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Groundhog Day, Again!

Updated: May 1, 2023

In 2018 BleacherReport.com named former New York Yankee Yogi Berra the greatest catcher in the history of Major League Baseball.


A veteran of 18 seasons, Yogi was an All-Star in all but three of them including the 15-consecutive seasons between 1948-1962.


A three-time winner of the Most Valuable Player Award, Berra held five major league hitting records at the time of his retirement; most home runs, hits, runs scored, runs batted in and plate appearances by a catcher.


And while those records have been eclipsed in the 60-years since his retirement, one of Yogi's Major League records still stands: the most World Series championships for a player. Berra has 10 World Series rings!


Meaning that in the history of team sports, only Bill Russell and Henri Richard have won more championships (both 11) than Lawrence Peter Berra.


Yogi-isms


But it’s his errors not his hitting for which Berra is perhaps most remembered. THE malaprop-like verbal miscues of wisdom called Yogi-isms, known for their unintended humor and ability to provide clarity.


In the most confusing way!


Like when a sportswriter in St. Louis asked Berra why he no longer dined in Rigazzi’s Restaurant, THE Yankee catcher replied that, “No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded!”


On another occasion, while complaining about a period of high inflation to a reporter Yogi quipped that, “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”


A sentiment most paint dealers I know agree with!


Berra became so synonymous with the genre that in 1976 when the Dallas Morning News wrote "It ain’t over till the fat lady sings!” as an unattributed quote, THE expression became associated with Berra.


Asked years later if he had spoken the expression into existence Yogi denied authorship adding, “I didn’t really say everything I said!”


Again? And Again!


On November 21st employees at a Sherwin-Williams resin manufacturing plant in Hagerstown, Maryland chose to strike rather than continue working for the world’s largest paint manufacturer. The third such strike by Sherwin employees against their employer during 2022.


Like déjà vu all over again for the employees of a paint maker with a history of belligerence towards their own hourly employees and unionized employees!


Which perhaps explains why there hasn’t been a post on the Sherwin-Williams Employee Appreciation Day Facebook page since 2019?


What’s For Lunch?


In 2020 a group of 5,700 retail employees in the state of California were forced to sue Sherwin-Williams, accusing the company of amongst other things, forcing them to work during their lunch breaks.


While still deducting the "break" from their pay!


Sherwin settled the case for $3.6 million and as part of the settlement admitted that they had engaged in those practices.


That settlement likely saved Sherwin-Williams from paying a fine, an outcome common when the company gets sued by its employees. Since 2000, the company has paid more than $83 million in fines for employment related offenses!


Union Maybe Not!


On July 5, 1935 President Franklin Roosevelt signed legislation creating the National Labor Relations Board or NLRB, an independent agency charged with protecting the rights of private sector employees.


By 1941 Sherwin-Williams had already run afoul of the law, the NLRB ruling that Sherwin had “expressed hostility” towards their employees while also “depriving them from privileges permitted" a the employees looked to organize.


Sherwin's original sin!


The NLRB concluding in that case that the striking Sherwin-Williams factory workers had been forced to strike due to the "respondent’s unfair labor practice.”


I Bet He's Also a Bad Tipper!


By treating his hourly employees as if they’re Pratt & Lambert dealers Sherwin's chief executive John Morikis comes off as more than just a bully but a cheapskate too!


Based on my reporting of other strikes against Sherwin-Williams these 30 striking workers in Maryland likely average $45,000 per-year in salary, or around $21-per hour. Meaning that the “distance” between management’s salary offer and labor’s “demands” is likely no more than a dollar or two per-hour.


Meaning that for $100,000 Morikis can settle this strike and show his employees that they're worth at-least as much to the company than an inconsequential rounding error on the company’s balance sheet.


Or Morikis' statement of net worth.


A page dedicated to employee recruitment on the Sherwin-Williams website says that at Sherwin-Williams people "are our foundation."


Though some doubt the sincerity.







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