Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x4 - Dean explains - Union turns thumbs down - Entertainment Cruises responds *** Union challenges Pritzker to live up to promises
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*** UPDATED x4 - Dean explains - Union turns thumbs down - Entertainment Cruises responds *** Union challenges Pritzker to live up to promises

Friday, Aug 31, 2018

* Handed out at the Indivisible Chicago event last night attended by JB Pritzker…

Background is here. Chicago and Midwest Joint Board of Workers United is part of SEIU, which has endorsed Pritzker.

* Related…

* Employee Accuses Pritzker Group of Union-Busting: “If he’s going to be a businessman and politician who’s campaigning on a progressive platform, you’ve gotta prove that you’re progressive in your business as well,” Dean said Thursday. “He campaigns on unionizing. He says unions are a great thing, they’re what built the middle class. He wants to campaign on collective bargaining rights. And he’s actively union-busting at his own company.”

*** UPDATE 1 *** A commenter pointed to this video of workers confronting Pritzker yesterday

* From the main organizer…



*** UPDATE 2 *** The person who runs the day to day operations of this little company really ought to have his or her head examined. I mean, nobody over there stopped to think that maybe, just maybe fighting a unionization effort might damage the guy who pays all the bills? Anyway, it appears the message finally got through what must be a very thick skull…

At Entertainment Cruises, we know our shipmates make our company great, and we are committed to open and transparent dialogue with our employees. We support the right of our shipmates to engage in organization activities and to make sure that all voices are heard in that effort. If a petition is filed with the NLRB, the NLRB’s process provides a fair mechanism for employees to vote in a secret ballot election. Entertainment Cruises respects this right and will conduct itself throughout the process with integrity and fairness.

*** UPDATE 3 *** From Kathy Hanshew, Manager of the Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board, Workers United/SEIU…

We are deeply disturbed by the Pritzker Group and Entertainment Cruises’ response to the SeaDog workers’ recent demand for union recognition. Sending workers seeking workplace justice and union representation to Donald Trump’s NLRB for a fair process is akin to sending undocumented immigrants to Donald Trump’s ICE for a fair process. It’s a horrible idea.

Pro-union Democrats, including both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, support the Employee Free Choice Act or EFCA. EFCA would mandate that private sector employers recognize a union based on a simple authorization card count or card check. Bosses love NLRB elections because even though a solid majority of Americans approve of unions, only about 8% of Americans actually belong to them. The Millionaire and Billionaire class and the NLRB are to blame.

We continue to demand that JB and Tony Pritzker and Entertainment Cruises work out a fair process for organizing so that their workers gain union recognition through a simple card count. This was the process recently used by TRONC when employees decided to organize at the Chicago Tribune, and it will work just fine for Entertainment Cruises workers out at Navy Pier.

Will the real JB Pritzker please stand up?

*** UPDATE 4 *** I agree with the gist of this take…



- Posted by Rich Miller        

53 Comments
  1. - slow down - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 9:53 am:

    It’s fair to ask these types of questions but when the alternative is Rauner, where else are the unions going to go?


  2. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 9:57 am:

    –where else are the unions going to go?–

    They’re not going to go anywhere. But they can still pressure JB to get his own “ship” in order, so to speak.


  3. - Colin O'Scopy - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 9:59 am:

    This should be no surprise. When you have the scion of a hotel empire, with a long history of rebuffing unionization of their chain, you can’t be surprised that union busting allegations weren’t going to surface.

    This is a case of where the unions that supported him early were mesmerized by his “checkbook charms” in their zeal to oust Rauneer.

    Well, the unions now have to dance with their prom date, warts and all.


  4. - thunderspirit - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:01 am:

    Good for them. They *should* press Pritzker for talking out of both sides of his mouth on this.


  5. - BlueDogDem - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    Twenty some years ago, I made the transition of being a 100% partisan Democratic goofball to a conservative independent. Actions have always spoken lowder than words.


  6. - Matts - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    Whoa. That’s a real punch in the gut. He’ll be fine.


  7. - Perrid - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:07 am:

    @thunderspirit, I don’t know that it’s talking out of both sides of his mouth if he literally is not making decisions for the company, as he claims.


  8. - fanofthesox - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:07 am:

    Video from last night, I have to say Pritzker comes off well.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfkM8Y4prPk&feature=youtu.be


  9. - DuPage Bard - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:08 am:

    And? Rauner gave them Janus. Maybe the uni0ons can complain enough that 2 out of 5 of their members vote for Rauner just like in ‘14.


