Thursday, October 20, 2011
Barron Defends His T-Mobile Extortion
Sometime last year, Northampton County Controller Steve Barron threatened non-union T-Mobile with repercussions when they refused to meet with him and union organizers.
"Please remind him [T-Mobile VP Brueckman] that if he needs anything from Northampton or Lehigh County, we're going to remember this day and we'll make sure that it will be part of the negotiations."
Later that day, in a video message to T-Mobile, Barron added this remark.
"I'd also like you to think about why you didn't meet with one of the local elected officials here in the Lehigh Valley, and how that can benefit your company. And when you do that, I'd like you to give me a call - my numer is [redacted] - and discuss it with you."
This, of course, is extortion.
During their Debate at the Slate, Barron defended his union thuggery, trying to depict himself as a champion of worker rights. But as opponent Steve Salvesen correctly observed, nobody had a problem with standing up for the worker. What bothers him, and should bother all of us, is a Controller who uses the authority of his office to threaten others.
Barron: "First of all, I was on my personal time when I was at T-Mobile, so I just wanna' be clear about that.
"Second of all, thank you for the question, I've always stood up for workers, working families and the middle class. I'm a grandson and son of a steelworker. When I hear that workers are being abused in the workplace, regardless of what office I hold, regardless of what position I have, regardless what the impact might be or the personal harm to myself, I will speak out."
Salvesen: "What troubles me about T-Mobile is not the fact that Mr. Barron was doing a civic duty and that he was doing it on his own time. I think that's laudable. I really do.
"My problem with it is the veiled threat to T-Mobile from our Controller that says, 'If you don't do what I think you should do, we're gonna' remember it the next time a contract comes due. I don't think that's appropriate for any Controller."