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HRC Looks to Unions to Cut Costs

hrc-logoOn a day where the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped to 1997 levels, the Human Rights Campaign fended off rumors that it would be cutting staff and freezing salaries to “weather the storm”. HRC spokesperson Brad Luna said the gay rights organization was in talks with the Service Employees International Union, which employees are members of, to work out a deal, but offered no specifics. An unnamed source within the organization claims :that raises awarded to some HRC staff were being rescinded, some staff would see their salaries reduced by 2 percent and that there would be no cost of living increase for employees this year.”

The Washington Blade spoke with Luna, who told the paper:

“We’re a union shop, so therefore we have to have conversations with them about these economic times,” he said. “And they’re looking at it and seeing if there’s ways we can work together. Other than that, the details of it, I really can’t go into.”

Luna would not say whether any decisions have been made to freeze or cut employee salaries at the organization.

“I would rather not comment on the specifics at this time,” he said. “It’s an ongoing conversation with the union.”…

HRC board members were to meet in Washington this weekend to discuss the organization’s budget for fiscal year 2010, which begins in April. Luna said the event was an annual meeting — not an emergency gathering — and was “not a discussion” about “the ongoing conversations that we’re having with our union.”

By:           Japhy Grant
On:           Feb 23, 2009
Tagged: , ,

  • 29 Comments
    • sal
      sal

      sad news!i really hope it doesnt affect them too much

      Feb 23, 2009 at 9:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wolf
      Wolf

      HRC Workers are UNION?

      Geeesh

      Feb 23, 2009 at 10:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim in SF
      Tim in SF

      The silver lining of the economic crisis negatively effecting gay organizations is the possible collapse of HRC. It cannot come soon enough. I’m crossing my fingers.

      Feb 23, 2009 at 11:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe
      Sebbe

      I was also surprised to learn that the HRC is unionized. To bad more of America isn’t. I know they get a lot of criticism (shock), but they have also done good as well.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 12:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jonathan
      Jonathan

      @Tim in SF: I completely agree… never has so much money from the LG (and not BT) community been so wasted as on the HRC…

      Completely useless organization dedicated to making closeted Republicans feel comfortable with their “different” (read anti-LGBT) and “private” (read closeted) politics. Afterall, just because you’re out on 18th Street doesn’t mean you’re out on the Hill or in your constituency!!!

      Let’s hope the HRC folds — and soon.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 7:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville
      Anthony in Nashville

      Is it such a bad thing that HRC may be freezing salaries, considering the perilous state of the economy?

      I know it’s popular to bash HRC, but who is going to pick up their slack if they close? I know there are other LGBT organizations like the Task Force but I don’t think they have the membership of HRC and people dis them for being too politically correct. It seems like some people want them to fail, although I have not heard these critics explain how the gay community would benefit without them. HRC may need new leadership, but I don’t think it would be a good thing if they folded.

      I am not a member of HRC but if people are expecting something like Join The Impact to be able to have the profile/connections of HRC I think they are mistaken. Maybe we need to create a LGBT version of MoveOn.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 8:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scotte
      scotte

      As I understand it, non-management employees at HRC are unionized. Those in upper-management and supervisory roles are not.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 9:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ousslander
      ousslander

      Why am not surprised they are unionized. Unions at one point were a good and necessary thing. Now they are anachronistic, who really could care little about a companies well being and holding up the tax payers for more money especially public service employees with the dem party in their pockets.
      After HRC supported the wrongly named Employee Free Choice Act, I hope it comes back to bite them in the ass.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 9:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe
      Sebbe

      @ousslander – Anachronistic? I didn’t realize that workers in America had all that they deserve as hard working loyal employees.

      Health care, paid vacation time, maternity/paternity leave, etc, etc, etc.

      While you can still be assured that those running those companies do. There is still a place for unions and hopefully they will be growing in influence in the future.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 10:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim in SF
      Tim in SF

      @Anthony in Nashville: I know it’s popular to bash HRC,

      Not nearly popular enough, sadly.

      but who is going to pick up their slack if they close?

      Considering the cover they give to conservative politicians, hopefully NO ONE will pick up their slack. Hopefully they go away.

      … people dis them for being too politically correct.

      I don’t know who you’re talking to, Anthony, but I hate HRC for several damn good reasons that have nothing to do with “PC” (whatever that means).

      Save us all some time and educate yourself. Google “HRC controversy Lieberman” or “HRC boycott” and read the first few articles.

      (My prediction is that you will not. Usually the first one to throw down the “PC” term is an idiot, pig-ignorant, intellectually lazy, or a Republican. Prove me wrong.)

