In the article about the Ag Gag veto, we read Labor unions are in the group opposing The Property Owners Protection Bill.
That reminded us of the Food Lion hit job back in 1992. Back then, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union was out to punish Food Lion because its employees had refused to join the union. So the UFCW enlisted some ABC News producers in a scheme to smear the grocery chain.
ABC producers got jobs at Food Lion to take undercover videos that claimed the store washed spoiled meat with Clorox so they could sell it. Food Lion went to court. ABC video that never aired showed the whole thing was largely a concoction of the news media and the Union activists.
Five years later, Food Lion won the case but the damage had already been done. (ABC’s Food Lion Lies: A Study in TV Deception – Joseph C. Goulden)
Fast forward to now. With GoPro spy cameras, cell phone videos, Facebook and Youtube, someone’s reputation can be ruined in a nanosecond. You don’t need a legitimate news organization to carry your water. Anyone with an ax to grind can do it.
The Property Owners Protection Bill keeps employees at a business from stealing documents or trade secrets and using their positions to take videos. When we see Unions attacking WalMart and McDonalds on a regular basis, the Legislation keeps them from infiltrating people into the business to do something to smear it just like the Unions did to Food Lion.
Enter the left wing protest mob and their media allies who wouldn’t mind destroying a politically incorrect business like Koch Industries. They call the Legislation the “Ag Gag” because it was originally intended to protect farmers (more about that in a minute).
The partisan Democrat senior citizen groups claim it allows nursing homes to cover up elder abuse by denying employees the right to document and report it But the bill includes specific language protecting whistleblowers and any employee of a nursing home can report the crime of elder abuse to the police.
And the radical animal rights crowd says the bill allows farmers to cover up the alleged cruelty of modern agriculture by stopping animal rights crusaders from posing farm employees to expose the crimes they claim farmers are committing.
With the earth’s population headed for 7 or 8 billion people in the next 25 years, the radical environmentalists and animal rights zealots would have us believe old fashioned “natural and organic” farming can replace science based agriculture. The only problem is there isn’t enough land to feed 8 billion people using ancient history techniques. For example, so called natural and organic beef farming takes 3 times the land of modern agriculture. (Texas A&M 2009 Plains Nutrition Council Spring Conference)
Do employers under the gun of world wide, dog eat dog competition really need an attack from Unions or some other group with an ideological complaint? Do farmers fighting extreme weather and low prices really need to have to worry about extremist groups bent on turning the clock back to a time when everyone grew their own food?
Call it Property Owners Protection or Ag Gag. It makes sense especially in this age of social media when one concocted video can smear a person for life.
Legislators weren’t scared of the political mob. They showed the courage to stand up and make the right policy choice. Let’s hope they see this through to the end.