What's Hot
MOST READ
  • 100 things you must do in Orlando before you die A list of things everyone who lives in Orlando should do at least once | 12/4/2013
  • Vote smart: Why the Aug. 26 elections are important Your vote matters, and here’s why | 8/20/2014
  • 6 things to do if you don’t love the club Want to go out, but you don’t feel like hanging out at clubs? Try one of these activities instead | 8/13/2014
  • Watering holes UCF college haunts Knight Library 11448 University Blvd., knightlibrary.com Named one of the top college bars in the country by thedailymeal.com, Knight Library has four bars, beer pong, tons of drink specials and notoriously gross bathrooms, just like an | 8/13/2014
  • The best things in life are cheap (or free) Tuition is high, your student loan repayments are looming and chances are you barely have $2 stashed away in your dorm room for an emergency. But, somehow, you still gotta live. That’s what student discounts and freebies are for. They’re hardly publicize | 8/13/2014
  • How to study abroad (the right way) In the words of Saint Augustine, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Whether taking a weeklong excursion to Africa or spending a semester in Europe, studying abroad is at the top of many college bucket lists. So read away, m | 8/13/2014
  • Is Disney making kids gay? Ridiculous column pulled from Tampa Tribune after public outcry | 8/20/2014
What's Going On

Calendar

Search thousands of events in our database.

Restaurants

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Nightlife

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Orlando Daily Deals powered by ReferLocal

OW on Twitter
OW on Facebook
Print Email

COLUMN

Happytown

Unions get smart (and angry), gays get benefits (and ridicule), UCF hates environmentalists (and trees) and can somebody make Gary Siplin go away? Please?

Photo: , License: N/A


It wasn't exactly the symphony
of rhyming chants and body odor we might have expected in the wake of this year's union fondue party in Wisconsin, but we'll be damned if the pushback displayed outside of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce building downtown on Thursday, April 21, wasn't impressive. You've probably already heard the skinny - state legislators are carrying the chamber's scented water up in Tallahassee in trying to ram through a bill that would forbid the automatic removal of union dues from the paychecks of the already weakened Florida union faithful. Sounds harmless, right? They can pay their own dues, ooh-rah!

But because this is Florida, and because this is now, the motives behind the legislation are just another painfully transparent Republican chess play in an ever-worsening attack on organized labor and public employees. Why else would the chamber be running advertisements including fake public employees stressing out about making ends meet following their automatic deductions? The chamber is for old white men who eat public employees 
for breakfast with an anti-regulation chaser. Burp!

Fortunately, representatives from just about every union allowed to exist in this right-to-work state - AFSCME, AFL-CIO, SEIU, the police, the firefighters, the teachers, their attorneys, among others - were able to muster what's left of their solidarity for a spirited afternoon announcement: If you're going to fuck with us, we'll fuck you right back in that little spot that still hurts - your pocketbook.

"This is what democracy looks like," read one of the many signs that are starting to get a little dodgy during an era when sane people are being forced to protest in the streets daily. The message behind the signs was more salient, though. Five area banks - Bank of America, Wachovia, PNC, Regions Bank, SunTrust - with comfortable seats on the local chamber's board would soon be faced with the closing of all personal and business accounts associated with the union organizations and their angry rosters. How much could that hurt? According to Steve Clelland, president of the Orlando Professional Fire Fighters IAFF 1365, each rank-and-file member could have from $10 to $10,000 in said banks, and some 50,000 unionites in Orange County are being encouraged to make the leap out of the big banks and into local banks and credit unions. Larger numbers peppered the choreographed microphone handoff peaking at somewhere around $10 million for the more than one million public employees in Florida, but even that number could be too small of an estimate. "It's hard to quantify," added Clelland, who says he's hoping that this is just a start, a shot that will be heard around this failing state. "There is nothing more American, nothing more free market" than kicking the chamber in its bullion balls.

For its part, the chamber played right into the jerk role that had been painted for it, with Florida Chamber spokeswoman Edie Ousley calling the workers "desperate" proponents of "bully tactics" in the Orlando Sentinel; the organization's president, Mark Wilson, went one step further, suggesting that 100 of these serial gripers get an all-expenses paid trip to Economics 101. Hey Mark? What part of that class makes it OK for the local chamber to basically live rent-free on city land? Did we miss that day? Fuckers.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus