Unions

Fleet Memo for February 6 2016

IBU - Thu, 03/10/2016 - 09:30
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Categories: Unions

Fleet Memo for January 30 2016

IBU - Thu, 03/10/2016 - 09:29
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Categories: Unions

Richard Cavalli – Bay Area Clerks leader

ILWU - Tue, 03/01/2016 - 14:47

Richard Cavalli (right) with former ILWU International President and Local 34 President James Herman.

Longtime Local 34 and ILWU leader Richard Cavalli passed on January 14, 2016 at the age of 75. A native of Oakland, Cavalli was born on June 7, 1940 to his mother, Marion who was a nurse and father, Bud, was a longshoreman.

After graduating from Castlemont High School in 1958, Cavalli got a Bachelor’s degree in History from San Jose State University. He continued to study formally and informally throughout his life and was a voracious reader of history, politics and natural history.

In 1966, he married Ann Preuitt, had three children and remained together 49 years. Cavalli began working with the Local 34 Marine Clerks as a “B-man” in the 1960’s and became fully registered in 1971. He was increasingly active in union affairs, beginning as a Steward, then Local Executive Board member. By 1977 he was elected Vice President and Assistant Business Agent, a position he held through the 1980’s while also serving as a Convention and Longshore Caucus delegate. In 1997, Cavalli was elected President of Local 34 and served initially for five years.

In 2003, he ran and was elected to the International Executive Board where he remained until 2009. Cavalli was reelected to serve as Local President and completing his final term in 2008 before retiring in 2010.

In meetings, Cavalli usually listened to other views before speaking, but rarely hesitated to voice his own opinion, especially when he thought a matter of principle was involved – even if it was unpopular. He was a critical thinker who tried to offer constructive suggestions when raising a problem, and was frequently eloquent, if not always persuasive.

Longtime Local 10 member Lawrence Thibeaux served on the International Executive Board with Cavalli, and recalled how they were assigned in the early 1990’s to join Local 52 member James Dean on a committee that investigated allegations of gender and racial discrimination at ILWU Locals in the Pacific Northwest. “Richard was part of our committee that went to Seattle, Tacoma and Portland, where we documented problems with discrimination and reported our findings back to the International Executive Board,” said Thibeaux. “Richard didn’t flinch from those unpleasant facts and remained determined to help enact reforms that made our union stronger and more inclusive.”

Cavalli also travelled with an important ILWU committee in 1989 to visit the Port of Rotterdam where new technology and automation were operating. In additional to his devotion to union causes, which included marching with Cesar Chavez and protesting the invasion of Iraq, Cavalli was passionate about spending time in the wilderness, especially in Yosemite’s high country and throughout the Sierra Nevada range. He also volunteered and supported many causes and community efforts including the Apostleship of The Sea, Sierra Club, Corpus Christi Men’s Club, Colombo Club, and Castlemont High School Alumni Association.

Categories: Unions

Industrial Worker - Winter 2016

IWW - Wed, 02/24/2016 - 18:43

In this issue:

  • Twin Cities IWW’s Sisters Camelot Canvass Union stays strong in a three-year struggle
  • International Women's Day: Remembering the women who perished in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire
  • Remembering a long history of U.S.-led racist oppression
  •  ....and more! 

See attached, or view & share the issue online!

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Categories: Unions

Getting Beyond the Goods: Direct or Indirect Action in the American Union Movement

IWW - Sun, 02/21/2016 - 13:02

By Lu Brennan - Hampton Institute, February 15, 2016

It is very possible that in the next few years millions of American workers could win significant wage increases through minimum wage legislation, and do so without militant strikes or building their capacity for shop-floor direct action. For those of us fighting for significant wage increases this is great news, but for those of us fighting for an overthrow of capitalism, this should be very worrisome. Central to this tension is a strategic question, namely, Shall unionists prioritize direct or indirect action? If we aim for revolution, we must choose the former?

Direct action here refers to action on the shop floor using the power of workers in their position as the life-blood of social production. This includes strikes, slow-downs, and various other tactics that directly contest the bosses' power at the site of production. Direct action not only disrupts production, it also questions the legitimacy, and even viability, of the bosses' power. In contrast, indirect action refers to those tactics that exert pressure through the various channels of contestation in broader society, whether that be through legislation, elections, or corporate smear campaigns that fight an institutional tug of war between the companies and the unions. Indirect action stages workers as one interest group among many, vying for influence. Today, within the American union movement, there is a prioritization of indirect action over direct action. When direct action is taken it is only within an overall strategy of indirect action. In this scenario, whether that be strikes included in a corporate campaign or mass worker demonstrations in support of minimum wage legislation, the overall logic of indirect action takes over and explicitly aims to foreclose the more radical possibilities immanent to direct action. The current dominance of indirect action is so entrenched for good reason. That is, because it is the result of decades of careful work developing successful union strategy. However, revolutionaries in the union movement must be committed to a reverse prioritization, not because direct action makes for better union strategy, but because from a revolutionary perspective, direct action is an end in-itself.

