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View Diary: Strikes, Sit Down Strikes, and maybe a new model? (21 comments)

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  •  Strikes are the last line of defense (0+ / 0-)

    I'm really growing tired of hearing the word strike bandied about by people who clearly have no conception of what it actually means.  Strikes are the last line of defense, because they are terrifying experiences for workers not to be taken lightly.

    Even with the best of unions, going on strike means taking a massive financial hit.  For those unions that do have strike funds, strike pay is rarely at the same level as your normal paycheck.  Moreover, many unions simply don't have a secure strike fund in place.  So going on strike means no money.

    It's easy to pontificate about the virtue of struggle when it isn't your ass, or your kid's well-being, on the line.  

    FYI, the cooperative model you discuss has a name, ESOP, and a mixed record in practice.  

    http://www.economicpopulist.org

    by ManfromMiddletown on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 10:00:56 AM PST

    •  First of all, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, alain2112

      back off. I've gone out on strike.

      Second of all, I agree -- my phrasing was not the best: organization and bargaining solidarity are integral to worker prosperity, and the first things that are needed.

      My point, however inartfully put, is that the strike, threat of strike, right to strike are the teeth inherent in that solidarity and organization.

      Point being: when bosses attack (via attempts to cut pay or benefits, or increase hours, or what have you), the strike/threat of strike is the first line of active defense.

      Please don't preach at me about "my ass not being on the line" or "my kid's future not being at risk" because I speak from some (not extensive, but some) experience: Food service, building trades, and academic union activity are all part of my experience, and I've been out on strike and gone without paychecks. It sucks... but it's better than the alternative. And there needs to be a better alternative that simply a strike.

      The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

      by RedDan on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 10:20:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry, but no (0+ / 0-)

        You write:

        Point being: when bosses attack (via attempts to cut pay or benefits, or increase hours, or what have you), the strike/threat of strike is the first line of active defense.
        Again you are ignoring that going on strike is the last step in a long line of escalations that begins with the contract.  This being the whole point of organization. Once you have a contract, you have legal recourse. You have a grievance process.  Once the company refuses to adhere to the contract, or negotiate in good faith if the contract's up, that's when going on strike is an appropriate action.

        http://www.economicpopulist.org

        by ManfromMiddletown on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 10:35:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Excuse me, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alain2112

          but this diary and the proposal in it was not intended as an exhaustive primer on the legal and historical context, value, process, and procedure behind unionization, organization, contract negotiation, and striking.

          I am not ignoring that long chain of cause, effect, negotiation, and so on...

          And even if I were ignoring the details, the main point remains the same: threat of strike, right to strike, legal basis for strike, and legal framework within which strikes take place is the single most important aspect of unionization.

          If strikes were not on the menu, contract negotiations would be meaningless. If strikes were not on the menu, legal protections and governmental oversight would be ignored. If strikes were not on the menu, unions would be little more than a social club.

          Threat of strike, legal or otherwise (and they only became legal because they happened anyway, mind you), is the fundamental building block of union power, full stop.

          Why are you nitpicking and attacking and being so nasty?

          The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

          by RedDan on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 10:44:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  And anyway... tell it to the WalMart workers (0+ / 0-)

      The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

      by RedDan on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 12:18:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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