THE DAILY BLADE: Is This One Of Those Jobs That “Americans Won’t Do?”: Part III
For about two years, the Indiana-Kentucky Regional Council of Carpenters has been using nonunion labor to walk picket lines in front of buildings where construction or renovation work is being done with nonunion labor, reports The Washington Post.
The homeless people, retirees and college students hired as "temporary workers" by the union are paid $8.00 per hour – that’s $1.00 above minimum wage – and receive no benefits.
Some frown on hiring picketers, fearing it undermines the legitimacy of a grievance:
"If I was a member of the general public, and I asked someone picketing why they were there, and they said they don't work for the union and they were just hired to stand there, that wouldn't create a very positive impression on me, nor would it create a very sympathetic position," said Wayne Ranick, spokesman for the United Steelworkers of America.
Others seem oblivious to the hypocrisy of unions paying people low wages to protest contractors paying people low wages:
John Boardman, executive secretary treasurer of UNITE HERE local 25 in Washington, said the issue of who the picketers are is less important than why they're there. "Let's focus on the message - that there are people in this building that are working for substandard wages and benefits," he said.
And why does the carpenters union need to hire picketers in the first place? "[B]ecause the union members are busy working and aren't able to leave job sites," union spokesperson Larry Hujo tells the WaPo.
In a letter faxed to Forbes, Sumner Redstone, chairman of Viacom and CBS, spanked his estranged daughter Shari for her insistence that the terms of the family trust entitle her to succeed her father without board approval:
While my daughter talks of good governance, she apparently ignores the cardinal rule of good governance that the boards of the two public companies, Viacom and CBS, should select my successor. …
If Shari desires to be bought out, I will consider this as long as the price is acceptable. It must be remembered that I gave to my children their stock; and it is I, with little or no contribution on their part, who built these great media companies with the help of the boards of both companies.
Meanwhile, Fortune reports that Shari is strengthening her hand in buy-out negotiations by "raising questions about self-dealing on Sumner's part that echo accusations made in earlier lawsuits by other kin as well as claims that Sumner misused funds held by the family company for his own benefit."
The father-daughter dispute is expected to end up in court. Sumner settled a lawsuit brought against him by his son Brent earlier this year; another lawsuit by his nephew Michael is still pending.
Who Says Conservatives Can’t Find Work In H’Wood?
"Back to You," a new Fox sitcom scheduled to premiere in mid-September, is unusual for a couple of reasons. It’s a multi-camera comedy filmed before a live studio audience, at a time when single-camera comedies dominate. And it stars Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammer, conservatives in a town where liberals dominate.
The sitcom was developed by Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, whose track record includes such hit comedies "Wings," "Just Shoot Me" and "Frasier." The Los Angeles Times reports that Levitan and Lloyd developed the show with Grammer in mind:
[T]hey built a story that could capture the insanity of local news but also the poignancy of an aging anchor who was finally being forced by circumstance to grow up. Grammer read the script and signed on almost immediately. He then recommended Heaton, who came aboard shortly thereafter.
The Times says that "[e]arly reports from bloggers and TV critics … have been almost uniformly warm."