They’re innocent until proven guilty, of course. However, I have first-hand knowlege that Pacific Bell employees planned a similar stunt* prior to a strike back in the 80’s. Any union-type-dopers want to step up and defend this type of activity?
*I heard fellow technicians talking about how they were going to issue “reboot” commands to digital switches as they went off the final shift before the strike.
I’m pro-union and I would oppose it as well, for the safety aspects as well as the potentially devastating effect it could have on union finances if it was found to be sanctioned. In fact, one of the benefits to management of unions tends to be formalizing the techniques of dissent, and preventing this sort of sabotage. My experience of working non-union places suggests to me that sabotage isn’t as rare as people might think.
It’s important to draw the sistinction between union support (active or tacit) for illegal activities and for activities that upset the public. The two aren’t, of course, the same, and some illegal activities may be very beneficial for the union’s cause. For example, I seem to remember (which is code for I don’t have a cite) the French rail workers strikign (a rarety there…) and rather than not turning up for work, they turned up and ran the trains as normal, but refused to take any money from the commuters. Management was then put in the position of being the ones who inconvenienced the public, and a settlement was reached pdq.
For those who couldn’t get the Times link, here’s the abc7 story.
I didn’t want to get too long-winded in the OP–they did more than talk. During the strike, someone got into one of the Central Offices and booted a switch. They were in and out of the building in 10 minutes–obviously, they knew just where to go and what to do. During that same strike, a union member was electrocuted when he attempted to sabotage the power feed into a Pac Bell office.
In the discussion that I mentioned earlier, the goal was to create a big headache for the managers who would be sitting in during the strike. I confronted the people…I said that it would really be the customers who would suffer. The reply that I got was “Who’s side are you on, anyway?”
The story of the accusations in Los Angeles brought to mind those words **and **deeds nearly 20 years ago. It seems that the mentality of some people hasn’t changed a bit.
Union supporter here. And no, i wouldn’t condone—indeed, i would condemn—the type of actions described by the OP.
Of course, the OP itself it disingenuously worded. It implies that those who support unions would countenance any actions on the part of member of unions, and it also assumes that union members who happen to commit illegal activities are doing so on behalf of or at the behest of the union. The fact that some union members might be criminals or morons doesn’t change the positive role unions can play in our society.
It’s sort of like asking “Capitalists: would you support the actions of Ken Lay in the Enron scandal?”
Fair enough. Perhaps I should have said it differently and/or put this in the Pit. I didn’t mean for this to be a union-bashing thread, but more of a comment on the mindset of a certain subset of union members.