Public Values

Big labour enlists guerilla theatre to battle private equity

SEIU uses humour, absurdity to shed light on buyout kings, absentee owners.

Carlyle Group co-founder David M. Rubenstein by Thomas Heath, Washington Post

April 18, 2008 - Forget the marches and strikes that once defined the union movement. Big labor is relying more on guile and theatrics than blunt force to attack the ascendancy of a new form of corporate ownership: private equity.

And tactics often get personal. Union allies staged a satire outside buyout king Henry Kravis's lavish Long Island home, asking passersby to sign a petition giving him a break on his property taxes. Weeks later, protesters in business suits sneaked into a private-equity conference at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York, where Carlyle Group co-founder David M. Rubenstein was giving a speech. They sought to shame him with a banner that read: "Why does he pay taxes at a lower rate than the hotel's doorman?"

Then on Halloween, union members wearing Rubenstein masks paraded in front of Carlyle's offices, handing out Sugar Daddy suckers.

The unorthodox protests are part of a campaign by the Service Employees International Union and its allies to position themselves as a check on what they regard as a new economic order, one dominated by the big private buyout firms. . .

Links and sources
  "Ambushing Private Equity: As SEIU Harries New Absentee Owners, Buyout Firms Dispute the Union's Agenda", by Thomas Heath, Washington Post, April 18, 2008.
  SEUI project: Behind the Buyouts.org
  SEIU Canada
  SEIU US

Posted: April 21, 2008

Categories:
  News
  Politics
  Campaigns
  Front lines
  Voices of privatization

Public Values (PublicValues.ca) is a project of the Golden Lake Institute and the online publication StraightGoods.ca


Public Values
 
HOME
CONTACT US
SEARCH
FREE BULLETIN
FRANÇAIS
Search PublicValues.ca
Donate to PublicValues.ca
News
Research
Politics
Campaigns
Health care
Public services
Natural resources
Energy
Education
Front lines
Voices of privatization
Feedback and dialogue
Visit StraightGoods.ca
About Us
Donations
Newswire/RSS
What is framing?
Monday, October 23, 2017
Updated frequently
To view photo captions, run your mouse over the photo
 
Bookmark and Share

© Golden Lake Institute/PublicValues.ca, 2007-11
PublicValues.ca owns copyright on all staff-written articles.
We encourage others to freely distribute material from this website but, without explicit permission,
Web publishers may only use short excerpts that also include credit to us and a reference to our site for the full article.
This site is managed by the Golden Lake InstituteVisit Golden Lake Institute Website and Straight Goods NewsVisit Straight Goods News Website
For comments or suggestions, please contact the PublicValues.ca Editor
For technical issues, please contact the PublicValues.ca Webmaster