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View Diary: ACM: Working Class Self-Activity III: Walmart Workers Rising & the Prospects for Radical Politics (51 comments)

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  •  But can they win? (3+ / 0-)
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    Le Gauchiste, NY brit expat, JayRaye

    I'm not sure what the final long-term goal here is for the Wal-Mart Employees. Also, because I'm unfamiliar with labor law, why is the formation of a union so against the workers? What changes in labor law have allowed them to side with employers?

    •  I'm not sure they are either. (4+ / 0-)

      Seriously, I think that while the UFCW folks are hoping eventually to get millions of dues-paying members who work at Walmart under union contracts, they also know that's years away. And I think that some of the grassroots Walmart employees don't know where they're headed either, and that's okay since they're clearly on the right path.

      As for labor law, I'm afraid I'm not feeling well enough this evening to go into it in detail, because there is literally so much to discuss. In fact, it would make for an excellent diary topic!

      Just off the top of my head, some of the big problems are as follows:

      the election procedures are slow and cumbersome;

      employers are allowed to require employees to attend "captive audience" anti-union meetings that may go on for hours and include all sorts of misinformation, but union reps are not allowed to attend nor are unions given equal time;

      although the law forbids retaliation against pro-labor employees, employers do it all the time because it takes literally years for the employee who suffered retaliation to get justice, and then the company pays only back wages; etc. ad nauseam.

      "Karl Marx and Frederick Engels came to the checkout at the 7-11 Marx was skint - but he had sense Engels lent him the necessary pence What have we got? Yeh-o, magnificence!!" (The Clash, 1976-1983)

      by Le Gauchiste on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 04:41:07 PM PST

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      •  agreed this would be an excellent topic (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayRaye, trueblueliberal

        for a piece ... perhaps we can persuade you to write it in the coming year?

        "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 04:47:30 PM PST

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      •  These viral ULP strikes are a good tactic. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Le Gauchiste, NY brit expat, a2nite

        Keeps Walmart off base.

        In the old days workers could strike for union recognition. Not today. But ULP strikes are perfectly legal if done right. With a Union support behind them they may not have to wait for years to get results:

        http://labornotes.org/....

        Now when workers get fed up enuf, we could once again see massive civil disobedience such as the great sit-down wave of the 30s. The Pittston strike included civil disobedience, sitting in road in violation if injunctions, seizing and holding the plant. They also had Camp Solidarity with visitors (including me) from all across the country and all over the world. That was only 23 years ago. But Trumka seems to have forgotten that he was ever President of such a fighting union.

        Perhaps we are seeing a little bit of that fighting spirit revived. The fight itself builds class consciousness.

        I doubt that Walmart will give up it's system of super-exploitation without a major fight.

        WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Nov: Lives lost trying to earn a living.

        by JayRaye on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 05:32:58 PM PST

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