  10. - Charry - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:09 am:

    The year is 2020, the place, the state fair. JB shows up to Governor’s day drowned out in a sea of green shirts Booing his arrival.

    Ya’ll booed Pat Quinn, a man who never owned a business in his life. JB is a bonafide union buster.


  11. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:11 am:

    The Pritzker family owns the majority of tourist boats along Navy Pier. Then we have their hotel chain, both built on the backs of low payed employees.

    Sea Dog, Elite, Spirit of Chicago and Blue xxx, those boats pay poorly, have large turn over, schedules difficult to make a living at…..

    Oh, yea, just before Pritzker’s run for Governor, he sold his stock to his brother.


  12. - Leatherneck - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:11 am:

    - slow down - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 9:53 am:

    It’s fair to ask these types of questions but when the alternative is Rauner, where else are the unions going to go?
    ———-

    McCann? (At least the rank and file)


  13. - Almost the weekend - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:11 am:

    The longer this is not addressed the more this lingers. Not a coincidence this came out Labor Day weekend.


  14. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:11 am:

    –where else are the unions going to go?–

    They don’t have to go to Rauner. They have the option of not voting for either


  15. - Techie - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:13 am:

    It’s hard to do worse than a governor who refused to pass a budget for years because his anti-union demands weren’t met, the result of which cost the state over a billion dollars and hundreds or thousands of jobs.

    Nonetheless, it’s hard to be inspired by a candidate who says one thing and does another. He can argue that although he owns the company, he’s not actively managing it. Nevertheless, you can exert any pressure on management to allow your employees to unionize? Hmm…too bad Biss didn’t win the primary.


  16. - 44th - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:14 am:

    Finally an interesting issue. All the talk of healthcare for everyone, “living” wages, billionaires, small business and unions, and this boat charter company touches on it all.


  17. - Real - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    The year is 2020, the place, the state fair. JB shows up to Governor’s day drowned out in a sea of green shirts Booing his arrival.

    -Stratton as LG would not stand for JB busting unions.


  18. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:29 am:

    The trick bag could have so easily been avoided. It’s so stupid that it was not.

    The SeaDog is a Mickey-Mouse operation within the context of Pritzker’s $3.5 billion fortune, not worth risking one vote over.

    Do you want the enthusiastic support of rank-and-file labor to become the next governor, or do you want to get tough with the crew of the S.S. Minnow?

    Pick a lane. Because it is so easy to paint you as a phony with this, with the goal of tamping down turnout.


  19. - City Zen - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:30 am:

    ==where else are the unions going to go?==

    Preferably not on a Spirit Lakefront Cocktail Cruise.


  20. - MG85 - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:32 am:

    I’m baffled at the notion that “unions have nowhere to go.” Labor can still support JB while still holding him accountable.

    Rauner is worse but JB does not receive an unfettered golden ticket to behave however he wants. Union members are not idealistic in thinking that JB will come in and provide plush contracts with little to battle for items at the negotiating table.

    But to think Unions can’t walk and chew gum is ridiculous and, quite frankly, what gets Democrats into so much trouble. They think they make their constituents strong when it is, in fact, the opposite. If JB doesn’t know that, then he will go the way of Pat Quinn. Just ask Senator Raoul how important Union support was in the primary for AG.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    It’s quite confusing, “empire of businesses” or not that Pritzker finds himself where he is with this issue, and no matter how this plays out in the end, the damage to the image is now there.

    It’s confusing that a campaign willing to spend $207K… a day… every 24 hours… never vetted or understood their own problems… and continually are cleaning up messes, and are wholly not prepared for toilets, or labor, or investments… and it’s not on a “green” (yikes, no pun intended) candidate to understand how to protect themselves.

    What would this race be if Rauner wasn’t so unlikable, the most vulnerable, the worst Republican… if you think about it, Rauner is 26 points under water… and Pritzker leads by a mere 16 points with that Rauner unfavorability?

    But, that’s why we have campaigns, and you run when it’s best to do so, abd when it’s best to go after incumbents, but let’s not be fooled that, outside the mammoth ground game footprint and organizing, this isn’t a textbook campaign owning the day against the most vulnerable incumbent in America.


  22. - Anonchalant - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    It’s impressive how JB handled that. He didn’t run from them. He stopped and talked to them. That’s what you want from a mature leader.

    If he’s divesting from the companies, I’m guessing there is nothing he can do about it. But that was smart politics and good leadership to stop and just listen.


