If you are a visitor to New York, and you probably are, then you have something in common with these rent-a-rat inflatables which, as you can see from the photograph, are accepted with as much nonchalance by New Yorkers as the real thing. The real thing can be seen, if not alive, then dead and pressed into the gummy, tarry streets of Alphabet City streets, which they frequently run across, getting run over by cars, and pressed into posterity.
What you have in common with them is that these rubber rats pop up unannounced anywhere, anytime. They are money making workers, however.
When human workers are having difficulties with their employers, particularly if they are laborers such as cashiers, food workers, construction workers and well, service workers in general — people who earn money selling their labor — then these rented rats effectively draw attention to the workers’ plight. No profit striving employer wants these icons outside their place of business for more than say, ten minutes.
In fact, the rat might appear outside a courthouse in its own defense. Judges have found that the rat does not constitute picketing, which is regulated and restricted, but is a form of free speech. A labor board and its counsel, Peter Robb, (appointed by Trump) believes the rat “crosses the line from legitimate communication to unlawful coercion.” and is attempting to ban its use.
I had a big one in my neighborhood for weeks, and it worked — Fairway workers won!