by Dan Riehl
Ameren provides energy to millions of citizens in Illinois and Missouri. Given its past dealings with union official and labor activist Don Giljum, the company released an official statement earlier this week in response to videos on BigGovernment.com in which Giljum can be seen and heard telling students about organized labor’s tactics of sabotage, fear and intimidation.
Here’s a typical example, in which Giljum describes how to make labor negotiations “personal”–and note that at several points, his co-lecturer, Judy Ancel, laughs or interjects with approval:
Giljum: …we had to make him [the CEO] feel the concern and the anxiety that he was gonna have to live with. So we, you know, made all kinds of overtones about sabotaging the equipment, OK? We downloaded a lot of articles off of the Internet and laid them around the plant about, [Ancel: laughs] you know, this equipment being sabotaged and that equipment.
That’s all they were–nobody was doing anything.
Ancel: You never said anything, did you?
Giljum: No, no. We just downloaded the articles and laid them out there, OK, for people to read. They–”Hey, look at this article I found,” you know. It wasn’t us, it was members that would do that. We had a group of guys that would always end up at the same shopping center, at the same church, as the CEO would on Sundays and that, in the evenings, OK? Wouldn’t say nothing, just kind of bumped into the guy and said, “Hey, how you doing,” that’s it. “How’s negotiations going? Heard they’re not going too well,” and then walk off, OK. [It] got to a point where, you know, the guy became very paranoid, very concerned, when he would walk out into the plant he would wear a flak jacket [Ancel: laughs], OK, and a helmet with a face guard on it, because he was afraid of being shot at…In the original class footage, Giljum goes on to state that no one had actually threatened the CEO verbally, but indicates that he was clearly happy to have gained bargaining power through such methods. He advises students to do likewise, and “get a few guys to do a few things.” Ancel thanks him for his contribution without contesting his advice.
Here is the statement from Ameren.
We are appalled by the comments of the former business manager of a union representing our workers and employees of other companies and by the actions he describes in his lecture. If we ever had any evidence of sabotage at any of our facilities, we would have immediately notified law enforcement officials. We do not know of any such sabotage but would immediately turn over to law enforcement anyone who threatens our operations in any way. We have a policy of protecting anyone reporting information about sabotage or other illegal actions and encourage anyone to come forward with information about this. We have full confidence in our employees and have in place extensive security training programs and procedures aimed at protecting our facilities, our employees and the public.