Human Events Blog

Wisconsin Union Bullies Circulating Boycott Letters

Seemed not that long ago the president held a bullying summit and decried the intimidation faced by some in this country. It’s funny how his supporters aren’t getting the message. Now that the Age of Civility has died a quick death, unions are becoming even more brazen with their thug tactics, especially in Wisconsin. Earlier this month we chronicled the account of one James Palmer, the Director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, who sent a rather ominous letter to the president of a Milwaukee company who had the temerity to be a contributor to Governor Scott Walker’s victorious campaign. In his letter Palmer ominously intoned: “In the event that you cannot support this effort to save collective bargaining, please be advised that the undersigned will publicly and formally boycott the goods and services provided by your company.”

Yes, this is America in 2011. As with most of the threats leveled against businesses that story went largely unreported, especially by the national media. Sadly, that’s also been the case with the high volume of death threats made against Wisconsin Republicans, forever a stain on the credibility of the Make Believe Media.

Fast-forward to today and we discover yet another case in Wisconsin where members of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24, are circulating letters to business owners asking they post signs in their store windows demonstrating support for the goon squads. From the very poorly written letter: “Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business. And sorry, neutral means ‘no’ to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members.”

So even if you tacitly support the efforts of unions but don’t want to be publicly involved, you’ll be targeted. I imagine if we had a functioning Justice Department in this country they’d already be on the case.  The mastermind behind this latest caper is some punk named Jim Parrett. Of course, as is typically the case when bullies are exposed, Parrett’s already playing the victim: “I’ve gotten a lot of threatening phone calls,” says poor Jim, who offered no evidence to support his claim. It’s amazing how quickly the bully turns to victim when smacked in the face.

Sorry, Jim, but if you’re going to threaten business owners, don’t expect them all to just roll over, take it, thank you and ask for more. Reality check, Jim: A lot of people don’t like you and would probably just as well punch you in the face as they are to bow down and do what they’re told. Just thought you should know that before you compose your next illiterate shakedown memo.

There’s something else these modern-day brownshirts overlook in their short-sighted attempt to get their way through fear and intimidation. Suppose their misguided efforts bear fruit and shopkeepers are hurt financially. Well, their recourse is likely to lay off or terminate employees altogether. Now for a group of people supposedly concerned with the rights of “workers,” who then speaks for the workers who suffer from the boycott? Or do they not count if they’re among the overwhelming majority of Americans who aren’t unionized? Do they have rights? This greaseball Parrett apparently hasn’t considered that.

Also likely not factored into his “thinking” is the fact that posting a sign showing support for Parrett and his ilk could well have the reverse effect than desired. People sick and tired of these spoiled malcontents could very easily see which businesses to avoid. Said Terri Gray of the Union Grove Chamber of Commerce, voicing the concerns of businesses upset by this: “They don’t want to pick a side,” she said. “I told them, ‘I believe you can choose to not choose.'”

The left is always preaching about “choice” and “tolerance” for others. Funny how they never tolerate the choices others make if it differs from theirs.


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