*Picket Supporting IWW Liquor Store Workers Fired for Union Activity, 7PM, Intersection of Chicago Ave and Lake St, Minneapolis, MN*
On Saturday, April 6th, passers-by will be treated to the sight of a large picket outside of Minnesota’s highest volume liquor store, Chicago-Lake liquors. Picketers will hold signs and chant slogans of support for the workers of the store, five of whom were fired after asking for higher wages as a part of a union drive with the Industrial Workers of the World.
International Solidarity Commission Presents: iSlave - Foxconn Workers Struggle in China - U.S. Tour (4/15-5/25)
Foxconn employs more than one million people in China alone. As the world’s largest contract manufacturer, it works for Apple and many other electronics brands. Foxconn workers are the iSlaves who face horrendous conditions while producing communication tools like iPhones and iPads.
In 2012, a series of worker suicides shook the Chinese Foxconn factories and drew world-wide attention. Management promised to improve conditions and increase wages, but the situation has not changed much since: Foxconn accelerated the relocation of factories to the Chinese hinterland, employs student interns as “cheap” labor, covers up work accidents, and still relies on its militaristic management regime.
A delegation of ILWU officers and members attended the convention for the Western Branch of the Maritime Union of Australia the week of February 26th. The ILWU delegation included International President Robert McEllrath, Vice President (Mainland) Ray Familathe, Vice President (Hawaii) Wesley Furtado, Secretary Treasurer Willie Adams, Local 23 President Scott Mason, and Local 23 members Liz Jimenez, Ryan Whitman, Local 4 member Brad Clark and Local 40 member and International Executive= Board member George O’Neil.
At the convention, ILWU Local 23 and the MUA-Western Australia branch signed a solidarity agreement that strengthened the ties between the two organizations and demonstrated the growing international solidarity efforts between maritime workers and their commitment to broaden campaign efforts across international borders.
President McEllrath presented a short video to convention delegates that featured dramatic highlights from the EGT struggle in Longview, WA. He noted that the dispute with three northwest grain companies is continuing and will require strong solidarity and support. “These big grain companies are powerful international players, and our strategy has to be global as well,” said McEllrath.
Scott Mason, president of ILWU Local 23, explained that the pact signed between the WA branch and his local came after visits of solidarity between the two unions. “We talked about the similarities, about the waterfront,” he said. “We are off to a really good start. This won’t just be a piece of paper. This is going to be a work in progress and we ‘ve already started laying out our next steps, short term goals, medium goals and long-term goals.”
Willie Adams, ILWU International Secretary-Treasurer and a member of Local 23, added: “It’s for the rank and file, by the rank and file. My local has that same passion so it was a natural fit for us to come together. Our friends are here.”
The solidarity agreement reads in part:
“The alliance between our two organisations at this time represents the necessary commitment to international solidarity required for labour to be successful in this time of corporate globalisation. Both branches are militant and progressive and share an approach to rank and file campaigning that unites us.
“As the world becomes smaller with fewer and fewer industrial conglomerates controlling more and more of the world’s capital and resources, we must be innovative in our strategies to protect and enhance the wages, hours and working conditions of our members.”
The WA Branch also signed a solidarity agreement with the Wellington Branch of the Maritime Union of New Zealand.
Liberals are mounting strong criticisms of President Obama amid news that his budget will include a Social Security benefit cut — an official endorsement of a policy compromise he’s offered Republicans for years — and warning Democrats not to dare vote to cut the cherished retirement program.
A trio of progressive advocacy groups issued scathing statements Friday in response to reports that Obama’s proposal will include a policy called “Chained CPI,” which would re-index Social Security cost of living increases to a lower rate of inflation — a benefit cut the president has included in deficit offers to Republicans since 2011.
“President Obama’s plan to cut Social Security would harm seniors who worked hard all their lives,” said MoveOn.org’s executive director Anna Galland. “That’s unconscionable. It’s even more outrageous given that Republicans in Congress aren’t even asking for this Social Security cut. This time, the drive to cut Social Security is being led by President Obama and Democrats.”
Stephanie Taylor of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee accused Obama of “proposing to steal thousands of dollars from grandparents and veterans” and threatened to subject any Democrat who votes for a Social Security benefit cut to a primary challenge.
“You can’t call yourself a Democrat and support Social Security benefit cuts,” Taylor said in a statement. “The President has no mandate to cut these benefits, and progressives will do everything possible to stop him.