      It seems like some people want them to fail, although I have not heard these critics explain how the gay community would benefit without them.

      How would we benefit without them? Perhaps we would not have Joe Lieberman in the Senate, in favor of progressive Ned Lamont, if not for HRC. Perhaps we would have trans protection in the ENDA bill if not for HRC.

      HRC is a tapeworm on the gay community. They suck up resources and do us no good, when not outright sabotaging some of our more progressive efforts. If HRC folded today and everyone in the organization got jobs in other areas, we gay people would all be seriously better off.

      HRC may need new leadership, but I don’t think it would be a good thing if they folded.

      An organization like HRC *IS* it’s leadership. Besides, you can’t make them get new leadership, so what’s your point?

      Besides, it wouldn’t help. I believe it to be a systemic problem, throughout the organization. You’d have to do a complete purge and why would you bother, when there are so many other, better poitical organizations?

      HRC should die. The only thing good about it is the cool logo.

      They’re drowning and I wish I could thrown them an anvil.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 10:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. MuellerYes, Your Majesty; No, Your Majesty. Tell us how low to go, Your Majesty; Make some more decrees, Your Majesty, Don't let us up off out knees, Your Majesty. Give us a kick, if you please Your Majesty Give us a kick, if you would, Your Ma
      Charles J. MuellerYes, Your Majesty; No, Your Majesty. Tell us how low to go, Your Majesty; Make some more decrees, Your Majesty, Don't let us up off out knees, Your Majesty. Give us a kick, if you please Your Majesty Give us a kick, if you would, Your Ma

      @Anthony in Nashville:

      “I know it’s popular to bash HRC, but who is going to pick up their slack if they close?”

      Umm…exactly what is it that they are doing for us that we will miss when they shut down….hopefully?

      “I am not a member of HRC”

      If you are not putting your money where your mouth is, then what does it matter to anyone what you think?

      Why is it that those with nothing invested, always seem have the most to say?

      Feb 24, 2009 at 10:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe
      Sebbe

      I am a paid and donating member and I think they still do good. Are they perfect? No Is a lot of the criticism they receive deserved? Yes But, I still think they are playing a vital role and have done so for close to 30 years now. The last election presidential forum (first of its kind) sponsored by the HRC and Logo is one notable example.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 10:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville
      Anthony in Nashville

      @Charles J. MuellerYes, Your Majesty; No, Your Majesty. Tell us how low to go, Your Majesty; Make some more decrees, Your Majesty, Don’t let us up off out knees, Your Majesty. Give us a kick, if you please Your Majesty Give us a kick, if you would, Your Ma:

      LOL I will give you the point for that one.

      Since the thread looked like it was turning into another “let’s hope HRC goes away” fest I thought I would offer my opinion since the people I see criticizing them usually don’t have an alternate plan.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 10:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville
      Anthony in Nashville

      @Tim in SF:

      I’m familiar with the issues you raised about HRC. I’m not saying they are perfect, especially with how they handled ENDA. I guess I put them in the category of the NAACP, an organization that’s lost some of its fire but is still considered the ‘flagship’ group of its type, and one that a lot of people turn to for support.

      When I referred to Task Force being “PC,” that’s not my opinion but what I have picked up from other people criticizing the recent Creating Change conference or that Dan Savage comment about their race-related activities.

      I’m curious to learn about these “other, better poitical organizations” you mentioned. If you could point me to some URLs I would appreciate it.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 10:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • blake
      blake

      @ousslander:

      I say bullsh@t! Unions are not responsible for the crappy decisions made by business executives. Unions did not cause the current financial disaster. Unions did not cause the Big 3 Automakers to design and market gas guzzlers or cars that explode on impact.

      Do some research, as unions have declined over the last 30 years, so has the standard of living and economic job security for most Americans. Wealth does not trickle down from the crumbs form the table of the ultra rich. If there isn’t a solid blue and white collar middle class to buy the goods and services of companies, there is no engine to build overall economic security.

      If you want to see what an America without a solid middle class would like, take a look at Brazil, Mexico or Russia. Then look up the word “dystopian.”

      Feb 24, 2009 at 11:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe
      Sebbe

      @Blake – Well said.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 11:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @ousslander: Where have you been for the last thirty or so years? Certainly not in the US. Maybe not on this planet.

      Both parties have been ripping and tearing at our standard of living. From Carters deregulation of the S&L’s, made worse by Reagan, down to Clinton’s NAFTA and deregulation of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) made worse by Bush and now Obama the standard of living has precipitously declined. Much of that can be attributed to the export of jobs by union busting measures like Clintons NAFTA.

