A couple of weeks ago, I finally did it. I went out to Cleland's Outdoor World for a gun lesson with Theresa Cleland. Since the fire that destroyed their original building, they've had a temporary showroom across the street, along with a shooting range trailer.
Upon arrival, I noticed that there were some union protesters in front of the new construction, objecting to the use of non-union labor on their building.
Now, unions protesting the lack of union jobs is not an uncommon site in Toledo, but I was curious, so I asked Theresa what was up with the protesters.
Her explanation and the information she related is one of the reasons why unions are losing ground in terms of members and support.
You see, after such a devastating event as a fire which completely destroys your business and source of livelihood, Cleland's did what many of us would have done. They turned to a family member - a nephew who is in the construction business - to help them rebuild. They trusted their nephew to help them not only with the construction, but with the rebuilding of their family business. You and I, knowing nothing about construction or such, would probably do the same thing.
But that's not good enough for a specific union mentality.
Theresa told me she called the union and explained why they chose a non-union contractor. She said she asked the union representative what he would have done if her were in her position. She told me he said, 'I'd probably do the same thing.' Her response was, 'Then why are you protesting?!?'
Did you get that? This might actually qualify for a 'stuck on stupid' designation. A union representative in charge of arranging for protesters of a family-owned, local business admits he'd probably make the same decision to hire a non-union firm - but his union is still objecting.
Today I learned, from WSPD, that there is now a billboard urging a boycott of this local company that has decided to rebuild their business at their original location instead of going somewhere else.
And I have to wonder:
* Do the union members who are protesting ever do work for their family members? I'm certain that happens all the time!
* Do they make their family members go through a union first? I doubt it.
* Do the union members who are protesting ever use a non-union family member for any of their own needs?
* Or do they tell their brother-in-law, aunt or sibling: 'sorry - can't hire you to do xyz because you're not in a union.' I doubt such considerations enter their minds.
And when you'd do the exact same thing you're protesting, objecting to or urging a boycott for - that makes you a hypocrite.
I have my second gun lesson scheduled for this week and I fully intend to keep that appointment. The union protesters, with their right to object, didn't deter me originally and their call for a boycott won't stop me now.
In fact, because their position is ridiculous and hypocritical, I'll probably go out of my way to encourage others to shop at Cleland's.
The best way to address a hypocritical call for a boycott is to make a purchase. So, even if you're not into guns or archery, you might want to consider some of the other self-defense products they have, including such items as pepper spray and tasers.
Their grand re-opening is going on through August 12th.