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9 comments

1 researchok  Thu, Mar 31, 2011 8:30:09am

Ideas like that will backfire and only reinforce the notion the unions are heavt handed bullies.

If they follow through, look for Walker's reelection.

2 wrenchwench  Thu, Mar 31, 2011 10:42:11am

What a large ration of baloney.

Here's a relevant sentence from Wikipedia's article on boycotts:

Individual consumers are always free to make whatever purchasing decisions they want, for whatever reasons they wish; that is the essence of a free society and a free market.

A "public boycott" is a boycott. There is no such thing as a private boycott.

Telling a business owner, "If you don't have one of those worker-supporting signs in your window, I will not shop here" does not constitute a "threat". It is sharing information. That business owner is lucky. He or she KNOWS why customers quit coming in.

A boycott may or may not be accompanied by picketing. Picketing is highly regulated. The entrance must not be blocked. Picketers can't be stationery, they have to keep moving, which allows the public to move around them.

From the link at the top:

Jim Parrett, a field representative of Council 24 for Southeast Wisconsin, confirmed the contents of the letter, which carries his signature. But he added that the union was also circulating letters to businesses thanking them for supporting workers’ rights.

Parrett said that since the letters were sent out, he has received threatening phone calls as well as calls from people supporting the state workers.

So we don't know who is making the threats, but they are against a union representative, not any business.

3 Buck  Thu, Mar 31, 2011 10:49:26am

If I were a business, and I got that letter.... I would feel threatened.

The letter is evidence of the threat.... the threatening phone calls are just the one guys say so...

4 wrenchwench  Thu, Mar 31, 2011 10:57:37am

re: #3 Buck

If I were a business, and I got that letter... I would feel threatened.

The letter is evidence of the threat... the threatening phone calls are just the one guys say so...

The letter is informative. If a business owner wants to "feel" threatened by it, like you would, that's his or her prerogative. Telling someone of the conditions of a boycott campaign does not constitute a threat just because someone says they "feel" a threat.

The letter, therefore, is not evidence of a threat. There is no quotation from any business person in your article, let alone one who feels threatened. Therefore, "one guy's say so" constitutes much greater evidence than any other evidence provided.

I know I won't change your mind. I only hope that you'll use a little more thought in the future when you post stuff.

5 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Thu, Mar 31, 2011 11:20:55am

Boycotts are threats? LOL. Try to find me a group that hasn't boycotted something at one time or another.

And for good reason. If you don't like what a business is doing, not buying from them is a perfectly legal choice. It's the capitalist way to vote for/against certain actions/policies/etc. There is no law saying that you have to buy from companies that are doing something you feel is immoral.

6 Buck  Thu, Mar 31, 2011 8:36:42pm

I can sort of understand someone boycotting a company because of something they do,

However "we will boycott you UNLESS you support us".... Boycotting a business because of what they wont do?

That is different.

I can't believe you don't see "post this in your window or we will do a public boycott of your business" as a threat.

7 wrenchwench  Fri, Apr 1, 2011 1:34:34pm

re: #6 Buck

I can't believe you don't see "post this in your window or we will do a public boycott of your business" as a threat.

Is it a threat if I say to you, "Post this sign or I will never come back."?

8 Buck  Fri, Apr 1, 2011 9:43:32pm

re: #7 wrenchwench

Is it a threat if I say to you, "Post this sign or I will never come back."?

That isn't what is going on.

“Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business."

The union is not saying they wont be coming back, but that they are going to do a public boycott. Again, not for what the store owner does, but for what they don't do.

Yes, I think a lot of people are going to see this as a threat.

9 KingKenrod  Sat, Apr 2, 2011 2:13:47am

re: #8 Buck

That isn't what is going on.

“Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business."

The union is not saying they wont be coming back, but that they are going to do a public boycott. Again, not for what the store owner does, but for what they don't do.

Yes, I think a lot of people are going to see this as a threat.

What the unions are doing is almost certainly entirely legal - if anything, they may be guilty of an unfair labor practice called a Secondary boycott. It sort of depends on how you define the business relationship between a targeted business and the local governments who negotiate union contracts. It's murky because this is a public union. If the boycott is intended to put pressure on the targeted party (state and local governments), then it could be illegal.

But regardless the tactic is slimy in my opinion - almost as slimy as the GOP using FOIA requests to harass academics. It's a legal way of harassing an innocent party in an attempt to put pressure on another party. It stinks, and the fact that the unions are required to provide public services to these targeted businesses is a further complication. I'm glad the scope of this sounds pretty small.


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