Frontier -- Letters
Sticking to the Union
It was disturbing to see such a blatantly antiunion article ("Labor Intensive," My Company, Sept. 13) about Kevin Kelly's attempts to "keep a union at bay." Kelly's successful campaign to block his workers' desire for a union could prove a quixotic victory. It has been proven time and again that the money and energy spent by the business community to hire outside consultants to wage war on employees could be put to better use by investing in wages, benefits, working conditions--and giving workers a voice on the job through a union. Increasingly, unions are working with enlightened employers to increase productivity, upgrade employees' skills, and prepare the U.S. workplace for the next century. The fact is that union-busting consultants have become a big industry, often at the expense of increasing the productivity of the American workplace. It's unfortunate that Kelly felt he needed to spend his capital on these consultants' fees to fight a union drive that, by his own admission, was desired by two-thirds of his workforce. Instead, he could have invested that money in his workers and given them the voice they desired.
I feel terribly sorry for the workers who were duped and intimidated into dropping the organizing effort at Kevin Kelly's company.
Reading the article made it clear that Kelly's only concern was himself. A typical boss, he was terrified by the thought of his workers acting collectively and he probably spent more on the "consultants" than he would had he simply sat down and bargained a fair contract. The workers will find out that his promised improvements and willingness to change are a sham. If he meant what he said, he would put it in writing in the form of a contract and he would learn to speak Spanish himself rather than relying on a "consultant."
At this point the only consolation I can offer these workers is the belief that there is a special place in hell for weak, greedy people like Kelly and his advisers.
of America District 9