"Failure to [display the sign] will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business," the letter says. "And sorry, neutral means 'no' to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members."Which side are you on? Cue Pete Seeger. Neutral means you on the boss's side. In the case of the public employees, that's... well, it's the taxpayers, isn't it? You'd better not not be on that side, you lousy scab.
The union-led effort is an outgrowth of a boycott campaign by the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and other unions in which M&I Bank and Kwik Trip were targeted because either the companies themselves or their executives supported Gov. Scott Walker's budget initiatives.The police? I can't get my head around the concept of police involvement in boycotting businesses. That reads like pure corruption. I can't believe it's being done openly. Can someone explain to me how you can even argue that it is acceptable for police to extort political support from citizens?
Jim Haney, the outgoing head of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, a pro-business lobby, said... "It's kind of like the old protection racket... If you have the right sticker, we won't break your knees.' This is beyond the pale to force a small-business person to choose when they want to stay neutral. But that isn't good enough."Meade and I talked to a several local business owners, after one protester threatened us and purported to "ban" us from various shops and restaurants in town. We wanted to know if we were still welcome, and everyone we spoke to wanted to be politically neutral.
In the letter, [Jim Parrett, a field representative of Council 24 for Southeast Wisconsin] writes: "It is unfortunate that you have chosen 'not' to support public workers rights in Wisconsin. In recent past weeks you have been offered a sign by a public employee who works in one of the state facilities in the Union Grove area. These signs simply said, 'This Business Supports Workers Rights,' a simple, subtle and we feel noncontroversial statement given the facts at this time."