No Irony Intended

With no sense of irony, I am sure, posted these stories atop each other in the Business section today:

St. John’s workers oust union

Maintenance workers at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center voted 28 to 13 on Wednesday to decertify the United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 as their collective bargaining agent.

The union has until next week to protest the conduct of the election. If it does not, the National Labor Relations board will authorize the decertification. A plumbers-union official did not return a phone call Thursday. The maintenance workers’ contract expired Dec. 31, 2002.

Like the jingle, union label fades away

Calls for “Buy Union-Made” and “Buy American” might appear nostalgic in a day when X-rays of American patients are analyzed by physicians abroad and U.S.-produced shoes are nearly impossible to find.

But the union movement hopes its 130-year-old message to buy products with the union label and more recent calls to buy American are reinvigorated amid the growing debate about overseas outsourcing of service jobs and the steady loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States.

“First of all, union-made in the USA is No. 1. If you can’t find union-made, at least buy American-made,” said Charles E. Mercer, president of the AFL-CIO’s Union Label and Service Trades Department. “We say it in the same breath, the same sentence.”

Hmm. Perhaps it’s that American workers are tired of paying viggorish for the opportunity to strike put themselves out of work in the name of more pay and job security? [No, it’s that those damn capitalists are exploiting the workers we’re supposed to exploit. –Ed aka “Spike” (Local 355)]

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