Yesterday was Labor Day and it got me to thinking about unions in town. As you know I'm a lifelong union guy and do work for unions in town. That is why when I see unions do things that I know is ultimately going to hurt other unions, it bothers me.
Thus my criticism of the El Paso Sheriffs Officers Association and others. But the one that I think is doing the most damage to unions in town is AFSCME, and mostly because of Hector Montes. This post has video of how Montes got what he deserved a couple of weeks ago at a Commissioner's Court meeting.
Since Montes makes it a point to be the public face of an otherwise good union, its his public actions that are the problem. Very often it appears that Montes uses his position with AFSCME as a platform for him to advocate for his own view points rather than what is in the best interest of AFSCME or its membership.
And example is that Montes is often critical of union-friendly members of governing bodies because he has a personal beef with them, not because of their stances on unions, membership, or union issues. That is a real problem that the AFSCME membership should address. Your union person should never have an adversarial relationship with elected officials that vote on your contracts if they are friendlies.
Certainly Montes can and should be holding members that aren't union friendly accountable, but that isn't what he does. He very often trashes them in social media, or attempts to wield his feeble campaign skills (not that he's ever actually won a campaign) against members that are pro-union. That defies logic.
But Montes is one of the most petty and vitriolic public figures in town. He says some pretty awful things about people and they are aware of it. And it is probably why AFSCME membership is stagnant.
Montes has an incomprehensible and deep personal hatred of certain elected officials in town like County Judge Veronica Escobar, Commissioner's Stout and Perez, and City Representative Ordaz. As a result, he often personalizes issues to the extreme and says and does things that if I were an elected official, would certainly have an impact on how I dealt with AFSCME.
Take the raise of county officials as an example. The County, specifically because of County Judge Veronica Escobar, is good to its employees. She has consistently fought for more time off for them and raises. That is stuff that the union rep should be doing at the county, but instead, that leadership on union wage increases has come from the person you'd expect to the one fighting against it. Essentially she has done a far better job at doing AFSCME's job than AFSCME. Montes should be singing her praises.
Normally Montes goes to every city council meeting and will find a way to interject his own public commentary on issues that don't impact the union while at the same time using his union position to do so. Its common place for Montes.
But a trip to the county is pretty rare. He almost never goes to county meetings. And this video is evidence why. He went to pick a fight and he got smacked around. He got what was coming to him. Montes not only demonstrated he didn't understand the process, which is frankly an embarrassment for someone who's job is to do political work for a union, but he was put in his place by almost every member of the court.
Haggerty gave the guy the biggest smacking around of every member of the court. He essentially told Montes that he was wrong for saying there was a lack of communication with the public on the part of the county when neither he nor the union had ever attended a budget meeting. Escobar corrected the record on what Montes was saying about social media, and Perez kept trying to establish whether or not Montes was at the meeting in an official capacity on behalf of the union or not.
Montes gives more than 5 different answers to the same question when Perez pursued the point.
The reality is that Montes made his own union look bad when he goes to a meeting to be critical of an issue that didn't impact his union membership at all and attacks elected officials of the most union-friendly elected body in west Texas, possibly the state.
And so since its been a while, Commissioner Haggerty, you get the Homeboy of the Week Award and Montes gets the Douche Bag of the Week Award.