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Editorial: Have a scoop, stand up to union coneheads

By   /   Monday, June 7th, 2010  /   Comments Off on Editorial: Have a scoop, stand up to union coneheads

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With summer on the way, it’s time to eat ice cream. And we can’t think of a better place to try your favorite flavor than Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab in Arroyo Grande.

For reasons that are so obscure as to be plainly stupid, Doc Burnstein’s has been the target of banners and protests by a carpenter’s union local from Camarillo.

The union says it is miffed because Santa Maria Town Center, where Burnstein’s was trying to open a new location, used non-union carpenters for repairs.

Trouble is, the store was not the one the ice cream parlor was going to occupy, and the injustice of the carpenter’s union protest is so apparent that even the Tri-Counties Central Labor Council has taken Doc Burnstein’s side, buying 1,200 scoops of ice cream as a show of support.

But the protests linger — damaging the prospects of a company that was among the winners of the Business Times’ Spirit of Small Business Awards last year. The latest effort by this underdog company to break the union hammerlock is a protest march, slated for June 2, just prior to press time.

The marchers were planning to walk from Doc Burnstein’s at 114 Branch Street and head over to the Carpenter’s Union Local hall at 117 Poole Street. The marchers are demanding that union officials explain their actions and their refusal to respond to media inquiries.

Our view is that the union has gotten itself involved in a fight it can’t win, based on misinformation about who was doing what at the Santa Maria Town Center. 

Unions like to promote themselves with propaganda that shows them sticking up for the downtrodden, the misbegotten and the forgotten. Picking on a struggling small business in the middle of a deep recession is bullying conduct that is more worthy of jack-booted thuggery than the American Way.

Here’s hoping the “Take Back Our Village” march is the beginning of the end of this travesty. Otherwise we’ll encourage all of our readers and their families to visit Arroyo Grande this summer. And don’t forget to stop in for some ice cream.

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