Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Markets in Everything: Union Strike Services

1. There’s a market for unions to hire non-union protesters, e.g. in Nashville at the Music City Convention Center (see photo above).  There’s one problem though: the protesters hired by the union are paid $10 per hour (with no benefits), which is below the Tennessee prevailing hourly wage of $12.56 for general laborers.

2. For more than half a century, a little-known firm in a Minneapolis suburb - Strom Engineering - has provided a service of supplying replacement workers when companies across the country are faced with a union strike.  American Crystal Sugar sought reinforcements from Strom when it locked out some 1,300 union employees in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa recently. Strom workers have stepped in at a steel mill for nearly a year, replaced striking mechanics at Northwest Airlines and kept a food plant running during a dispute.


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