  23. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    It’s a no-brainer. Pritzker should exert all his influence for the company’s workers and unionization. It’s a great thing to do for workers and his gubernatorial chances.


  24. - Duopoly - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 10:56 am:

    =It’s fair to ask these types of questions but when the alternative is Rauner, where else are the unions going to go?=

    JB is turning out to be a Pat Quinn faux populist when comes to dealing with their own workers. The choice is faux populist or faux Governor, another example of the 2-party system “success”.


  25. - City Zen - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    Unite Here Local One has a question for JB: Are you ready?

    https://www.chicagohotelstrike.org/


  26. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 11:10 am:

    –If he’s divesting from the companies, I’m guessing there is nothing he can do about it.–

    He can sure make some noise about how he feels about the situation on the way out, particularly if family are still going to own it.


  27. - TKMH - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    ==Hmm…too bad Biss didn’t win the primary==

    Because no Democratic candidate would’ve motivated union voters more than *checks notes* the chief architect of pension reform.

    Let’s be clear, if he wins, Pritzker is going to govern like Phil Murphy, who also comes from a monied background and is extremely progressive, including NJ’s labor issues.


  28. - Generic Drone - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 11:23 am:

    Agreed. If JB wants union support, then he should become very vocal in supporting those very same unions at his businessess.


  29. - Exit 59 - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    I thought this was good for JB. I know the history. Sure, this isn’t over but, that’s a good, big step in the right direction. Or what did I miss?


  30. - TKMH - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 11:25 am:

    ==JB is turning out to be a Pat Quinn faux populist when comes to dealing with their own workers. The choice is faux populist or faux Governor, another example of the 2-party system “success”.==

    One candidate favors raising the minimum wage, gun control, and having a budget. The other candidate doesn’t. Nothing faux about that.


  31. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 11:27 am:

    ===Pat Quinn faux populist when comes to dealing with their own workers===

    I seriously doubt he’s running the day to day operations at this little tour company. But the person who is running it really ought to know better. I mean, for crying out loud, the dude paying all the bills is running for governor as a pro-union Democrat.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    ===I seriously doubt he’s running the day to day operations at this little tour company. But the person who is running it really ought to know better. I mean, for crying out loud, the dude paying all the bills is running for governor as a pro-union Democrat.===

    This…

    … and I also hold the research arm of a campaign, a campaign that spends $207K a day… just as responsible, as they couldn’t “keep tabs” on what oppo they have on JB and things like this popping up?


  33. - Honeybear - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    Something doesn’t smell right folks
    Looked up the heads of the union past and present
    Why were they the chairmen of the board for
    Almagamated Insurance and Amalgamated bank?
    Look I’m just a frontline union (small u) leader
    And maybe I just don’t understand
    The leaders seem to be out of or tied to New York
    But when they are pulling the crap
    On a candidate whose success against Rauner
    Has a tremendous effect on my job
    I got a problem with it.
    Nothing is more important to me
    And to my coworkers Than defeating
    Bruce Rauner
    And on my level in the Metro East
    We are united and making headway
    Regardless
    If other areas are like mine
    This won’t in any way suppress
    The union vote


  34. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 11:58 am:

    Very clearly JB supports public sector unions funded by tax dollars and he goes to extraordinary measure to avoid paying his fair share.

    He also very clearly opposes unions that would be paid for by his persona fortune in the billions of dollars.

    So he is consistent, he is a very stingy with his personal dollars but very generous with other people’s money.


  35. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 11:59 am:

    Heck of a tap dance by Mr. Pritzker on that particular tape.


  36. - Evanstonian - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 12:04 pm:

    HOneybear —

    The people in that video.. You think they’re rich eite from out of town? Not people concerned about making ends and a more equitable society?

    Come on… That’s pretty gross.


  37. - City Zen - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 12:52 pm:

    Just sit right back
    And you’ll hear a tale
    A tale of a 15 hour shift
    That started from this chilly pier,
    Aboard JB’s SeaDog ship.
    The mate was an overworked sailin’ lad,
    The Skipper uninsured.
    The Pritzkers agreed that day
    There’d be no union tour,
    No union tour.


  38. - Anon - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 1:04 pm:

    JB addressed this directly. JB literally met these guys on the street and talked to them face to face.

    JB didn’t fire the executive that did this — which is what I would be demanding, stepped away from the business or not.


