Homeless and Newly Released Prisoners Man Carpenter’s Picket Line

The Washington Post had an interesting article the other day. Seems the Carpenters Union can’t find enough real members who care sufficiently about the issue of low wages to man their picket sites. Instead, they are paying people that are truly down on their luck, even lower wages, to stand in for them at picket sites. Said the Post:

Supporters of the practice consider it a creative tactic in an era of declining union membership and clout. But critics say the reliance on nonunion members — who are paid $1 above minimum wage and receive no benefits — diminishes the impact and undercuts a principle established over decades of union struggles.

“If I was a member of the general public, and I asked someone picketing why they were there, and they said they don’t work for the union and they were just hired to stand there, that wouldn’t create a very positive impression on me, nor would it create a very sympathetic position,” said Wayne Ranick, spokesman for the United Steelworkers of America.