This past Tuesday evening the I.W.W. (Industrial Workers of the World) Sisters’ Camelot Canvass Union made an offer to the managing collective in an effort to end the strike which has been going on since March 1. The managing collective has been given until the end of Monday, April 8 to decide whether or not to accept. This offer has consolidated the much longer original list of terms for the negotiation of the union’s existence down to a list of eight terms, with the logistical details of how they would work clearly defined.
“This is the easiest deal our bosses will ever get from this union to end this strike, I hope they take it so we can end this and get back to work,” said Alex Forsey, one of the striking union members.
Hundreds dockworkers and community supporters have been camped out on the road in front of the Hutchison International Terminals (HIT) container terminal, which is owned by by Asia’s richest person, billionaire Li Ka-shing.
Hutchison operates 12 berths at four of Hong Kong’s nine container terminals and two others with a joint venture partner. The company is controlled by Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., the flagship company of billionaire Li’s sprawling Hong Kong business empire which also has retail, mobile phone and property businesses spanning the globe.
Workers are seeking also demanding resolution of health and safety problems, such as lack of bathroom breaks.
Striking workers like crane operator Cho Wai-kei said they earn about $90 a shift–less then they were getting in 1997. He and other workers operating the cranes complained of arduous 12-hour shifts during which they weren’t allowed to leave their operator cabins high above the ground, even to use the bathroom.
“When you get into that metal cage, there’s no difference between you and a dog,” Cho said.
“The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is calling on HIT and on Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (HPH Trust), to put health and safety, decent working conditions and respect for union rights first,” said ITF President Paddy Crumlin. “The dockers have the full support and backing of the 4.5 million member strong ITF global union. Dockers in global network terminals around the world are watching closely, as are transport workers along the supply chain. Global network terminal operators in the stevedoring industry in particular have a critical responsibility to work with their employees to ensure basic labor rights are acknowledged and respected.”
Office clerical workers at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach ratified a new contract in late February that covers 450 members of Local 63’s Office Clerical Unit (OCU). The workers won their contract after striking for 8 days from November 27 to December 4, 2012 because employers refused to curtail the outsourcing of good jobs.
Solidarity was central
The strike victory was possible because of a powerful show of solidarity from 10,000 ILWU members at Locals 13, 26, 56, 63 and 94 – along with support from other union members and non-union workers, including port truckers, who honored the picket lines.
International union support
Local 63-OCU asked for help from the ILWU International Union more than a year ago. International President Bob McEllrath assigned Vice President Ray Familathe to assist the Local with negotiations that continued during the strike. “It was important for employers to understand that the ILWU International was supporting these members,” said McEllrath.
The predominantly female Local 63-OCU workforce spends most of their time on computers doing logistics planning work that is closely monitored by management and easily outsourced to non-ILWU locations in other states and countries. “They can outsource jobs with the push of a button to Texas or Taiwan,” explained ILWU International Vice President Ray Familathe.
No strike-breaking injunction
When the strike started, employers refused to bargain seriously because they were lobbying the Obama White House and hoping to break the strike with a Taft-Hartley injunction. In the end, employers didn’t get their injunction and had to negotiate a settlement with the union that included new outsourcing restrictions.
Jobs vanish to Costa Rica
Outsourcing controls were a critical part of the new agreement. During the previous contract, one company transferred work from the Harbor-area to Costa Rica, transforming a formerly minor operation with a few office workers into a bustling new facility with cubicles for 100 employees – many doing work that had previously been performed by ILWU employees in the Harbor area. The workers in Costa Rica were ordered not to talk with their better-paid counterparts in Los Angeles – and threatened with termination if they made contact with ILWU members.
While the outsourcing issue had festered since the contract expired in June of 2010, the problem went back further, to the depths of the 2008-2009 recession. That’s when companies pleaded for “flexibility,” claiming they needed relief to remain solvent. Local 63-OCU agreed to ease staffing requirements then to help the companies during the hard times, but the companies refused to return the favor when the economy recovered – and there was no “snap-back” provision in the contract to restore the status quo. Employers took full advantage of the relaxed staffing requirements during those three years to outsource 51 full-time positions – more than 10% of the workforce. With employers refusing to limit outsourcing, and another 70 jobs likely to disappear in the coming years without controls, OCU members decided they had no choice but to strike.
