Union Bannering - NJ DC 711 & NY DC 9 Local Painters Union Try to Scare Off Non Union Business
Posted Sep 23, 2013 by Dave Scaturro
Stop Union Bannering Campaigns - Say No to Union Bullying Tactics
What is Union Bannering?
“Bannering” is a union-generated publicity tactic that tries to pressure project owners into using union construction labor. The objective of “bannering” is to bully building owners into abandoning their contracts with nonunion construction firms. Instead, they seek to force owners to employ construction firms with union workers – often at higher costs and with restrictive work rules. The words “Shame On” directed at a building owner or businesses/tenants are intended to intimidate the target – nothing more. That’s why the campaigns are a scam.
Why are there labor pickets outside my building?
Picketing or bannering taking place at your building is a union-generated publicity tactic aimed at pressuring you into using union construction labor. The language they use is directed at the building owner, tenants or general contractors to intimidate the target, nothing more.
If union picketers are at your building:
A picket line cannot block you or your guests from accessing the building entrances.
If you do not want them on your private property, call the police to have them moved to a public sidewalk.
Picketers may not block sidewalks and access ways that are used by the general public.
You can restrict protesters from hand-billing and petitioning inside your private building.
Some local ordinances restrict or forbid the use of loudspeakers or amplified sound.
If bannering takes place at your building you may:
Restrict parking and access to private parking lots. Any unauthorized vehicles may be towed from parking lots.
You have the right to request they not be on your private property.
You can have the police enforce your property line boundaries and avoid interference with your employees and guests.
Signs may not be displayed in private areas not open to public access.
Bannering may be lawful, but blocking the access or egress of the public or workers is not. The banner should not disrupt traffic flow, present public safety issues or redirect foot traffic.
Who is involved with the protests?
The protests are being organized by the Painters Union District Councils 9 and 711.
What does the Union hope to accomplish?
Union bannering campaigns attempt to punish local businesses for using non-union contractors. In other words, the employees of those firms have chosen not to belong to a labor organization. The desired outcome of bannering is to bully and intimidate construction project owners into abandoning their contracts with non-union construction firms. They’d rather have the work go to construction firms that are a party to a collective bargaining agreement. Nationally, the Union is losing membership and market share at record rates because of higher costs and restrictive work rules. This bannering program is an attempt to regain work that they are currently losing.
What is the union protesting and how true are its claims?
The union wants the work underway to be performed by union members. This isn’t a “labor dispute” as the banners claim. A conventional “labor dispute” is an expiration of a contract, an issue over work rules, or the like. Most bannering campaigns claim a contractor is not paying area standard wages (i.e., union-scale wages) and benefits. The contractor on the job sites (“merit shop” or non-union) can demonstrate they pay their workers fair wages and other benefits. The difference is that their employees do not (and in most cases do not want to) belong to a union. Most of the wording used is misleading and paints a picture of the target to be unethical.
Will my project be delayed?
Bannering should not result in work stoppages or project delays. Most merit shop contractors have the tools to keep projects on time and on budget despite union attempts to cause distractions or delays.
Are these protestors union members who would not be working on a construction project?
Not always. Unions have been found to hire day laborers from a temporary labor pool, pay them a minimal hourly wage, provide no benefits and have them hold the banners.
View a free webinar about how to "Confront Union Bannering" from the ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors)
What action can I take if bannering or picketing is taking place on my property?
Discuss a strategy for reacting with your contractor. The best response usually depends on circumstances related to the property itself. Federal law allows union organizing on public property, but it is not allowed on private property without the consent of the owner. If you do not want them on your property, the best tactic is to insist they leave immediately. You can call the police to enforce your property line boundaries and avoid interference with your workers, guests and visitors. Bannering may be lawful, but blocking the access or egress of the public or workers is not. The banner should not disrupt traffic flow, present public safety issues or redirect foot traffic.
How should I deal with the media?
Local media and other businesses can be strong allies in the effort to debunk misleading propaganda. Media outreach will likely put your company in the spotlight in hopes of exposing the union’s mischaracterizations. While media attention frequently yields positive results, this outcome is not always guaranteed.
What do I tell my tenants/customers?
The best strategy is to ignore the protestors. And you do have rights. You, your employees and guests have the right to access your property without physical interference. Picket lines cannot be used to block access. And you have the right to ignore the pickets, the banners, and any shouts or chants from the bannering crews.
Visit www.AlpineGreedResponse.com for more information.
By Dave Scaturro, Sales Director for Alpine Painting.