The Rat is Back: Union Activism Generates Strong Reactions

By Bahar Gidwani

 

-1Years ago, the building next to my office tried to get rid of its union staff. A local New York building union set up a picket line and brought in a huge inflatable rat to help tell everyone who passed what was going on. The picketing (and the rat) seemed to work and the building owners backed down.
I hadn’t seen that big rat for years. But, guess what? The rat has returned to New York and he seems to be getting a lot of use. I spotted him recently on Lexington Avenue in the East 50s mearn n near the Citicorp building. The Daily News recently reported that the rat was down in the East Village at Grace Church.

 

I suspect the resurgent presence of the rat is related to the union-government conflict in Wisconsin. We’ve had more than a month of protests, arguments, and lawsuits, and we are now starting to see a lot of union-related corporate social responsibility (CSR) data published on the web. All sides in the discussion have something to say.

 

There are new sources (not yet in our system) on:

 

CSRHUB already has a list of 198 companies that support labor unions on our site. We tried, at one point, to ingest the AFL-CIO’s boycott list, but it didn’t have many public companies on it, and it wasn’t updated very often. We are happy to have more opinions on unionization, from a variety of viewpoints.

 

Many of our users will want to know where the rats are and take a stand either for or against union organization.

 


 

Bahar Gidwani is a Cofounder and CEO of CSRHUB. Formerly, he was the CEO of New York-based Index Stock Imagery, Inc, from 1991 through its sale in 2006. He has built and run large technology-based businesses and has experience building a multi-million visitor Web site. Bahar holds a CFA, was a partner at Kidder, Peabody & Co., and worked at McKinsey & Co. Bahar has consulted to both large companies such as Citibank, GE, and Acxiom and a number of smaller software and Web-based companies. He has an MBA (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School and a BS in Astronomy and Physics (magna cum laude) from Amherst College. Bahar races sailboats, plays competitive bridge, and is based in New York City.


Inset Photo: Bahar Gidwani

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