As Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker
moves to implement new collective bargaining rules, union officials are threatening boycotts of businesses that don’t support their efforts to block them, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday.
Members of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24, are circulating letters to businesses in southeast Wisconsin warning that they will face a boycott if they don’t back the unions.
The letters asks businesses to put up signs in their windows saying they support public employee unions.
"Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business," the letter says. "And sorry, neutral means 'no' to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members."
A union representative confirmed to the newspaper that the letter came from the union.
Jim Haney, the outgoing head of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, called the union tactic appalling, and said the campaign was sure to backfire.
"It's kind of like the old protection racket," he said. "'If you have the right sticker, we won't break your knees.' This is beyond the pale to force a small-business person to choose when they want to stay neutral. But that isn't good enough.”
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