By the time Dave Bego had refused to sign a Neutrality Agreement, the SEIU had launched the “Three Cities, One Future” campaign to unionize janitors in Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis.

During staged protests, the SEIU rallied around city buildings and accused contractors of paying low wages or placing janitors in unsafe working conditions, causing many BSCs a public relations nightmare.

Each accusation pressured facility clients to haul BSCs over the coals, causing many of the business owners to lose accounts and concede to union demands. Soon, Bego was facing similar threats.

The strategy, used against employers such as EMS, is known as “Death By A Thousand Cuts,” or “escalation.”

Andy Stern, the former SEIU president from 1996-2010, was famously quoted: “We use the power of persuasion first. If it doesn’t work, we try the persuasion of power.”

“Andy Stern was really the architect of the corporate campaign, or as we call it: top-down organization,” says Perry Heidecker, senior counsel at Milman Labuda Law Group, of Lake Success, N.Y. “The SEIU would say: ‘All you have to do is meet us at the door. If not, we will attack you’...not attack in the sense of organizing on the street corner, but attack you where you live. On the corporate level, we will embarrass your customers, embarrass you in the press, mobilize clergy and the civil rights people and really drag you through the mud and cost you your business.”

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