Tag Archive: solidarity

Oct 13 2013

AC Meet-Up: Hellraisers Journal, The Labor Martyrs Project, and WE NEVER FORGET by JayRaye

Back of Envelope Containing

Joe Hill’s Ashes

WE NEVER FORGET

At Joe Hill’s funeral, sashes were worn by many in attendance with “WE NEVER FORGET” written on them in big bold capital letters. This slogan was also written on the program for the day’s events. A year later, the ashes were handed out to IWW delegates from every state of the USA (except Utah) and from countries all around the world. The envelopes also carried this slogan. The Labor Martyrs Project uses this slogan to honor all of our Labor Martyrs, quite certain that Fellow Worker Joe Hill would not mind.

Jun 02 2013

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: We Need to Support Walmart Workers’ #Ride4Respect by JayRaye

forrespect

#Ride4Respect

Right now as you read this, Walmart Workers are on buses and they are caravanning from various cities to Bentonville, Arkansas where Walmart will be holding its annual shareholders meeting on June 7th. They plan to make their presence known by urging Walmart to stop its retaliation against associates who dare to speak out about working conditions. The #Ride4Respect uses the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights Movement for inspiration. Completely appropriate, in my book. The fight for our rights as workers is a struggle for civil and human rights. Workers are American Citizens, and we are human beings. We don’t stop being Human Beings and Citizens when we pass through the doors of our place of employment.

One of the rights guaranteed to working people by U.S. Labor Law, is the right to speak out about the conditions of labor, and to do so without retaliation from our employer. That retaliation is illegal! Walmart’s retaliation has not ceased, in spite of denial that it exists, and in spite of promises to stop this retaliation (which they deny exists!) This is where the Unfair Labor Practice Strike comes into the picture. Striking Walmart Workers are a big part of the #Ride4Respect. This strike is historic as it will be the first prolonged ULP strike made by Walmart Workers. They are taking OUR Walmart’s fight for respect to another level.

Lisa Lopez walks and gives notice of ULP strike.

A Woman of Courage has put on her fighting clothes!

Mother Jones would be proud!

Apr 21 2013

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and the Paterson Silk Strike by JayRaye

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn with Pat Quinlan, Carlo Tresca,

Adolph Lessig, and Big Bill Haywood

Paterson, New Jersey 1913



Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Arrives

On January 27, 1913 at the Doherty Silk Mill in Paterson, New Jersey, a workers committee requested a meeting with management. They wanted an end to the hated four-loom system which had doubled their work load with no increase in pay, and had caused the lay-offs of many of their fellow workers. When four members of that committee were fired, 800 silk workers, almost the entire work force, walked off the job spontaneously. They were without union organization to back them up. Being mostly foreign-born, non-English-speaking, unskilled workers, the AFL’s United Textile Workers did not want them.

But, in fact, there was another textile union in Paterson at that time: the IWW’s National Industrial Union of Textile Workers, Local 152 which local organizers, Ewald Koettgen and Adolph Lessig had established over several years of organizing. It was there, with this stalwart band of 100 Wobblies, that the strikers found a union willing to back up their strike. As it became clear that Doherty would not bargain with the strikers, Local 152 request help from IWW headquarters in Chicago.

On February 25, 1913, national IWW organizers, Pat Quinland, Carlos Tresca, and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn arrived to speak at a mass meeting. All three were arrested that night at the meeting. Strikers followed them to the jail and held a rally outside the jail, singing and shouting for their release. Women shouted, “When the strike is won, Gurley Flynn will be the boss!”

By the time Big Bill Haywood arrived, later that week, the strike had spread to silk mills across Paterson. 300 mills were shut down, and 25,000 silk workers were on strike. Big Bill advised the strikers: “fold your arms or put your hands in your pocket and let the manufacturers do the worrying.”

Mar 10 2011

On Wisconsin!

