The National Labor Relations Board ruled that a small group of cosmetics and fragrance workers at a Macy’s store in Saugus, Mass. can be organized separately from other employees.
The Wall Street Journal
It’s never been easy bein’ a labor organizer, but right now it’s never been harder.
Private sector union membership has dropped through the roof, or maybe I mean the floor. It was 16.8% in 1983, it’s 6.7% now. That’s why we gotta go after the minnows, because there ain’t no big fish to fry no more.
Which is why I’m standin’ outside Macy’s, bein’ as surreptitious as possible. I’m trying to organize the girls at the in-store Beauty Bar into the International Sisterhood of Cosmetics and Fragrance Workers. Yeah, go ahead and laugh, but I want to be the guy going toe-to-toe with Big Perfume fightin’ for the rights of spritzer girls!
What I gotta do is catch ‘em as they come out the door and tell ‘em how the big department store where they work is gettin’ the gold, while they get the shaft. An employer can exclude me from organizin’ on the premises, so go ahead, exclude me out, I can still get all the signatures I need as long as I got the right, shall we say, “incentive.”
That’s why I loaded up on every woman’s dream: handy, convenient small appliances! Just the thing to turn a working girl’s few hours away from the sweatshop atmosphere of the cosmetics counter into a miracle of efficiency. I’ve got a dishwasher-safe countertop donut maker, a Salad Shooter, a Dust-Buster–I should be all set. Ooh–here comes a poor, oppressed spritzer girl now. It’s Jeenie, who works the noon to 2/5 to 7 split shift.
Hey, Jeenie. Al DiBartolo of the ISCFW. What’s that? Only the best friend a working girl slavin’ away on her feet all day at a cosmetics counter ever had, that’s what–the International Sisterhood of Cosmetics and Fragrance Workers. Say, how would you like to better your wages and working conditions, huh? Sure you would–EVERYBODY would! Well, that means you gotta join together with your sisters at the . . . what’s that? They ain’t your sisters? They ain’t even your friends? If you had a chance you’d scratch Mimi LaFrance’s eyeballs out? Whoa–that’s no way to level the playing field with the overwhelming bargaining power of greedy bosses to get what’s coming to you. You gotta band together–sisterhood is powerful! Listen, I got this nice Dustbuster here for ya–9.6 volt cordless model, it really sucks . . .
Whadda ya mean I really suck? I’m just tryin’ to help ya girlie. Oh yeah? Sez who? Same to you! Yer gonna be sorry when we get this place organized. Don’t come crawlin’ around, begging me ta make ya shop steward. Blow it out your panty hose!
Jeez, what a bitch. Guess I’ll have to catch the next . . . okay, I got a live one here. Tina Del Guidici–generally regarded as Queen of Mascara, Eyeliner and Blusher. She’s a triple threat! Hey, Tina, great job you did on that lady with the oily T-Zone. It was like the Exxon Valdez there, you was terrific. Say, we’re having an organizational meeting tonight, it would be great if you could come, we’re trying to get some dignity for you cosmetic and spritzer gals. Better wages ‘n hours ‘n stuff. I got a little somethin’ for youse, it’s a gen-you-wine Salad Shooter by Presto, this thing is like the Harley-Davidson of hand-held electric shredders and slicers. It slices, dices, chops and . . . what’s that? You don’t like to cook? You want rich guys to take you out to dinner?
Well, jeez, if you’re gonna throw your lot in with the 1% instead of your comrades storming the barricades of exfoliants and lip gloss, that’s your business, but I’d think it’d be nice to make your guy a home-cooked meal every now and . . .
Say what? I’ll have you know I may be a prick but I’m not a little one. I should do what to your yeast-infected . . . do you kiss your mother with that mouth?
Well, all I can do is try. I never met a labor force so unwilling to do what’s necessary to improve their lot a lot. You’d almost think they think they’re . . . better than their sisters in misses and juniors and their brothers in snow tires and men’s outerwear. I can’t imagine why, just because they spend 16 hours a day lookin’ at themselves in the mirror.
Hey, here comes a prospect. Lu Ann Bemish-Slaughter. Hasn’t made enough money to change back to her maiden name since she dumped her no-count loser boyfriend. She’s low-hanging fruitcake!
Hey Lu Ann, how ya doin’. Al DiBartolo of the International Sisterhood of Cosmetics and Fragrance Workers. We’re trying to organize to get you “gals” a pay raise and benefits so we’re offering one-time come-ons like this beautiful Sunbeam Donut Maker, regularly $28.99 at Target but it’s yours free if you’ll sign this card sayin’ you want . . . wait, what?
You don’t need no donuts? Well, how was I to know you was in Weight Watchers? I mean, except for your thunder thighs there you’re lookin’ pretty . . .
Hey, officer–arrest that woman for . . . anti-union violence!