Thank you to everyone who has responded so far about joining us on Monday to picket Clare Rose in support of Teamsters Local 812.
Why is it so important that we do this? There is one main reason, along with a number of additional benefits.
First and foremost, this is what unions are all about. Union members look out for one another, and when one is being mistreated, we stand together and say “this is not acceptable.” There is safety in numbers – and there is strength and power. Think of it as the grown-up version of the anti-bullying messages we give our students: be an up-stander, not a bystander.
Last year, when Verizon was threatening to freeze pensions, gut job protections, and force some workers to work away from home for up to two months at a time., many other unions – including ours – stood with them. (click the image below for more pictures).
The result was that wages were increased, pensions and protections were maintained, and previous work rules were upheld. There’s never one single factor that causes an employer to reach a fair agreement, but pressure from the outside (including other unions and the general public) can be a valuable asset for striking workers.
Exactly a year later, we have the chance to help again. What Clare Rose is trying to do is completely abhorrent and we need to support our brothers and sisters.
In addition to the above, there are some additional reasons why we really want to have a good presence on Monday.
It builds support with other unions – Let’s face it, teachers unions have a big target on us these days. When we’re out there supporting other unions, we’re generating positive feelings among other unionists that will come back to us in the future (we heard this A LOT from CWA workers last year)
It’s in our own interest – Every union fight affects us all. If Clare Rose succeeds in breaking this union, it is one step closer to an overall reduction in union strength in this state and this country. This will have very dire consequences for us in the not-too-distant future.
It just feels good – When you’re walking on another unions’ picket line, the one thing that you’ll hear over and over is how much your presence is appreciated. These folks are in a rough place right now, not getting an income and being very unsure what the future holds. If our presence gives them a little mental boost and helps them feel they have support, then that alone should be worth the half hour or so of your time.
So please, join us on Monday, any time between 2:30 and 5:30. Stay for as little as 10 minutes or for as long as you like. The picketing is on William Floyd Parkway, JUST south of the L.I.E.
You don’t have to RSVP, but it would help to get a sense of how many folks are coming if you can reply to this email.
Tomorrow I’ll be sending out details about where to park, what to write on signs if you decide you’d like to make one, and updates about the strike.
Finally, if you’re a beer drinker, please boycott products distributed by Clare Rose until the strike is settled.