I’m enraged.  Wisconsin’s union workers this evening were temporarily outflanked by a legislative maneuver of questionable legality.  And of despicably sleazy intent. The Senate decided that, as everyone in opposition to it has been saying for months, the union busting bill really wasn’t a fiscal measure, the previous pronouncements that it was be damned.  No, it wasn’t a fiscal measure.  It was a union busting measure.  And therefore, the bill didn’t need a quorum in the Senate.  It could pass the Wisconsin Senate with no democrats voting.  Or even appearing.  So there. This wonderfully disingenuous piece of legislative legerdemain has– let’s call it what it is–  temporarily screwed Wisconsin’s public unions by withdrawing their right to bargain collectively.

And now.  And now, amigo@s, comes the real test.  Will the unions and their supporters and the demonstrators and you and I all throw up our hands in defeat and despair and slink home?  Will we say in words or actions, “Oh, we lost, it’s over, let’s just forget about it and move on?”  Or will we stand up now and fight on (nonviolently) with ever renewed dedication to overturn this evil, unpopular, antidemocratic, antiunion measure?

I hope that hundreds of thousands of people show up in Madison tomorrow to demonstrate against Governor Walker and the Koch funded Teapublicans.  I hope an equal number will show up in Lansing.  And in Union Square, New York.  And in San Francisco.  And Chicago.  And in every town and city in America that recognizes the dignity of workers and their right to bargain collectively.  I hope the recall efforts will be redoubled.  I hope that the demonstrators inspire a nationwide high school strike tomorrow at 2 pm.  And I hope the demonstrators will invite farmers to show their support, to come to Madison, to ride their tractors to and surround the capitol.  And I hope that across Wisconsin and across America teachers and nurses and garbage collectors and firemen and bureaucrats and policemen will all link arms with other workers, students, progressives, anyone who supports the unions and sees that the withdrawal of public unions’ collective bargaining rights is a step back, a regression into the darkness of the Nineteenth Century.

Yes, I’m enraged.  But I’m also hopeful.  I’m hopeful that we, you and I, amig@s, will not let Walker and the Koch funded Teapublicans get away with this.  I’m hopeful that this is the beginning not of a demonstration, but of an actual, popular movement.  I hope that the movement will continue with increased strength and focus to preserve the rights of workers to organize and to bargain collectively.

Yes, I’m idealistic.  And maybe pretty unrealistic.  And not particularly practical.  That doesn’t matter.  I believe that what we are about to see is a real change.  Coming from an organic movement.  And that we will now begin in earnest to link arms and stand in Solidarity in the struggle for what I believe is the survival of the middle class.  Here’s John Lennon:

 

cross posted from The Dream Antilles  

Feb 22 2011

Feed The Wisconsin Demonstrators Pizza!!

Photobucket

I just ordered 2 pizzas to be delivered to demonstrators in Madison, Wisconsin.  Rachel Maddow has the story:


You’re probably already familiar with ordering take-out food online. Some restaurants let you do it directly and others use a middle man service, but the idea is that you log on, place your order, plug in your credit card info and tell it where to deliver the food. But there’s nothing that says you have to have the food delivered to yourself. In fact, there’s nothing that says you have to even be in the same country as the food you’ve just ordered.

And so we arrive at Ian’s Pizza by the Slice where donations literally from around the world are coming into their State Street store in the form of online pizza orders to feed Wisconsin protesters. As Politico reports, “On Saturday alone, Ian’s gave away 1,057 free slices in their store and delivered more than 300 pizzas to the Capitol itself.”

You get it.  I got it.  I sent 2 20″ 3 topping pizzas to the assembled democracy demonstrators.  Join me.  It’s easy.  You go to badgerbites.com and order a pie for the demonstrators.  You know how to order for yourself.  It’s just as easy to order for others.  Go for it.  It will make you smile.

And by the way.  This does not mean that my allegiance to Pizza Bob’s in Ann Arbor has been violated in any regard.  The way I see it, when in Madison, you do like the Badgers.

simulposted at The Dream Antilles

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