A Special Steelworker Rapid Response to a Union Hater

chris ormesWhen Chris Ormes, president of United Steelworkers of America Local 1241 in Bardstown, Kentucky, heard a right to work for less speaker was heading his way, he opted for his own “rapid response.”

Says Ormes: “The local Republican women’s club invited Alan Blincoe of Kentucky Citizens for Right to Work to one of their meetings. I called Leo Downs and Wanda Riney from our local. All three of us went.”

The USW has a grassroots, non-partisan Rapid Response program designed to inform and mobilize union members when bills concerning labor and work-related issues are pending in state legislatures and Congress, Ormes said.

Ormes, Riney and Downs rapidly responded to the union buster.

Ormes figured the GOP faithful — about a dozen or so women and men, the latter mostly spouses of club members — would summarily show the union trio the door. “Instead of asking us to leave, they said we were welcome to stay.”

That’s not all. After Ormes introduced himself as head of the union at Bardstown’s American Fuji Seal plant, the Republicans bade him to have his say when Blincoe was finished.

Blincoe’s comments might have been a tad too candid, according to Ormes. “He said his group wanted to bring right to work to Kentucky but under the radar. He said he didn’t want unions to know what they were doing.”

Ormes explained that so-called right to work laws amount to freeloading because they permit employees at a unionized workplace to enjoy union-won wages and benefits without belonging to the union and paying union dues.

Ormes added that right to work laws are bad for economies. On average, workers in right to work states make less than workers in states that permit union security agreements, he said.

“I asked them ‘How would taking $150 to $200 weekly from over 1,000 union households in Bardstown and Nelson County benefit our community?'”

Ormes said Blincoe skedaddled as soon as the meeting ended. “He talked for about two minutes to the woman who invited him. He didn’t stick around to take any questions.

“But people – including the county Republican chairman — came up to me and thanked me for coming and educating them. I think I convinced all but three of them.”

Berry CraigUnbeknownst to Ormes, a Bardstown Standard reporter was in the crowd. “She interviewed me and said she’d put what I said in the paper, too.”

Ormes guesses Blincoe might be a little skittish the next time he speaks to another presumably anti-union gathering. “He’s got to be wondering if there’ll be any union members in the audience. I’d love to follow him everywhere he goes.”

Berry Craig

Monday, 15 July 2013


  1. ESQ says

    Well I for one disagree I worked for a closed shop in Denver ie you were a part of the union or you didn’t work there period. The union an AFL:CIO affiliate did a poor job of negotiating contracts and what little we did get in increased compensation at contract renewal was all but eaten up with increased union dues so it was always a wash. I have always made more money and benefits working in non union shops. As far as I am concerned the unions once had a legitimate purpose but they are now just money pit dinosaurs driving up the cost to do business causing price increases on consumer goods on the middle class. The unions are self serving entities that support failed governance policies. If unions are so great then why are places that used to be union strong holds turning into ruinous wastelands one needs only to look to Detroit to see what the greed of the unions has helped to rought.

  2. -Nate says

    This is refreshing to hear .

    Unions have a terrible rep in the U.S. they need to overcome .

    It’s true that Union wages benefit everyone , no doubt about that fact .

    The past history of union goons is the basic trouble here IMO .

    FWIW , I am a dues paid SIEU Local 721 Member and will be so until I die .


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