      As a rule unions are the only guarantee of prosperity and the attacks on them have ruined the economy. Obama is continuing the Carter-Reagan-Clinton-Bush legacy by demanding that UAW members accept wage cuts and other austerity measures. African Americans and Latinos have been particularly badly hit by the export of jobs.

      Because of deregulation the uberrich have been able to loot the economy, hauling in obscene incomes, while the economy grinds to a halt because working people can’t afford to buy the goods and services they produce.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 12:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim in SF
      Tim in SF

      @Anthony in Nashville: I’m familiar with the issues you raised about HRC. I’m not saying they are perfect, especially with how they handled ENDA. I guess I put them in the category of the NAACP, an organization that’s lost some of its fire but is still considered the ‘flagship’ group of its type, and one that a lot of people turn to for support.

      You say “flagship organization.” I say “legacy organization, coasting on their efforts from the bad-old AIDSey days of the eighties and early nineties, exploiting older fags’ nostalgia to raise money.”

      Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

      … one that a lot of people turn to for support.

      Really? Name two.

      HRC is a political lobbying organization, not a gay support or services organization like a local gay center. HRC lobbies. That’s what they do. And they do it badly. They get us nothing and nowhere. Often, lately, they stand in the way of progressive change and progressive candidates in favor of their political allies.

      HRC is composed of an infuriatingly cowardly and self-centered group of conservative gays. They are members of the DC cocktail party circuit and they will not ever do anything to threaten their access.

      In the face of my specific examples of the bad they are doing, you’ve responded with vague assertions about their supposed worthiness. Well, I think you should support your assertion that HRC is worthy of our money and loyalty. With all the funding they receive, it shouldn’t be too hard to list some accomplishments in the past year.

      I’m curious to learn about these “other, better poitical organizations” you mentioned. If you could point me to some URLs I would appreciate it.

      You answered your own question above:

      I am not a member of HRC but if people are expecting something like Join The Impact to be able to have the profile/connections of HRC I think they are mistaken. Maybe we need to create a LGBT version of MoveOn.

      Join the Impact is far more worthy of your support. So is MoveOn. The latter does quite a bit of gay advocacy – it’s all based on what the membership decides (by vote). We don’t need a gay version, the gay component of MoveOn already exists, has a gigantic membership of normal gays like you and me (not DC types), and is effective at getting ads on TV and changing public opinion. You can sign up for their email in half a minute.

      Perhaps old-style, opaque, pre-Internet, gay advocacy groups might just be a thing of the past (and that’s really long and interesting topic of discussion). But a group like HRC, which often acts as a barrier: it’s gotta go.

      Toss ‘em and anvil.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      As for HRC, they’re dead meat and starting to smell funny.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 12:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller
      Charles J. Mueller

      @Tim in SF:

      In all the years that I was a paid member and donated to HRC, those buggers never sent me one, single response to any of the many letters and email I sent to them. I did not renew my membership this year.

      They don’t acknowledge their supporters and they could care less about them. This is one older, nostalgic fag who got badly exploited by them. And they had the fucking nerve to tell us to sit down and not rock the boat, while the Yes on Prop 8 folks were doing their dirty work?

      Fund-raising and expensive parties all around the country is what Joe Salmonese and those highly paid phony-balonies are all about. They made sure that they got union salaries (and all the perks), while the very gays that supported them don’t even have job security in many areas of the US.

      The sooner they are gone, the happier I’ll be. I’d be the very first to piss on their grave.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 12:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • blake
      blake

      @Bill Perdue:

      I agree and disagree with you. Obama did not write the requirements of the auto bailout. Obama also selected Hilda Solis, the most pro-union Secretary of Labor in decades.

      But you are right about the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush legacy of all out war against unions. It’s been a disaster for the working class. Reagan did wonders by using race to divide working class whites from similarly situated people of color. Clinton’s push for NAFTA and other globalist policies also hurt.

      Unions are not perfect. They have accomplished great things. But, they have also suffered from corruption. Most of the serious corruption ended, however, 20 years ago.

      Some Americans are dishonest with themselves about the state of the world. They don’t understand that may of the rights and benefits they experience come from union efforts and can be easily eliminated.

      How many Americans are stuck with worthless 401Ks versus defined pensions? Look at how people treated “the Market!” like some flawless god, never to be questioned and to followed blindly. Where exactly did that get us? Could you imagine if your Social Security had been “invested” in the stock market like Republicans demanded? (Nice gimmick. The stock brokers and banks would have received a nice percentage of your Social Security just as they do your 401K.)

