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{Empty title} | The Nation

I am the President of Local 274 of the Philadelphia Joint Board, an affiliate of Workers United. This article failed to paint an accurate picture of the lengthy and distracting labor dispute that is harming workers in Philadelphia and preventing us from focusing our energy and resources on issues truly important to workers and their families: healthcare reform, the Employee Free Choice Act, and comprehensive immigration reform.

The truth is, workers are being hurt.

UNITE HERE has turned workers into collateral damage in what your article describes as a fight between rival unions, but in reality is a raid by one union (UNITE HERE) on the membership of another (Workers United).

After forty years of service in the trade union movement, four of which I’ve had the rare and distinct honor of serving as a local union president, I never thought I’d see a union stoop so low, ethically and morally, in the name of staying in power.

For months, out-of-town organizers temporarily assigned to Philadelphia by UNITE HERE have raided our members, both at work and at home, in hopes of misleading them with lies and misinformation.

For months, they’ve resorted to bullying, intimidation and scare tactics to do what they cannot otherwise lawfully do: steal our union’s members.

For months, they’ve misused millions of dollars of union funds to interfere with union organizing, representation and bargaining in hopes of undermining our relationship with our members, and employers and our status as their representative.

While you don’t hesitate to level accusations of raiding in your article, your accusations are directed to the wrong party in this dispute. Your claim that UNITE HERE’s actions are merely retaliatory cannot be based on any evidence, and must simply be a matter of your opinion, because even the simplest investigation would have shown that UNITE HERE initiated this fight, at least in Philadelphia.

Next time, please write an article that has relevant facts that back up its premise; one that paints the entire picture, and not just the part of the picture that serves your agenda. You owe it to your readers.