Washington, DC

“Dear PoP,

After MPD told me that the picketers outside my office building (downtown) who are protesting another firm in the building, didn’t need a permit to cause a ruckus and disrupt my business, I did a quick Google search to find out more about the picketers’ grievances. I’m all for fair wages and labor standards, and I’m also for allowing people to protest in public. But what I found out about these particular picketers destroyed any and all goodwill I had for them. They’re non-union workers, paid by the unions to protest!

There was a Wall Street Journal article written up about this practice in July. Sure enough, the unions in the article are the same ones represented on my sidewalk, and the signs are the same, too.

According to the WSJ, they have no opinion about the issue they’re protesting. These folks have been around almost two weeks, and there’s no indication that they’re going anywhere anytime soon.”

The WSJ article says:

“For a lot of our members, it’s really difficult to have them come out, either because of parking or something else,” explains Vincente Garcia, a union representative who is supervising the picketing.

So instead, the union hires unemployed people at the minimum wage—$8.25 an hour—to walk picket lines. Mr. Raye says he’s grateful for the work, even though he’s not sure why he’s doing it. “I could care less,” he says. “I am being paid to march around and sound off.”

Ed. Note: It is not clear if these particular protesters are paid or not but I still think it’s an interesting question.

Wow, I’ve never heard of something like this before. It def. is an interesting question. What do you guys think – is it cool to hire people to picket/protest for you?


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