Standing Up for Privacy

Elizabeth “Penny” Pinchler didn’t like it when big union organizers from UNITE HERE knocked on her door. They wanted her help unionizing Cintas, the nation’s largest laundry company.

“How the heck did someone know I worked at Cintas and get my address and show up at my front door?” Pichler said in an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News. “I thought it was very unnerving.”

She is now fighting back and Big Labor is unnerved.

Pinchler has filed a class-action invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against the union in federal court in Philadelphia. On Thursday, attorneys representing Pichler and other employees filed motions to unseal closed documents in the case. And the union is fighting the disclosure with a big Manhattan law firm.

If Congress passes the “blank-check” card check bill eliminating secret elections for union organizing, more and more workers like Penny will be getting visits to their homes and they won’t be as polite. Card checks empower union bosses to force a business’s employees to accept a union as their exclusive bargaining agent solely through the acquisition of signed union authorization cards from employees. Since union officials themselves keep the signed cards until they obtain the required number, workers have no real privacy rights vis-à-vis Big Labor in this process. And under the watchful eyes of union organizers who have no problem coming to your home, workers may be intimidated into signing not just themselves, but all their nonunion fellow employees, over to union-boss control. If Penny thought this visit was unnerving, she, unfortunately, ain’t seen anything yet.