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Senior Advisor

Now they're after the Red Cross and the Boy Scouts.

Is this how it started in Greece? The elite are going to get theirs and they don't care who they run over to get it.




Big Labor: Is there any low to which the SEIU won't stoop? Now it's interrupting blood donations in a strike against the American Red Cross. The Boy Scouts and Baptist churches are also on unions' enemies list.

Demanding higher wages and better benefits, the Service Employees International Union on Wednesday launched a three-day strike against the Red Cross' blood donation operations. The job action comes as the nonprofit, in a realistic response to the weak economy, is cutting salaries, ending bonuses and reducing pensions.

SEIU thinks its members should not only be exempt from the Red Cross' efforts to live within its means, but actually get a raise.

But it's not about the money, you see. It's really about safety. "Cutting jobs, slashing wages and benefits of employees and cutting corners are affecting the safety of the blood supply," the union's Frank Hornick told the Parkersburg (W.Va.) News & Sentinel.

So SEIU's way to get a safe supply is to pay higher union wages? It's hardly compassion for consumers to hold 40% of the nation's blood supply hostage.

The union's strike probably won't affect blood supplies much, but it sends a message: Consumers who need transfusions come second to union wish lists. Feel safer now?

SEIU's attack on the Red Cross is one in a series of actions against privately funded civil society groups. By foisting union work rules and union salaries on volunteer groups, SEIU seems to want to make them as bloated, costly and inefficient as U.S. automakers. Service groups operate on a shoestring and can't raise their "prices" to donors the way companies can. They're stuck.

The Red Cross isn't the only one feeling this new kind of heat. Last November, the SEIU targeted a 17-year-old Eagle Scout who spent 200 hours cleaning up walking paths in pursuit of a badge.

An SEIU boss told the Allentown (Pa.) City Council he wanted to file a grievance to the city for permitting the teen to clear the paths at a time of cutbacks. Then he got thuggish: "We'll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails," the Allentown Morning Call reported.

Other unions have also targeted these volunteer groups. Last week in Bakersfield, Calif., a local carpenters union went after a tiny Baptist church for hiring a contractor who employed non-union labor, protesting at its doors with "Shame" signs.

What does this say about union values? Are they merely going after weaker prey, or do they envision a nastier America where only the state provides charity? Either way, it's not the America de Tocqueville observed, the one where citizens voluntarily came together out of private initiative to serve others.