Politicians choose sides
The strike revealed which politicians were willing to stand with workers – and which ones were more comfortable with employers and big business lobbyists. U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer issued a disappointing joint statement with a sub-headline that screamed: “Closures of Ports During Holiday Season Could Hurt the Economy of the Los Angeles Region and Nation.”
In fact, there was little or no impact on the holiday season because most of the seasonal goods had been delivered long ago. And the economic impact of the strike was widely exaggerated. But claims that the strike was “harming the economy of the Los Angeles Region and Nation” were used to prod pro-corporate White House officials closer to imposing a Taft-Harley injunction.
Billion dollar baloney
Business lobbyists, along with many reporters and politicians, repeated the false claim that the strike was costing the local economy “$1 billion a day.” The figure came from a reporter who misunderstood the comments of economist Jock O’Connell, who was stunned to see his own misleading figure go viral. O’Connell quickly issued a clarification and tried to correct the error, but it was too late to control the hype that was fed by big business lobbyists and politicians who used the figure as a dramatic talking point – and reporters who unknowingly included the phony figure in many of their stories.
De-bunking a myth
Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik devoted a column to de-bunking the bogus billion-dollar figure, along with other employer myths that he saw circulating in the media, including some in his own newspaper. Hiltzik explained that the value of goods moving through the ports may amount to roughly $1 billion per day – but the value of those goods didn’t become worthless because of the strike, which merely delayed deliveries for a week or so. The cost of those delays could eventually be estimated, but it was very small compared to the “billion dollar-a-day claim,” and had no more than a tiny impact on the national economy.
Some stood with workers
Several members of Congress weren’t fooled by the employer hype and took a courageous stand by affirming the efforts of clerical workers to save jobs from being outsourced. Congress members Janice Hahn, Judy Chu, Linda Sanchez, and Grace Napolitano called on both sides to reach a settlement – while expressing concern over the outsourcing of good jobs. Similar sympathetic statements came from Congress member-elect Alan Lowenthal, State Assembly member Bonnie Lowenthal, and others. Janice Hahn also made a special effort to visit with workers on the picket line, as did City Council member Joe Buscaino who expressed concern about the outsourcing problem on radio interviews.
After several days into the strike, the union began sending a clear, consistent message that explained the conflict in terms the public could understand and support: “clerical workers are standing up to save good jobs that support working families in our community. We want the good jobs at the port to stay here and we want the outsourcing to stop.” A team of Local 63OCU members were quickly trained to deliver the union’s message to millions of TV viewers, radio listeners and newspaper readers. Member Trinie Thompson conducted interviews with the NBC Nightly News, the Los Angeles Times and FOX national news. Members Sal Lopez and Maggie Ladesma did television news interviews in Spanish that reached millions. Member Pin Tse reached out to the Chinese language media.
Reaching a settlement
As the strike neared the one-week mark on December 3, both sides edged closer to an agreement when the companies finally agreed to put controls on their outsourcing. The final deal took another 12 hours to finalize, but was reached shortly before 11pm on December 4 with a joint media event hosted by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who cut-short a South American trade mission to assist the negotiations.
ILWU International Vice President Ray Familathe said “this fight came down to saving good jobs for the entire community, but it was difficult because we were dealing with powerful multi-national shipping companies, 21st-century technology, and an outsourcing problem that’s been out-of-control in America for decades.”
“This victory was possible because of support from the entire ILWU family and the strong backing from the Harbor community,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath, who praised the unity and solidarity of union members, their families and community supporters.
Two hundred Local 6 members went on strike at three Waste Management facilities during the early morning hours of March 15, shutting-down the company’s East Bay operations for six hours. Members organized multiple picket lines beginning at 2am in three locations: the company’s headquarters in Oakland, a recycling facility in San Leandro, and the massive regional landfill in Livermore/Altamont. The picket lines were honored by nearly all Teamster drivers and many mechanics from the Machinists Union who also work at Waste Management.
The company’s blatant violation of federal labor laws sparked the action, including Waste Management’s retaliation against many ILWU members who are immigrants. Waste Management has been trampling on the rights of ILWU-represented workers who are organizing to solve problems and resolve open union contracts that have languished for years. Local 6 and the ILWU International have joined forces to help workers organize for more respect, win improvements and protect their rights.
The ILWU workforce at Waste Management has been represented for several decades and is divided into three units, each with separate contracts. About 65 workers operate the company’s landfill operations, and several dozen provide clerical and customer service assistance.
