Skip to main content

Sometimes corporate America’s actions shock me more than last week’s episode of "Lost."  For instance, consider the two-faced positions Cintas and one of its subsidiaries have taken on the Employee Free Choice Act.

Cintas, the uniform rental and laundry giant, has been one of the most aggressive anti-free choice act employers around.  Bad-mouthing the bill was a central theme in its "Cintas Votes" program.  Workers endured anti-free choice videos and received misleading information about the (hopefully) law-to-be.  Tampa Cintas worker Jimmy Thorton said that management "showed us videos trying to persuade us to vote differently than we were."

More than that, the NLRB has found Cintas maintained an unlawful policy prohibiting workers from discussing the terms and conditions of their employment, interrogated workers about their union activities, and discriminated against workers’ protected activity. The company has either closed union shops or ran the union out of laundries acquired through buy-outs.

Given this record, it’s stunning that Cintas subsidiary Brookfield Uniform recently announced its support for the Act.  In a letter to the National Association of Letter Carriers, Brookfield’s General Manager wrote:

Brookfield Uniforms supports the labor movement’s continued efforts to ensure that hard working men and women achieve the pay, healthcare, and retirement they deserve—and that their families need—particularly in today’s difficult economy.  Across the country, union members are coming together to support landmark legislation like the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make union membership more readily accessible to millions of individuals.

But what the letter doesn’t say is that Brookfield—whose workers are union members—makes postal uniforms, and postal workers have insisted that their uniforms be union made.  Brookfield’s letter is a response to a blistering article by NALC President William H. Young accusing Cintas of having the chutzpah to sell to hundreds of thousands of union members only to attack their unions and the labor movement.  It seems that a Cintas company can sing a different tune on workers rights when its business depends on it.

Thanks to President Young and the letter carriers for their continued show of solidarity.  It’s heartening to know that the labor movement has Cintas workers’ back.  The real fight is now on to ensure that Cintas workers—and all workers—get to have a voice on the job.

Originally posted to the spark on Wed Apr 08, 2009 at 01:33 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site