Friday, August 22, 2008

Montco Commissioners at Odds With Union Tactics

...except Joe Hoeffel. Hoeffel never met a union he didn't like. It looks like Matthews is leaning pro-labor, as well, he just hasn't been told by Hoeffel that he should lean that way yet. Give it time...

Read the article:

Commissioners distance themselves from anti-union letter

By: GARY WECKSELBLATT (Fri, Aug/22/2008)

MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Montgomery County commissioners distanced themselves Thursday from a letter prepared by their labor lawyer and sent to county workers that labeled as “despicable” a union's campaign of calling county employees at home and showing up at their houses.

The letter, made available to the media Thursday, was mailed to the homes of some employees after several complained about what they saw as intimidating tactics used by recruiters for the Service Employees International Union, Commissioners Chairman James Matthews said.

“Union representatives have recently been appearing unannounced at the homes of some county employees,” the letter said. “Some employees have also received telephone calls at home, even to unlisted employee telephone numbers. ... I have confirmed that the county did not provide any personal employee information to union officials. ... we think such actions are despicable.” (read on after the jump)

It says the county “strongly opposes” the unionization effort and urges employees to do the same.

All three commissioners said Thursday they were unaware of the mailing, sent out a few weeks ago. Matthews said it was drafted by attorney Alfred D'Angelo, the county's counsel on labor matters, and turned over to Carolyn Carluccio, the county's acting human resources director.

Matthews said Carluccio and D'Angelo held a meeting with department supervisors who had been asking for advice in how to deal with the recruitment. It was there they were given the letter and told they could change the parts of it they did not like. Carluccio and D'Angelo were on vacation Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

Matthews said the letter was inappropriate and he did not care for the word “despicable.” But after describing himself as “a friend of the trades” and saying the county did not want to appear to be endorsing unfair labor practices, Matthews noted that employees have described their “revulsion” with the union tactics.

“I know many were intimidated,” he said. “Your home is your castle. You show up there in the dark hours unannounced, that is intimidation. Once I'm home, get out of my face.”

Commissioner Joe Hoeffel said he found the mailing “objectionable.”

“Employees have a right under the law to organize,” he said. “They should feel free to make a decision based on their own free will.”

Currently, only county probation officers and domestic relations officers are members of a union, belonging to AFSCME.

Matthews said he is “totally against unionizing in county government” because employees here are treated well. “I don't think it's wise to give up one percent of your pay check. If someone wants to waste their money that's up to them. ... I do not like the intimidation going on out there right now.”


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

joe hoeffel is and always will be a boob. enuf said :<}

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