Many are low-paid
The largest group of ILWU members are the company’s lowest-paid who operate Waste Management’s East Bay recycling operation. The predominantly-immigrant employees are paid roughly half what recycling workers earn in San Francisco and San Jose for doing the same work, while residents in those cities pay roughly the same rates for their garbage and recycling services as do East Bay residents.
Efforts to improve the low-pay and dangerous working conditions for recycling workers are being supported by a coalition of community groups known as the Campaign for Sustainable Recycling, which includes the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), religious leaders, environmental organizations and recycling experts who are committed to winning better recycling services for the public along with better working conditions for employees. EBASE members were on the picket lines early Friday morning to support the striking workers.
Several days before the strike, community leaders convened a meeting at the Bay Area Christian Connection church in Oakland, where workers explained Waste Management’s retaliation against immigrant employees. And a month before the strike in early February, 200 workers convened a historic “Recycling Workers Convention” with employees from four major recycling operators in the East Bay. Much of that meeting was conducted in Spanish, and was chaired by workers who are taking a leadership role in their campaign to improve industry conditions in Alameda County. Supporters at the Convention included a host of elected officials, church leaders, environmental groups, industry experts and community organizations. The convention concluded with workers ratifying a plan to improve industry conditions. Political leaders signed a statement calling for better jobs and improved recycling services in the East Bay.
In the days leading up to the strike, workers filed formal charges against Waste Management with the National Labor Relations Board that included:
• Threatening and intimidating employees;
• Implementing workplace policies without bargaining with the Union;
• Mistreating immigrant workers.
Using E-Verify against immigrant workers
One nasty charge involved the company’s improper and illegal use of the federal “E-Verify” system to retaliate against immigrant recycling workers who were organizing to protect their rights on the job. The company began by bypassing a legal obligation to first negotiate with the union before using the E-Verify system. Waste Management also improperly used the E-Verify system against long-term employees instead of new-hires or applicants. And Waste Management also used E-Verify in a retaliatory manner by deploying it immediately after workers planned to take collective action – a serious violation of federal labor law. The company spokesman claimed that their timing was merely a coincidence, or as he told the San Francisco Chronicle, “an unfortunate chain of events that overlain one another.”
In addition abusing the E-Verify system, Waste Management also engaged in other violations of the National Labor Relations Act, including unlawful surveillance and interrogation of employees.
“America won’t work if big companies like Waste Management can break the law with impunity and violate workers’ rights,” said Fred Pecker, Secretary-Treasurer of ILWU Local 6. “All workers deserve respect on the job and the right to be free from illegal threats.”
Positive media coverage
The strike generated intense media coverage that was sympathetic towards workers. Five television stations carried the story, beginning with early morning reports that ran throughout the day, including live coverage from reporters on the picket lines and in helicopters overhead. Some of the interviews were conducted by workers themselves, including Manuel Christy, a 23-year Waste Management veteran who told Channel 5 news that the strike was about “respect and fairness.” More than 60 TV and radio reports aired on Friday that reached over 1.5 million residents. The San Francisco Chronicle published an article the following day that provided details about the company’s illegal retaliation against immigrant workers.
History of abuse
Waste Management has a history of mistreating Bay Area workers. In 2007, the company was engaged in contract negotiations with Teamsters and Machinists when they issued a demand for cutbacks. When workers refused, the company “locked-out” the drivers and mechanics. The 200 ILWU workers respected the picket lines during the 28-day lockout, going without pay and putting a heavy burden on their families who made a dramatic show of solidarity. During the lockout, the company mobilized their professional team of in-house strike breakers from around the country, known as “the green team,” but many East Bay customers had little or no garbage service for the month, triggering heavy fines and sanctions against the company. When the lockout ended, Waste Management retaliated by suing the ILWU and outsourcing 38 customer service positions in November of 2009.
Waste Management is the nation’s largest waste and recycling operator. The company is highly profitable. In 2012, Waste Management reported profits of $817 million and paid stockholders another $658 million in dividends. While the company demands concessions from workers, Waste Management’s CEO has been collecting $7.4 million in compensation.
Waste Management workers in the East Bay shut the company down for six hours on March 15 to protest abuse.
Workers and supporters, including the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), went to the Oakland City Council on February 5, to warn officials about Waste Management unlawful retaliation against immigrant workers.
