Blogs

Markets All Around

16 November 2007

7:28 PM

16 November 2007

7:28 PM

Union Edition:

About 30 people picket in front of a bank in downtown Washington, D.C., wearing big yellow signs that read: "Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters."

They shuffle about in circles, many wearing hooded sweatshirts and jeans. Their coats are draped over parking meters; their belongings sit in plastic grocery bags on the sidewalk. I ask a protester named Mike Hodge why he’s there.

"We’re protesting, we’re protesting…" Then the energy leaves his voice and he concedes, "I don’t know."

No wonder.

Hodge isn’t a carpenter; he’s a rent-a-picket.

The regional carpenters’ union has hired Hodge for $8 an hour, essentially outsourcing protest work that union members traditionally do themselves. And many of the demonstrators are homeless people, according to people familiar with the union and its practices.

UPDATE: This has been going on for ages, it seems.                                                                                                                                                     

More Spectator for less. Stay informed leading up to the EU referendum and in the aftermath. Subscribe and receive 15 issues delivered for just £15, with full web and app access. Join us.




Show comments
Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here