When the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star recently published a cartoon featuring so-called “union thugs” in trench coats talking in “does and dem” patois expressing dismay about the "right to work" for less vote in Michigan, with American manufacturing encased in cement ready for a deep six off a pier in the background, and inferring workers were the reason for the demise of Hostess, Seafarers (SIU) Communications Director Jordan Biscardo fired off a letter to the editor in protest.
Not only was the letter published, but the paper apologized for the cartoon. Here’s Biscardo’s letter:
I’ve been a loyal Free Lance-Star reader for 21 years. Your grossly misleading, anti-union editorial cartoon [Dec. 13] is the most offensive content I’ve seen in all that time.
Union workers made sacrifices for many years to keep Hostess afloat, only to be gouged and abandoned by managers who collected fat bonuses while employees accepted pay cuts.
No one “turned their backs” on unions in Michigan. That state’s so-called right to work (for less) law was rammed through over the protests of thousands of rank-and-file union members.
The insinuation that organized labor killed American manufacturing is despicable. We’re losing our capacity to build things because on an economic race to the bottom, fueled by Gordon Gekko-like greed at the top.
As for the cartoon’s most prevalent message—unions all mobbed up—well, that one’s too outlandish to touch, other than to say shame on you for publishing garbage.
Ironically, I went to the mailbox this morning thinking what a pleasure it’s been to read the paper every day for all these years. Then again, I’m just a union thug, so what do I know?—Jordan P. Biscardo.
Here is the paper’s response:
Apologies. We chose the Dec. 13 cartoon poorly, and we disagree with its message—Ed.
Thanks to Dan Duncan, executive secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO Maritime Trades Department (MTD), for sending this along.