Thursday, June 17, 2004

Boss Nader

Matt Gunn has this intriguing bit on Ralph Nader

Check this out from "Boss Nader," in National Journal's 6/5/04 print edition (sorry, subscription required):

Amid a dispute with the staff of one of his flagship publications in 1984 over its editorial content and a bid by staff members to form a union, Nader responded with the same kind of tactics that he has elsewhere condemned: He fired the staff, changed the locks at the office, unsuccessfully tried to have one employee arrested, and hired permanent replacements. When the fired workers appealed the action to federal authorities, Nader filed a countersuit. Applying a legal tactic that employers commonly use to resist union-organizing efforts, Nader claimed that the fired workers were trying to appropriate his business. Nader spurned efforts by other progressives to mediate the fight, and he refused an offer to settle the litigation by simply signing a declaration that his workers thenceforth would have the right to organize.

"I was shocked by how Ralph acted," said John Cavanagh, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, who tried to mediate the dispute. "He seemed unable to see how this conflicted with his ideals."

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