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Reply #46: More from the article on CEO Penn's firm's "labor relations" work... [View All]

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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
46. More from the article on CEO Penn's firm's "labor relations" work...
Among the most controversial aspects of Penn's firm's business, from the liberal perspective at least, come under the category of "labor relations," a traditional euphemism for suppressing workers and thwarting their right to organize. ]Before Penn scrubbed his firm's Web site, it advertised this specialty and noted the firm's capacity to confront "Organized Labor's coordinated campaigns whether they are in conjunction with organizing or contract negotiating." Not the most graceful wording, but the idea is clear enough.

And in practice, as Berman reported, Burson executives have used these skills against two major unions seeking to organize workers at Cintas, the nationwide uniform-supply company, which may be the single most ambitious union drive in North America today.

So here was a conflict of interest that seemed both direct and salient. Sen. Clinton is a declared supporter of labor rights who often tells workers that she is on their side. Besides, she badly wants the support of the Teamsters and UNITE HERE, the unions seeking to organize the Cintas employees, not to mention all the other labor organizations that might help her win the nomination and the presidency. But on the issue of workers rights, her top advisor has been on the other side.

Or has he? Penn said that he had nothing to do with the Cintas account, even though he is Burson's CEO. Moreover, he took offense at the implication that he might be anti-union. He recalled that his father had helped to organize the poultry workers union in Queens, N.Y., where he grew up. Unsurprisingly, his indignation and sentimentality did little to persuade union officials of his sincerity. They know very well that Penn is among the leading figures in the Democratic Leadership Council, whose budget is underwritten by major corporations and whose policies favor business over labor. Even the lunchboxes at DLC conferences display corporate logos.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2007/06/16/hillary... /
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