Striking worker Manuel Christy, a 23-year union member and Waste Management veteran, told Channel 5 news that the company should obey the law and respect all workers.
Photo: The Organizer
IWW canvassers picket outside Sisters Camelot Managers Collective meeting. One month into the strike, these workers in Minneapolis are holding strong.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — An 8-year employee with the Star Tickets call center in Grand Rapids has filed an unfair labor practice charge against her former employer, who she claims fired her last week for helping organize the office into a union.
Deirdre Cunningham filed the charge with the National Labor Relations Board office in Grand Rapids on March 27, a day after she was allegedly fired from her job as a client service representative with Star Tickets.
Cunningham was instrumental in helping organize employees at the national ticketing agency’s Grand Rapids office into a bargaining unit that was certified by the NLRB on March 25. The certification followed a vote to unionize with the Industrial Workers of the World on March 6.
Hundreds of ILWU members and supporters marched and rallied in Vancouver, Washington, on March 8 to protest the lockout of ILWU Local 4 workers at the port’s grain export terminal operated by Mitsui-United Grain. The Japanese-owned company initiated the illegal lockout on February 27.
“It was great to see so many members supporting us from all over the region and also from Los Angeles, the Bay Area and even Alaska,” said Local 4 President Cager Clabaugh. The Friday morning rally created some commotion in Vancouver’s quiet downtown, as members rallied at Esther Short Park then marched several blocks to the headquarters of Mitsui-United Grain in a spirited display of union solidarity.
Union leaders were on hand to lend their support, including ILWU International President Bob McEllrath, Vice President (Mainland) Ray Familathe, and Coast Committeeman Leal Sundet. Washington State AFL-CIO President Jeff Johnson was also in attendance. Additional speakers included Inland Boatmen’s Union President Alan Cote and Secretary-Treasurer Terri Mast, Local 13 representative Luke Hollingsworth, a regional Teamsters representative, and local Episcopal minister Jeremy Lucas.
As rally speakers were winding up, McEllrath held up a copy of an interim collective bargaining agreement that another big grain exporter, U.S.-based TEMCO, had recently approved that was ratified by ILWU members. The new interim agreement with TEMCO was overwhelmingly approved in a ratification vote several days earlier by the combined eligible membership from Locals 4, 8, 19, 21 and 23.
At McEllrath’s invitation, rally participants marched several blocks toward the Mitsui-United Grain offices. While supporters cheered, McEllrath, Sundet and Clabaugh attempted to deliver a copy of the interim agreement with TEMCO to Mitsui-United Grain, but company officials saw the crowd coming and locked the doors to their high-rise building. After a brief standoff and some chanting, arrangements were made to deliver the interim TEMCO agreement to officials inside. The grain association’s spokesman told reporters that he expected to have the document e-mailed instead of personally delivered by hundreds of supporters.
ILWU members have been loading grain onto ships at Northwest ports since the 1930’s. In the decades since, agreements with the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association were reached without major conflicts. That changed in 2011, when a new, overseas-based grain export company, EGT, built a $200 million facility in Longview, Washington, and refused to negotiate in good faith with the ILWU. The company then used Operating Engineers from Gladstone, Oregon, to operate the new terminal – triggering months of protest by ILWU members that eventually resulted in a first agreement with EGT.
Shortly afterward, the four company multi-employer group represented by the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association began demanding concessions to their own successful 80-yearold grain agreement. Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association members include:
• Japan-based Mitsui (United Grain in Vancouver)
• Japan-based Marubeni (Columbia Grain in Portland)
• Netherlands-based Louis Dreyfus Commodities (elevators in Seattle and Portland)
• U.S.-based Cargill and CHS (TEMCO elevators in Tacoma, Kalama and Portland)
The four companies that constitute the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association multi-employer group negotiated to impasse with Locals 4, 8, 19, 21 and 23 – that also bargained as a group. The companies insisted on hard-line, non-starter proposals and refused to budge before the grain contract expired in September, 2012. By November, they demanded that the Union accept a deeply-concessionary contract. That proposal was rejected by 94% of members who voted in late December. At that point, three companies (not including TEMCO), emboldened by the Taft-Hartley “slave act”, imposed their “final offer”, a concessionary agreement. At this point, the union decided that it was wiser to remain working – even under terms of the imposed contract – than it was to strike. This permitted the union more time to work on other methods of struggle, including rallying domestic and international solidarity along with other legal options.
