Some liberal unions have found a way to ‘get their message across’ – and help the homeless. A double bonus! Via the WaPo:
The picketers marching in a circle in front of a downtown Washington office building chanting about low wages do not seem fully focused on their message.
Many have arrived with large suitcases or bags holding their belongings, which they keep in sight. Several are smoking cigarettes. One works a crossword puzzle. Another bangs a tambourine, while several drum on large white buckets. Some of the men walking the line call out to passing women, “Hey, baby.” A few picketers gyrate and dance while chanting: “What do we want? Fair wages. When do we want them? Now.”
Although their placards identify the picketers as being with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters, they are not union members.
They’re hired feet, or, as the union calls them, temporary workers, paid $8 an hour to picket. Many were recruited from homeless shelters or transitional houses. Several have recently been released from prison. Others are between jobs.
“It’s about the cash,” said Tina Shaw, 44, who lives in a House of Ruth women’s shelter and has walked the line at various sites. “We’re against low wages, but I’m here for the cash.”
Carpenters locals across the country are outsourcing their picket lines, hiring the homeless, students, retirees and day laborers to get their message across. Larry Hujo, a spokesman for the Indiana-Kentucky Regional Council of Carpenters, calls it a “shift in the paradigm” of picketing.
Political groups also are tapping into local homeless shelters for temps.
One resident of the Community for Creative Non-Violence shelter earns $30 a day holding a sign outside a Metro stop protesting nuclear war. In 2004, residents of at least 10 shelters were paid to collect signatures on petitions in favor of legalized gambling. Residents call this type of work “lobbying.”
The carpenters union is one of the most active picketers in the District, routinely staging as many as eight picket lines a day at buildings where construction or renovation work is being done without union labor.
James Taranto quips (link below added by me):
So Obama is promising that as president he will serve as a hired foot–a job a street vagrant can do. Does he have the foggiest clue what the president actually does?