After doing some shopping today with my family, I was approached in the parking lot by a man with a clipboard. He asked me to sign a petition to bring a Wegman’s to the town next to mine. I said no, mostly because I was with an antsy 3 year old and my husband who generally disapproves of giving personal information (name, address, phone number) t0 strangers on the street. And I told the guy that Wegman’s was non-union. He argued with me. I don’t think so. Are you sure? Where did you hear that?
I’m rarely sure about anything and have never been to a Wegman’s. When I got home, I looked it up. Not only are they non-union, but they are also apparently one of the best places to work. And that’s totally cool. I don’t think everyone has to be in a union, but I think every worker has a right to join a union. I’d shop at a non-union store if they have a proven record of treating their workers right. As for the place I had just shopped at, and the petitioning man saw me holding a bag from, that was also non-union and I had no idea until I looked it up at home.
I’m justifying this case of hypocrisy by saying there is a difference between inviting a non-union shop into town not knowing how they are going to treat their workers and shopping at a non-union store that has a record of how they treat their employees. I’m also justifying it by remembering that we can’t possibly know everything about every store. To learn these things, we have to sift through so much ignorance, half-truths, or even lies. The guy doing the petition, who I would think would know more about the store he was trying to get in his neighborhood, was trying to tell me Wegman’s was union. At best, he didn’t know. At worst, he lied to me. And either one of these options is totally fine with me. I believe in freedom of speech, and subject to certain caveats, you have the right to lie to me. Because of this, because it is so difficult to get accurate messaging out about everything and inform consumers about every aspect or even the more important ones, I believe in unions to protect workers when necessary and regulations to stop businesses from bad practices.