  39. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 1:08 pm:

    I don’t know JB from any other guy so when I watch the video, I can’t say if he is being honest or not. What I can see is that he appears to be. Contrast that to Rauner who would immediately let out his telling laugh while making funny faces and trying to avoid eye contact. Again, JB could by lying, but if I’m an independent watching JB and Rauner in these kind of interactions, JB wins.


  40. - OneMan - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 1:12 pm:

    Always interesting to see how it ends up being about Rauner….

    This isn’t a good look for him, again not sure if it will make anyone switch a vote, it might keep some people home and it will likely result in some folks getting a better deal from their employer.

    Would be interesting to see how many folks working for JB companies make less than 15 an hour.


  41. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 1:26 pm:

    –Almagamated Insurance and Amalgamated bank?–

    Sorry, way off base here. Look up the bank. Founded by a union. No longer majority owned by unions but was for a long time. Local union leaders on its board. Is there a more union-friendly bank in Chicago? I doubt it.


  42. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 1:27 pm:

    Also, it’s OK to continue to support JB wholeheartedly, yet still want him to fix this. Many other commenters have. Not everything is a conspiracy theory.


  43. - Honeybear - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 1:40 pm:

    Ron and Evanstonian, look I’m just trying to figure out where this gaslighting “whataboutist” attack is coming from.
    Is it privileged Biss folks Evanstonian?
    Is it Rauner connected big business Ron?
    It took money and coordination
    To pull that off
    It wasn’t done by a little guy like me.
    This was a well coordinated job
    It smells
    As to amalgamated I don’t know
    It just doesn’t seem right
    Only Rauner benefits from this
    Labor certainly doesn’t
    This is a dark money job.
    But it’s frontline regular public servants
    That are going to get destroyed
    If Rauner wins.
    If there is one thing I am known for
    On this blog
    It’s for naming
    And exposing
    Perfidy


  44. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    Or perhaps it’s just some intrepid overworked and underpaid employees on their own using their owner’s candidacy for leverage to fix their own problem. I think my theory is more likely.


  45. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 2:03 pm:

    It looks like this may end well for workers, as the company now says it won’t fight the unionization effort. Great job by those getting the issue out there and hopefully resolved.


  46. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    “…I stepped away…from the business…”

    Dude. Seriously? Did you throw away all of the phone numbers?

    This was an OK encounter, but it would have been better if JB had said: “As soon as I found out about this, I got on the phone and talked to the guy in charge.” Etc.

    JB should also take a break from campaigning while he mediates a settlement between UNITE HERE and the downtown hotels. It would get him some earned media, show his leadership abilities, and put down a marker for organized labor.


  47. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 2:48 pm:

    Good on JB for apparently doing the right thing, albeit belated. Hard to tweak Rauner about the toxic plant when this is going on in your portfolio.


  48. - OneMan - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 2:54 pm:

    Seems like the card counting would have been a no-brainer answer for this. Instead, they are just digging the hole deeper.


  49. - Rod - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 3:00 pm:

    I seriously doubt the unions that have endorsed JB did not background research all the firms he has invested in or ourteight owns for their labor practices. The unions made a Faustian bargain by endorsing JB and doing it early. This is the deal they are stuck with, presumably JB will be better for public sector unions than Rauner. The unions will turn out their members for JB and for the most part this story will not discourage his unionized voting base. More than likely they will have never heard about it.


  50. - OneMan - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 3:06 pm:

    The unions will turn out their members for JB and for the most part this story will not discourage his unionized voting base. More than likely they will have never heard about it.

    If everyone in Illinois doesn’t know about this over the next 2 months, someone (be it Rauner campaign or super-PAC) will have engaged in political malpractice.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 3:09 pm:

    ===Will the real JB Pritzker please stand up?===

    Dear Pritzker Crew,

    You’re losing here.

    Better figure how to make this right, and really, honestly, truthfully come to grips… what you think is good in how you handle things… still isn’t working.

    Be better.

    OW


  52. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 3:24 pm:

    Oh, and Pritzker Crew…

    Not to be “Captain Obvious” or anything…

    Your narrative now on the Friday of Labor Day weekend is…

    ===Will the real JB Pritzker please stand up?===

    … when talking JB and Labor.

    Don’t let any more public correspondence go out unless it’s a joint statement of an understanding.

    OW


  53. - Real - Friday, Aug 31, 18 @ 3:56 pm:

    Seem like its time for JB to step back in his business and handle this situation.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* More remap stuff
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* Harvard's former Motorola plant appears to have been transferred from one alleged internatioinal money-launderer to another
* PNA repeal back on the front burner
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