A couple of weeks ago, Rich Eline (a Daily Kos blogger whose handle I cannot find at the present moment) contacted us at the Raging Chicken Press. He informed us that Chester County, which is located outside of Philadelphia and is the beginning of the "rural / suburban divide," hired notorious Red State Blogger and infamous Kulture union buster Peter List to give seminars on why "unionism" is bad for the workforce.
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Rich Eline who worked in the Teamster offices in Reading PA went back into the regular workforce sometime ago, and he worked for Chester County Human Services. The 160 employees belonged to 5 different county departments: Aging, Children and Youth, Drug & Alcohol, Mental Health/ IDD and the Youth Center.
In an article for the Raging Chicken Press titled "<strong>Chester County, PA Hires Wingnut Kook Union-Buster with Taxpayer Money," Rich stated his organizing experience saying:
When I was informed of the mandatory meetings, I started feeling a little sick. I had heard of mandatory meetings before but had never been forced to attend one. Caseworkers were told to pick a time for the meeting that would least impact their caseload. The meetings were held over a few days, 10 employees at a time, scheduled for an hour and a half. They were billed as necessary, to “inform and educate” about the union. It would appear the commissioners were suddenly so concerned about their employees, they did not want them to get into something they did not understand. Although all caseworkers are college graduates and capable of providing excellent care to the most vulnerable of society, the commissioners, in their infinite wisdom, felt they were unable to do their own research and needed help with education about the union.Fast forward to Thursday April 11 when the vote was slatted to occur:
Enter wingnut kook extraordinaire, Peter List. Mr. List was not always a union buster. He was a CWA shop steward with AT&T before his job was outsourced to Mexico in ’92. After going back to school, he had an epihany and crossed to the dark side, using his labor relations degree to help companies beat organizing efforts
Months of forced anti-union meetings and the hiring of an out-of-state union-busting firm on taxpayers’ dime was not enough to break workers desire to form a union. Yesterday, workers from Chester County Human Services department voted 96-56 to form a union and affiliate with Teamsters Local 384.Score 1 for the good guys!
As Rich Eline – a social worker in the Human Services department – reported in Raging Chicken Press earlier this month, the 163 caseworkers from departments including Aging, Children and Youth, Drug & Alcohol, Mental Health/IDD and the Youth Center grew increasingly frustrated by their working conditions.
Chester County is the wealthiest county in Pennsylvania and ranks 24th on Forbes Magazine’s “25 Richest Counties” list