care of the workers, well, the union would not be needed. But thats an optimistic and rose-colored-glasses view - few management structures would prove to be truly so progressive.

Anyway, if you are driving past Data-Mail, give 'em a beep and a wave.

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