      But look at how many Americans are jealous of union members for having the brains to negotiate decent salaries and benefits? Those same people, however, have no problem slobbering over Donald Trump. Sad. Sad. Sad.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 12:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim in SF
      Tim in SF

      @Anthony in Nashville: I’m curious to learn about these “other, better poitical organizations” you mentioned. If you could point me to some URLs I would appreciate it.

      Perhaps we need to re-think the whole gay political organization paradigm. To wit:

      http://www.signorile.com/2009/02/gay-bloggers-rise.html

      Now that we have the Internet, maybe we can do our own advocacy. Email is cheap.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 1:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe
      Sebbe

      @Tim in SF – I’m not saying your wrong, but don’t you think we still need to be represented on K street as well until the rules of the game change?

      Feb 24, 2009 at 1:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim in SF
      Tim in SF

      @Sebbe: I’m not saying your wrong, but don’t you think we still need to be represented on K street as well until the rules of the game change?

      Not. By. Them.

      That cabal of cunts do NOT represent ME nor MY interests. On the contrary. Sometimes, they even work AGAINST my interests.

      Do they represent you, just because you’re gay? Are you going to follow in lockstep any “gay leader”? In the face of all the above, why the fuck do you give them the benefit of the doubt?

      Feb 24, 2009 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe
      Sebbe

      @Tim in SF – Please don’t yell at me or make assumptions, I thought I asked you a question in a nice way without attacking you.

      For me personally I was very happy and impressed with their involvement of Marriage Equality in Massachusetts which I witnessed first hand. The amount of staff they provided, the money the provided (i.e. the very expensive office suite next door to the state house in downtown Boston), and the political lobbying was all very effective. Possibly because Massachusetts state reps. were swooned by the DC cocktail crowd, I’ll give you that. But the goal was accomplished.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 1:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @blake: You’re right. Obama did not, as far as we know, actually write the auto bailout package. But he publically demanded wage cuts and benefit cuts (takebacks) from the UAW. He and his party are going to impose austerity measures if they can get away with it.

      As for Solis, Obama picked her (strike one) and Sweeney likes her (steeeerike two.) We’ll have to wait and see. The drama in DC will unfold in the contest of an unwinnable war and what will likely become a depression.

      As for unions, they’re the only guarantee of GLBT equality on the job. Most of my work experience has been major railroads and all of them had non-discrimination policies which were worthless unless the union intervened.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 2:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville
      Anthony in Nashville

      @Tim in SF:

      Thanks for that link.

      I am hopeful that the most popular blogs can somehow find a way to have a greater impact on politics and culture.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 2:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim in SF
      Tim in SF

      @Sebbe: @Tim in SF – Please don’t yell at me or make assumptions, I thought I asked you a question in a nice way without attacking you.

      Woah… not mad at you Sebbe. Not at all. I’m sorry you took it that way.

      For me personally I was very happy and impressed with their involvement of Marriage Equality in Massachusetts which I witnessed first hand. The amount of staff they provided, the money the provided (i.e. the very expensive office suite next door to the state house in downtown Boston), and the political lobbying was all very effective. Possibly because Massachusetts state reps. were swooned by the DC cocktail crowd, I’ll give you that. But the goal was accomplished.

      I’m not saying HRC is 100% evil. The organization has lots of volunteers and staff who do a lot of good work. But the leadership is rotten. And if the fish is rotten in its head, you might as well throw the whole thing out.

      And, just to be very clear, I do not at all fault HRC for Prop 8. As a political lobbying organization (says “campaign” right in the title) I don’t believe it was within their purview, so the accusations that they should have done more are not fair, as far as I’m concerned. I fault HRC for their activities within their scope – such as their very public endorsement of Joe Lieberman over progressive Ned Lamont.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 5:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe
      Sebbe

      @Tim in SF – Cool, and I agree with a lot of what your saying and that you’ve made valid points.

      I voted in Connecticut at the time of that election and would have been glad to vote for Lamont, but I think the HRC was only one of the factors working against him. At that time, Lieberman was very popular still in Connecticut, especially with independents. That said, we surely would have been better off with Lamont. Do you know where he is now? I thought I heard UCONN from someone.

      Luckily I don’t see how Lieberman could win the next go around in Connecticut. And Dodd, well that’s a whole different story. Let’s hope in the coming years Connecticut gets two great senators as influential as Lieberman and Dodd have been in Washington.

      Feb 24, 2009 at 6:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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