To begin, we must establish another distinction, between a purely union framework and a revolutionary one. A purely union framework is aimed exclusively at increasing the bargaining power of workers in their workplace and thus is content in advancing influence with those in power without ever challenging their rule. However, insofar as the union movement is a manifestation of an overall workers movement, it contains more revolutionary possibilities such as those implicit in direct action. The task of revolutionaries working in the union movement is to promote and expand these possibilities. Within this framework a workers movement must not just influence those currently in power to do better by us, but prepare to seize that power and succeed in doing so. Thus, revolutionaries in the union movement must look beyond whether or not something is an effective union tactic, but interrogate how it supports the development of workers' capacity to move from demanding more to taking power. For this, direct action is indispensable. We revolutionaries must be committed to direct action not because it gets the goods, but because it gets beyond them.

What follows has two sections, the first exploring the current dominance of indirect action and establishing why it is so reasonable as a union strategy. The second section argues that direct action is necessary for building a revolutionary workers' movement and that there is an opening in this historical moment for re-establishing direct action within American workers' common experience.

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Categories: Unions

IWW Newswire: 2016-2

IWW - Sun, 02/21/2016 - 12:36

Compiled by x344543 - February 20, 2016

The following news items are culled from various other IWW internet news portals:

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Categories: Unions

Wobbles 2016-3

IWW - Sun, 02/21/2016 - 12:17

Compiled by x344543 - February 20, 2016

The following news items may be of interest to revolutionary industrial workers:

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Categories: Unions

Free Alabama Movement Spreads to Virginia as Prisoners Take Up IWW Banner

IWW - Thu, 02/18/2016 - 15:36

RICHMOND, Virginia - February 15, 2016 - Inmates of the Virginia Department of Corrections have called for an end to abusive conditions in a statement released earlier this week. Calling themselves the "Free Virginia Movement," in solidarity with the Free Alabama Movement, the incarcerated workers within Virginia's prison system have joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in hopes to improve living and working conditions throughout Virginia's prisons and to repeal a series of state laws enacted in 1994 which effectively abolished parole.

The stated goals of the organization include an across the board reinstatement for eligibility of parole, the reinvestment of interests gained from inmates’ funds into rehabilitation, job training, and education programs, and an exemption for those with life sentences from paying 10 percent of their wages into a post-release savings fund.

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Categories: Unions

Adams elected SF Port Commission President

ILWU - Wed, 02/10/2016 - 14:20

When ILWU International Secretary Treasurer Willie Adams was unanimously elected President of the San Francisco Port Commission on January 20 with Vice President Kim Brandon, it marked the first time in the Port’s 152-year history that two African-Americans held both of the top positions.

ILWU International Sec-Treasurer Willie Adams

Prior to Adams and Brandon, the only previous African American to serve on the Port Commission was the late Dr. Arthur Coleman, a highly-respected physician who served from 1981 to 1992.

“I intend to work with the Commissioners, Port staff and Mayor Lee to carefullymanage the Port so it benefits all the citizens of San Francisco,” said Adams, who previously served two years as Vice President on the Commission. He was appointed to the Port body by Mayor Ed Lee in 2012 and previously served on San Francisco’s Film Commission for three years.

San Francisco’s Port Commission consists of five appointees, each selected by the Mayor, who are subject to confirmation by the Board of Supervisors for each four-year term. The Commission oversees 7.5 miles of prime waterfront property along San Francisco Bay, most of it leased for maritime, industrial, retail and commercial office uses – including the landmarks at Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, the Ferry Building and Giants Baseball stadium.

“My experience working on the docks gives me a good perspective for serving on the Port Commission,” said Adams.

“It’s an incredibly valuable resource that needs to be carefully protected and managed for future generations.”

Categories: Unions

IWW Newswire: 2016-1

IWW - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 22:18

Compiled by x344543 - February 8, 2016

The following news items are culled from various other IWW internet news portals:

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Categories: Unions

Wobbles 2016-2

IWW - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 22:00

Compiled by x344543 - February 8, 2016

The following news items may be of interest to revolutionary industrial workers:

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Categories: Unions

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