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Updated: 21 hours 58 min ago

Burgerville Workers Unite!

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 15:39

By Admin - Portland IWW, May 1, 2016

Portland, OR – In a historic move, workers at Portland-area fast food chain Burgerville announced at a rally in the Clinton Street Theater on April 26th that they were forming a union, the Burgerville Workers Union, in affiliation with the Portland branch of the IWW. They marched from the theater to the Burgerville location at Southeast 26th and Clinton to present their demands:

  • an immediate $5 an hour raise
  • affordable, quality healthcare
  • a safe and healthy workplace
  • fair and consistent scheduling with ample notice
  • a supportive, sustainable workplace including paid maternity/paternity leave
  • free childcare and transportation stipends

A typical Burgerville worker makes only $9.60 an hour, and is typically scheduled just 26 hours a week, just under the 30 hours a week which would make them eligible to receive benefits. That equals out to about $990 a month before taxes. To put that into perspective, the average apartment rent in Portland is $1,275 a month for a one bedroom apartment, and most apartment complexes require prospective tenants income to exceed 3 times the amount of the rent.

“Most people can’t even afford to have an apartment. In Portland, everyone knows that the cost of living is insane. It basically took me a second job to be able to have a place of my own. I couldn’t afford it with what Burgerville pays me,” said Greg, Burgerville worker and union member.

Other workers cited problems with management’s uncaring attitude toward their employees: “I need to be able to take a sick day without fear of retaliation,” stated Robert, a Burgerville worker at the Powell location.

The workers forming the Burgerville Workers Union represent a cross-section of the community – young people, seniors, mothers, fathers, students, and grandparents. They put passion into their work, and want to improve their workplaces for themselves, their co-workers, and the community.

“We’re trying to make Burgerville a better place – I just want to be able to do my job and be paid a living wage. This is going to make Burgerville better, by having happy employees that work hard and are proud of their jobs” said Debbie, Burgerville Worker Union member.

The Burgerville Workers Union is supported by the Portland IWW and endorsed by a coalition of local unions and community groups, including ILWU Local 5, IATSE Local 28, SEIU Local 49, Portland Association of Teachers, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Portland Solidarity Network (PDXSol), Portland Jobs with Justice, Blue Heron Collective (Reed College), Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Alberta Cooperative Grocery Collective Management, Hella 503 Collective, Marilyn Buck Abolitionist Collective and People’s Food Co-op.

To lend your support and solidarity, check out the Burgerville Workers Union website.

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Categories: Unions

Industrial Worker - Spring 2016

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 15:30
  • PRISONERS ORGANIZE: Free Alabama Movement spreads to Virginia as prisoners take up IWW banner
  • TEACHERS FIGHT BACK: Teachers, students, parents and others fight austerity across the United States
  • HOUSING STRUGGLES: Portland Tenants United organize against eviction and displacement
  •  ....and more! 

See attached, or view & share the issue online!

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Categories: Unions

IWW Newswire: 2016-4

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 16:01

Compiled by x344543 - April 27, 2016

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

May Day: The Soap Box: Other:

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Categories: Unions

Wobbles 2016-5

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 15:29

Compiled by x344543 - April 27, 2016

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

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Categories: Unions

The 4th Precinct: a black anarchist’s perspective on struggle in Minneapolis’ Northside streets

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 16:28

By Ikemba Kuti - First of May Anarchist Alliance, March 25, 2016

On November 15th, 2015, police executed Jamar Clark in North Minneapolis, MN. Several witnesses claim that Mr. Clark was handcuffed and on the ground when he was shot in the head. Following the execution, an occupation of the 4th precinct police station took place on Plymouth Avenue.

The call for the encampment and occupation came from Black Lives Matter – Minneapolis. BLM-MPLS, is a part of the nation-wide organization of chapters that is backed by the Democratic Party of the same system that ensures black and brown communities are hyper- policed. BLM-St. Paul is not a part of the nation-wide organization, and has even been condemned for making Black Lives Matter as a whole “look bad” for simply chanting “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon…” while they are not a chartered chapter.

BLM-MPLS’ call for the encampment resulted in BLM organizers heading the movement with little to no democratic process until later in the struggle. The encampment also generated tensions arising from different agendas, ideologies, levels of anger, and an array of different tactics that different organizations and members of the community aimed to use.

The nationally connected Black Lives Matter-Minneapolis did, and does, great work at getting people to come out. Unfortunately, they also do great work channeling that revolutionary energy into their dogmatic nonviolent reformism due to an undeniable affiliation with the Democratic Party (the system), which must be noted by those interested in liberation of the people, and which is quickly revealed through research on those who are heading #CampaignZero (Black Lives Matter flow chart to attain a world with limited police terror).

Take note of campaign zero’s four person “planning team” these are important facts: “In 2014, Brittany helped bring community voice to the Ferguson Commission and President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing as an appointee to each. She’s been named one of TIME Magazine’s 12 New Faces of Black Leadership”1. This individual works directly for the president.

The remaining three are also heavily connected to non-profits such as Teach for America (TFA), which is also historically connected to maintaining the system. For example: TFA was recently given a grant to continue to project their brand through the media. Furthermore, another member of this four-person team was the other recipient; she is the director of St Louis TFA. TFA is, effectively, the leading edge of the neoliberal attempts to gut city schools and further hinder education equity, which in turn systemically hinders black and brown kids educational achievement under the guise of helping those kids.

As an anarchist, of African descent, I argue that we need revolutionary struggle controlled by the grassroots and not by top-down leaders. It was the domination of top-down leadership from BLM-Minneapolis, and their seemingly unconscious commitment to the system, that effectively steered Northside community militants away from 1) the encampment, 2) becoming further politicized, and 3) in playing any role in the organizing of their own communities self-determination. Their voices were effectively hushed; just as the system we function under has done for centuries to oppressed people of color.

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Categories: Unions

The Strike is On! Texas Prisoners Strike for Human Rights, End to Prison Slavery

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 16:17

TEXAS PRISON STRIKERS UPDATES:
UPDATE 1: Robertson Center is currently locked down due to the strike, despite denial by the TDCJ of such retaliatory actions. ‪#EyesOnTexas‬
UPDATE 2: We have recently received news from someone incarcerated in TX that the TDCJ is threatening prisoners with a 20 day lockdown of the entire prison system statewide in an effort discourage the strike. 'If you don't work for free we'll put you on lockdown'. #EyesOnTexas

CONTACT: Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), an affiliate of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), 816-866-3808, iwoc@riseup.net

Houston, TX. In a historic action, members of the Industrial Workers of the World’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) inside Texas prisons announced rolling prison strikes beginning this morning. As of 9:30 AM we have confirmed that Robertson Unit is on lockdown. Roach and Polunsky Units were on lockdown but have been released now.

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Categories: Unions

IWW Newswire: 2016-3

Tue, 03/29/2016 - 19:17

Compiled by x344543 - March 29, 2016

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

Lead: Other:

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Categories: Unions

Wobbles 2016-4

Wed, 03/23/2016 - 18:11

Compiled by x344543 - March 23, 2016

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

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Categories: Unions

Industrial Worker - Winter 2016

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

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

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

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

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

IWW Newswire: 2016-1

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

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