Yet as is becoming drearily expected, the will of the electorate means little or nothing to unionists and their Democrat enablers when that will is reflected in legislation antithetical to their agenda. Incredibly, labor activists are talking about taking their protest to what they consider one of the biggest stages in the nation–the Super Bowl game on Sunday, February 5th. That protest could reportedly include such tactics as Teamsters jamming city streets with trucks, and union electricians staging a slowdown at the Super Bowl Village convention site. Even more incredibly, they could be joined by protesters from the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement.
A combination of both groups has already staged two protests in the Super Bowl Village last Friday and Saturday. And many of those protesters indicated that a signed right-to-work bill would not, as some are hoping, end the demonstrations, but rather provide the impetus to ramp them up. “If the Governor signs, I want to shame him out of this state,” said Heath Hensley of Occupy Anderson. “He doesn’t want us screwing up this Super Bowl.” Tim Janko, a steelworker from northwest Indiana was equally upset. “I’m going to picket the Super Bowl because this is wrong,” he said. “I’m going to have a Teamster drive me into town.”
The Nation’s Dave Zirin stirs the pot by describing the Super Bowl itself as yet another object of scorn for the class warriors in order to justify such demonstrations. “The Super Bowl is perennially the Woodstock for the 1 percent: a Romneyesque cavalcade of private planes, private parties and private security,” he writes. “Combine that with this proposed legislation, and the people of Indiana will not let this orgy of excess go unoccupied.” That odious motif was echoed by Jeff Harris, spokesman for the Indiana AFL-CIO, who called the game “the ultimate party for the 1%,” and Occupy Purdue organizer Tithi Bhattacharya, a professor at Purdue University. “If the bill becomes law this week then it is very important for all of us to protest this Sunday,” said the professor. “We should show the 1 percent that the fate of Indiana cannot be decided with the swish of a pen by corporate politicians–the Super Bowl should be turned into a campaign for justice and jobs.”
The bet here is most Americans still think it’s a football game, and there is the possibility that cooler heads might still prevail. “These guys have worked all their lives and this is their only shot,” said Pete Rimsans, executive director of the Indiana State Building and Construction Trades Council. “We don’t want to do anything that could ruin that.” Union boilermaker Pete Etoler also saw the potential for a backlash. “I think it will hurt our cause,” he said. “We’re trying to build up Indiana and bring businesses here. That won’t help.” Governor Daniels noted that anything detracting from what is arguably the highest profile sports event in America “would be a colossal mistake.”
If a Rasmussen poll is any indication, a large-scale Super Bowl protest would indeed be a colossal mistake. Seventy-four percent of likely voters think non-union workers should not be forced to pay dues in a closed union shop. Just 15 percent disagree, and 11 percent aren’t sure. Furthermore, only 11.8% of America’s entire workforce belongs to a union, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics–and only 6.9 percent of those workers were private sector employees. The rest were public sector employees. Thus, any Super Bowl protest aimed at winning public sympathy is likely to backfire. Big time.
That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Union thugs and their enablers have long grown comfortable with the idea that coercion and intimidation, no matter how ill-advised, is the ultimate fallback position when their agenda is thwarted by the democratic process. Staging a game-disrupting protest however, could be a fatal miscalculation: no matter how miserable or dangerous thuggish tactics employed by union members and/or OWSers might make it for 150,000 people expected to show up in Indianapolis, tens of millions of other Americans will be watching any unseemly spectacle from the comfort of their homes, neighborhood bars, etc. Will those Americans be intimidated? Disgusted is far more likely.
However Super Sunday turns out, one thing is certain: in Indiana, any employee who wishes to be a member of a union, or any workforce that wishes to be represented by organized labor, is still free to do so. The bill’s passage means workers can no longer be compelled to join a union, or pay dues to a labor organization whose views may be completely out of synch with their own. Labor leaders call that union-busting. One suspects a majority of Americans call it freedom.
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