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Last week at a city council meeting in Allentown, Pa., a top official of the local Service Employees International Union chapter ranted about 17-year-old Scout Kevin Anderson's park cleanup work. Anderson devoted some 200 hours to the job in order to earn an Eagle Scout badge. He picked up trash and helped clear a 1,000-foot walking path with fellow members of Boy Scouts Troop 301 of Center Valley.
But SEIU's Nick Balzano gave them hell instead of thanks.
Balzano disparaged altruistic efforts in city parks and asserted that "there is (sic) to be no volunteers" since his union members were laid off. He then issued a witch hunt threat: "We'll also be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails. We may file another grievance on that." Citing union rules, he gave the Allentown city council, the Boy Scouts and all potential volunteers an iron-fisted ultimatum: "None of them can pick up a hoe. They can't pick up a shovel. They can't plant a flower. They can't clear a bicycle path. They can't do anything. Our people do that."
Last June, union officials in Baraboo, Wis., filed a complaint against volunteer firefighters who built sandbag barricades to protect the city from record flooding. They whined that city Department of Public Works employees should have been called first and demanded overtime pay (for work they didn't do)
SEIU President Andy Stern in Washington speaks for all of Big Labor when he describes his organizing philosophy: "We prefer to use the power of persuasion, but if that doesn't work, we use the persuasion of power." President Obama, who has made national service an administration priority, has been and will continue to be silent about the Big Labor bullies who make public enemies of Scouts with trash bags and hoes.
You see, kids, Obama owes Stern (his most frequent White House visitor) and his union brethren. SEIU alone poured more than $60 million in compulsory membership dues into Obama's campaign and leaned on its workers to "volunteer" to knock on doors, place phone calls and send out mailers for the Democratic Party. No good deed goes unpunished by union bosses -- unless it benefits their political empire.