April 27, 2004

Inside scoop on Nader

An interesting article from someone who worked for Ralph Nader: bq. Ralph Nader believes an independent candidacy should “generate more understandings and support for major new directions for our country.” His website says these new directions include “repeal of laws that obstruct trade union organization by millions of workers mired in poverty by wages that cannot meet their minimum family livelihoods.” The site prescribes “a living wage for tens of millions of workers making under $10 an hour.” But the perennial leftist candidate, whose name will appear on the presidential ballot for the third consecutive time this November, has not played by the same rules he strives to make binding for corporations and private businesses. And more: bq. Staff turned over rapidly. Few people could stand the hours, pay and abuse for more than a year or two. Nader founded groups to fight for everything from housing to tax reform, then lost interest in them and let them wither by not replacing people who left. Disorganized files lay stocked with uncompleted and unpublished reports. And more: We could find no market for the thousands of people Nader insisted would show up but he demanded we reserve the biggest ballroom we could find while simultaneously not letting us know what dates he’d be available. Each time we found a date we could rent a ballroom, Nader said he could not make it, changed his mind from yes to no, or said he’d come after an all-night flight from California. We nixed that idea for fear he’d fall asleep at the conference (as he often did during conversations). Nader, meanwhile, continually chastised us for the delays and said our alleged incompetence “annoys the sh-t out of me.” And more: bq. Perhaps Nader’s greatest hypocrisy, though, is his brutal anti-union actions. Publicly, Nader declares support for organized labor, pronouncing on his campaign website that “the notorious Taft-Hartley Act that makes it extremely difficult for employees to organize unions needs to be repealed.” But he viciously busted attempts of his own employees to unionize bq. “The day after we filed for recognition, the locks were changed. I was fired. A few days later, the other people were fired,” recalls Tim Shorrock, who edited the Multinational Monitor, a Nader magazine, in the 1980s. “They went after me in an incredibly vicious way. When they fired me, they asked me for all my boxes back,” including ones Shorrock had brought with him to the job and considered his personal property. Nader tried to have local police arrest Shorrock and sued him, a case later dropped. “It was pure harassment,” Shorrock says – the same type of high-handed pressure Nader condemns in government and business. And some people seriously think that Nader would make a good president? Posted by DaveH at April 27, 2004 12:33 PM