Meanwhile, TEMCO, a joint venture of an American farmer cooperative and the American corporation Cargill, refused to participate with the three other grain companies that imposed the concessionary agreement. Instead, TEMCO agreed to work under the expired grain agreement while continuing to negotiate an interim agreement.
The union and TEMCO were able to reach terms on a five-year interim agreement that was ratified by members and signed on March 9. The TEMCO/ILWU agreement is subject to modification in order to reflect an eventual agreement between the ILWU and the entire Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association.
The interim agreement does not break up the multi-employer group, and the interim agreement is subject to whatever agreement is finally reached with the whole group.
While all of the foreign based and controlled export elevators have utilized the services of Gettier, a Delawarebased strike breaking specialist that offers “replacement worker services” and labor strife consulting, Mitsui-United Grain adopted the most hostile approach of the three recalcitrant companies.
Gettier was the firm that Rio Tinto hired during their failed 2010 lockout attempt against 600 Local 30 families Boron, California. Mitsui paid Gettier to use the same tactics in Vancouver that backfired in Boron: hiring expensive replacement workers who were put on stand-by, and stationing security guards around the plant who were dressed in storm-trooper costumes and given video cameras – hoping to provoke ILWU members into doing things that could be used by the company in court.
Just like Rio Tinto, Mitsui imposed an illegal lockout against ILWU workers. Mitsui locked the gates on ILWU members early on the morning of February 27. The company claimed their action was justified because an individual union member allegedly tried to damage equipment at their Vancouver grain terminal two months earlier – a claim that has yet to be backed-up with evidence. The individual they accused was dismissed prior to their lockout, so there was no justification for locking out
the entire ILWU workforce – aside from anti-union retaliation, which is illegal under federal law. Local 4 filed “unfair labor practice” charges against Mitsui-United Grain for retaliating against union members on March 4, 2013.
Towboat companies, Foss and Shaver, have bare-boated three ship assist tugs to the Grain Exporters who have manned those tugs with nonunion workers. The Coast Guard has issued a protective zone of 250 yards around the Columbia River Terminals of Mitsui and Marabeni.
The river pilots, citing legal requirements, are moving vessels with scab towboats through Local 4 picket lines. International Transport Federation (ITF) crewed vessels are being threatened and fined by the elevators when they refuse, pursuant to ITF contracts, to do longshore work such as opening hatches.
Since the lockout, Local 4 members have been staffing the picket line around the clock. The 44 positions at Mitsui-United Grain were often rotated among the 200 members of the local, so almost everyone has worked inside at some point, according to Local 4 President Clabaugh.
He credits Vice President Jared Smith along with members Jared Moultrie, Tommy Boyer and others, for helping to coordinate the lockout support effort. Member Monty Sinclair has been coordinating picketing on the water, using boats to extend the lines into the water where they can be seen by maritime unions.
“The membership support for this effort has been impressive,” said Clabaugh. “We’ve got faith in our International union leadership and are committed to going as long as it takes.” As The Dispatcher is going to press, Mitsui-United Grain, Marubeni-Columbia Grain and Louis Dreyfus have agreed to resume negotiations with the ILWU.
The Grand Rapids branch of the IWW is organizing a protest for this Monday, April 1st in response to the recent firing of one of their members for organizing fellow workers at Star Tickets.
The protest Facebook event page states:
IWW Organizer Deirdre Cunningham has been fired from Star Tickets in Grand Rapids where she had been working/organizing for years. The termination comes on the heels of a successful union campaign, which won IWW union certification for all Star Tickets Workers. Deirdre was fired on the day the Union was certified in an attempt to scare the other workers away from their Union.
The Sisters' Camelot Canvass Union are doing a phone and email zap on the Sister's Camelot collective. There are two phone numbers and one email to contact.
Please call Eric Gooden (SC Collective member) at 612-823-0647
Please call the SC Collective office number at 612-746-3051
Please email email@example.com
Please tell them to:
1. Rehire the fired union member.
2. Negotiate with the union.
Below is a sample email that can also be used as a script for calling as well.
Dear Sisters' Camelot,
IWW Organizer Deirdre Cunningham has been fired from Star Tickets after a successful union election. The IWW workers of Star Tickets were officially recognized as the bargaining agent for Star Tickets today. Also today Mrs. Cunningham was fired in retaliation.
Call owner Jack Krasula and demand justice for Deirdre!!
Phone - 248-945-1127