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  • Michael Krakovskiy 11:45 am on February 3, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Big Sky Balloons & Searchlights, , , , , , Labour relations, Mike O'Connor, , , Old World rats and mice, owner, Plainfield, , , Trade union   

    Hey Hey, Ho Ho. One Zero Zero One, Zero! 

    Unions in New York City are masters of psychological warfare. When they set up a giant blow-up rat (seasonally decked in Christmas tree lights) in front of your business and start singing union songs and chanting chants, well, it’s not a pleasant experience.

    The chants are catchy. Here’s my favorite one:

    We are the Union, we are the Union
    Mighty, mighty Union – mighty mighty Union
    Everywhere we go – everywhere we go,
    People want to know – people want to know
    Who we are – who we are
    So we tell them – so we tell them

    I culled this great quote from an article at Fastcompany.com:

    “Twelve years ago, Mike O’Connor, owner of Big Sky Balloons & Searchlights in Plainfield, Illinois, created the first rat at the request of a union member in nearby Chicago. Said the union man of O’Connor’s first sketch: “It’s not mean enough.” O’Connor added bigger fangs and a pink belly with “festering nipples.” “I love it,” the man said. So did other unions. Today, Big Sky sells between 100 and 200 rats a year–even though it is a nonunion shop itself.”

    Bigger fangs. Check.

    “Festering nipples.” Check.

    The rat is all over the city. Sean of Dust and Rust blog caught one in front of a Duane Reade.

    If you decide to organize, I guess you can buy your own over here.

  • Michael Krakovskiy 12:28 pm on January 29, 2004 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Old World rats and mice, , Strike action   

    The Organized Labor 

    NYC Unions are rather well equipped. For instance they have this gigantic blowup rat that they use in demonstrations. It’s blue, it looks more like King Kong, but it’s a rat. It has a tail. Judging by it’s looks it gets a lot of use.

    The strikers usually stand near the rat, dance, sing songs and chant “Scab! Scab!” at people who enter the building. When the morning rush is over they probably head to a coffee and donut place leaving a few people to guard the rat.

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