How Union Busters Work and Executives Party
Larry, TransChip’s CEO has hired a team of union busters to teach his managers how to prevent workers from organizing. Johnny Stronzo and Marco Coglione, “union avoidance consultants” with the Knacker Labor Relations Agency in New York City, have been flown in to present a three-day seminar to the managers at the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco.
Starting on page 286…
For the next three days, opened Stronzo, Marco and I will show you how to recognize, block, and eliminate any and all union activity at TransChip. Marco and I are going to show you how to hold onto and grow control with the tools you need to keep your company union free, in other words, to make TransChip solidly un-unionizable.
These tools include ways to communicate with workers to turn them against unionizing. You will do this through your company paper, with bulletin boards, and all-hands meetings—in addition to monitoring onsite literature and worker gatherings of all types.
And here’s an important tool you may not even be aware of. I’m not sure why American companies control healthcare access for employees—it doesn’t work that way in other countries. But it gives you a huge advantage over workers that can and should be exploited. Use that valuable benefit as a carrot and a stick, he laughed.
The TransChip management team spent the next three hours listening to Johnny and Marco detail the evils of unions and union organizers, each one getting more on board by the hour.
There wasn’t enough morality in the group to conjure up a concern about workers’ rights or their struggles to share in the wealth they were creating or even to have safe working conditions as they continued to produce the chips that were changing the world and making a few men rich. If any of them had an attack of conscience, no one said anything.
On the second day, all with hangovers from too much partying the night before, they carried on with their seminar for a grueling three hours then had an hour to get ready at their choice of the many bars in the Mark Hopkins while waiting to be picked up in limos and taken to Pier 39 for a dinner cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge.
Cocktails were waiting for them as they boarded the yacht and an open bar kept them lubricated throughout the evening.
A large movie screen and slide projector were set up against one wall in the dining area. Specifically for this event, Larry and Tom had put together a slide show perspective of TransChip’s exciting future. Technicians had set it up so that all Larry had to do was flip a switch then push a button on a handheld device to change each slide in the deck, narrating the show from a script Tom had written for him.
TransChip’s elite took full advantage of the free and free-flowing liquor. When the yacht crew served a traditional San Francisco dinner (locally-caught crab, extra sour sourdough bread, and Northern California wines), they all sat down and put on their bibs to crack and consume the large crab legs with their hands.
Halfway through dinner, they were all drunk and had made big messes on the tables when Dale suddenly decided to make a speech and stood up to get everyone’s attention by banging a spoon on a coffee cup.
At the same moment, Ben stood up to do his favorite party trick where he pulled the tablecloth out from under all the food and dishes and glasses stayed in place. Far from objecting, everyone encouraged him and they all laughed hysterically when everything on the table—food, dishes, glasses, and garbage—went crashing to the floor and an explosion of juicy crab shells sprayed anyone within five feet.
Undaunted by the rude interruption, Dale banged the spoon louder on his coffee cup. It didn’t work. He did it again. No one was listening to him.
Attention, everyone, he said loudly. No response. Hey, he yelled at the top of his voice, Shut the fuck up! No one did.
While all the other boys were laughing hysterically at Ben’s mess, Steve, who seemed to be the only one even noticing Dale, yelled just as loud, No, you shut the fuck up, Dale, then picked up a now-hard half loaf of sourdough bread and threw it, hitting Dale in the stomach.
Dale picked up a pitcher of water, walked over to Steve, and dumped it over his head. It triggered a pack reaction and food began to fly around the room until all but a few stunned or drunken TransChip managers were hurling food and drink at each other like unruly children with no parents around.
Larry, who had been watching the food fight from the head table, ducked his head just as a large crab leg flew by, then leaned over to Carl sitting next to him and said, You think they’ll be disappointed if we skip the slide show, Carl?
Devastated, said Carl, as they both laughed and dodged crusty sourdough missiles.
The next day’s seminar began….
Morning, gentlemen. Since you all have this in your workbooks, we’ve decided to skip today’s presentation altogether so we can all get back to work, opened Larry, who looked worse for the wear and had no intention of going back to work. His eyes were bloodshot and his head was throbbing.
I’ll just wrap this up by thanking Johnny and Marco first of all. Can we all give them a round of applause?
Weak applause spread across the room.
After a few more comments from their boss, on the third morning of their grueling 13-hour work week in San Francisco, TransChip’s finest all went to home to sleep it off and lie to their wives about what they did in The City.
Steve Honey’s hangover was so multi-symptomatic, he told his wife Bunny he got food poisoning at Fisherman’s Wharf and spent the next three days being waited on.