A Senate hearing on union organizing turned into a verbal brawl this week between an Oklahoma Senator who owns a plumbing business and the head of the Teamsters union.
Teamsters President Sean O’Brien argued that corporations were making record profits while workers were getting the shaft and being intimidated from joining unions.
Oklahoma Senator Markwayne Mullin weighed in, saying the intimidation he worried about was what he saw union organizers do at his plumbing company.
O’Brien then called Mullin “a greedy CEO.”
Mullin responded he made “about $50,000 a year because I invested every penny.”
“OK, all right,” O’Brien said.“You mean you hid money?”
Mullin said: “I think it’s great you’re doing this because this shows their behavior and how they try to come in and organize a shop.”
Mullin then accused O’Brien of “sucking” money out of people’s paychecks and “forcing them to pay dues.”
O’Brien interjected Teamsters did not force members to pay dues, before declaring, “You’re out of line.”
“If you’re really for the employee, then why are you against right to work? Why are you against private ballots?” Mullin said. “I’m not anti-union, but when you don’t want to have a private ballot, that’s not intimidating?”
Our friend, Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee, points out that page 16 of the Teamsters contract with, say, UPS makes it clear the union will have workers fired within 72 hours if they don’t pay dues. The rule obviously doesn’t apply in the 28 right-to-work states.
“The simple fact is like all modern union bosses, Teamsters’ President O’Brien’s preferred business model is nothing short of legalized extortion,” Mix told us. “Nice job you got there, pay up or be fired.”