Monday, February 20, 2006

Red Omar fights the good fight

Zappy's got a new blog up himself, and he's using it to spread the word. The words he's spreading today, boys and girls, are lockout and solidarity. In a typical story of union busting, chemical workers from Stepan voted overwhelming to join UE (the only union in America where the highest salary the president can make is the highest salary grade in all of UE's bargaining agreements) in January of 2005. Stepan refuses to bargain in good faith, and of course, the workers still don't have a first contract. The union's proposed wage increase would cost less than ten percent of the charge-off the Board of Directors just received. The workers go out for a one day Unfair Labor Practice strike because the company is stonewalling them in grievance proceedings. They offer to return to work, and Stepan locks them. They've been locked out nearly a month now, and are hurting.

Here's Zappy's blog. You'll also be able to find it on the links under "Ministry of Information"

Here's an update from the UE page.

Here's where you can send donations to the UE solidarity fund. If you're poor like me, do what you can to spread the word:

UE Local 155 Solidarity Fund
812 Fayette St., 2nd Floor
Conshohocken, PA 19428

Waking up and seeing about these guys that are trying to make a decent living for themselves and have some self determination on the job was a reminder. Because at AF's party last night, there was a silly girl there who claimed that unions no longer had a purpose. It makes me wonder what she does for a living. It makes me wonder if she's ever worked with her hands in her life, or ever faced any obstacles, discrimination. Even my ultra conservative Irish second family admit and agree that unions are still needed. Does she know that sweatshops make everything she buys? Does she know that the reason she has a weekend is because of unions? Does she know she can be fired for no reason at all if she doesn't have a contract?

In this society where we are getting worked to the bone while a small percentage of the population makes off with the loot, shouldn't we be trying to stick together? Why is it that so few people get the idea of solidarity or class anymore? Just another reminder about how good the other side is with hyperbole and frmaing... someone who buys into the idea that unions are no longer needed is blind, naive, foolish, or already so wealthy they feel they are okay. And why is it that a month and a half later, the response to the Transit Strike is STILL, well, I don't have it, why should those transit workers have it? Why aren't people saying, hey, EVERYONE should have health insurance and pensions? If you think the cost of pensions is high, why not consider how many millions of dollars CEOs get in their severance/retirement package?

Some day, people will understand that we have a lot more power if we work together.


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