Industrial Workers of the World | One Big Union !, ces 60 derniers jours



samedi 31 mars 2018

  • Rest in Power Stephon "Zoe" Clark

    Members of the Sacramento IWW write this letter with solemn condolences to the family and friends of Stephon "Zoe" Clark.

    On March 18th, Sacramento Police Department officers Terrance Mercadal and Jared Robinet shot ten bullets each, killing the 22-year-old father of two. He was the seventeenth person killed by Sacramento-area police in the last two years. In the wake of this tragedy, a routine that we know all too well has played out: police chief, Daniel Hahn, has called for calm as his department "gathers more facts" about the incident; city mayor Darrell Steinberg voiced his initial "full support" of the involved officers; and local newspaper Sacramento Bee has called for "calm" while glorifying the police, going so far as to ask "what's a cop to do?" when faced with explosive community accountability.

    That accountability comes in the form of rolling demonstrations led primarily by Black folks and supported by a wide swathe of Sacramento residents who refuse to accept another police execution of a Black person as "business as usual". Beginning on March 22nd, thousands of demonstrators pushed riot police from intrusion on a highway takeover and shut down access to the Sacramento Kings' home game. Community members have since squared off with police into the early hours of the morning; hosted a benefit music and arts night to fund raise for Zoe's family and funeral services; disrupted a city council meeting; prevented access to a second Kings' home game; and faced off with riot police after taking an unsanctioned march from District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert's downtown office.

    The current moment in Sacramento emerges from both spontaneous social anger and years of community organizing by many groups. In particular, protests focused on the Golden 1 Center demonstrate an understanding of the connections between ways that Sacramento government and business prioritize money at the expense of Black and poor lives. In addition to direct police violence, this includes ongoing "urban renewal and renovation" targeted at raising property values, eliminating mom-and-pop stores and their owners, creating a playground for a growing segment of Silicon Valley tech executives out-priced of Bay Area living, and pushing specifically workers and people of color, to the city's furthest limits. Protesters recognize city officials' complicity and active efforts to bring in more capital to swell its coffers, while leaving larger and larger numbers of its residents houseless. Police officers' protection of the Sacramento Kings' arena crystallizes the direct connection between the state and capitalists through its protection of publicly-financed private property and revenue accrual.

    Stephon Clark will be laid to rest today but it does not mean that we should. Members of the Sacramento IWW write this statement in full support of the ongoing efforts taken by community members and call for their expansion. Revolutionary activity begins in the streets but ends in a new society. That end goal—a world which dismantles structural racism in all of its forms and eliminates wage slavery as the primary way to survive—requires expanding this momentum to all corners and crevices of the city.

    Ways to expand the uprising include:

    • Talking to coworkers about actions of solidarity, like sympathy strikes or slowdowns
    • Talking with your neighbors about SacPD's actions and hosting fundraising block parties
    • Talking to your coworkers and neighbors about instances of racial and other forms of discrimination by managers, bosses, and landlords and developing ideas on how to fight back collectively
    • Organizing and conducting research to document the connections between city officials and businesses
    • Continuing protest of and strategizing against police violence and prisons, including immigrant detention
    • Working with friends on ways we can support each other without government or police-supporting institutions as intermediaries, like sharing food and resources, learning health care skills and supporting victims of domestic violence
    • Targeting other urban renewal projects that seek to turn the city's population into subservient, destitute, downtrodden workers, like Amazon Warehouses, with collective demonstrations
    • Sharing contact information with protest participants and organize strategy sessions

    Actions taken by community members and workers offer a glimmer of a world in which social norms are disrupted, inverted, and we take brief control over the streets, state offices and meetings, and our lives. We can take more ground and control, but we must do it together.

    Rest in power Zoe and all other victims of state- and capitalist-sanctioned violence in all of its forms.

    An injury to one is an injury to all.

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mercredi 14 mars 2018

  • IWW wins half-million dollar backpay settlement

    Stardust Family United, a solidarity union of the Industrial Workers of the World, has claimed a huge victory over the repressive owner of Ellen’s Stardust Diner (home of the world famous singing waitstaff), Ken Sturm.  In the largest settlement received by the IWW in recent history, Sturm has succumbed to the will of his workers and started payment of almost half a million dollars in back wages.

    In September, just one week before a scheduled hearing to settle allegations of 19 Unfair Labor Practices, including illegal surveillance of employees engaged in protected concerted activity, the interrogation of employees regarding union activity, and the unlawful termination of thirty-one employees for organizing, Sturm reluctantly offered reinstatement to all thirty-one employees and agreed to cease harassment and surveillance of the union. Although the employer also agreed to pay back wages, it should come as no surprise that Sturm strung his former employees along for another four months, through the holiday season, before finally bowing to the power of the workers and starting payment of the $490,000 he owes them.

    Stardust Family United was formed in 2016, in an effort to fight for the underserved employees of Ellen's Stardust Diner in their struggle against the unfair, unsafe, and unlawful labor practices of their employer. Blatant disregard for the workers' well-being ranged from ignoring pleas to fix dangerous equipment in the shop, resulting in multiple injuries on the job, to bullying tactics designed to shut down communication between employees. Undeterred, the members of SFU waged a struggle in the shop, in the streets, and in the courtroom. By refusing unsafe or unpaid work, the singing servers have dramatically improved conditions on the job. Through protests, pickets, and walkouts, they placed pressure on the boss to re-hire the illegally terminated workers. And despite Sturm's repeated attempts to break their spirit with shameful tactics, from hateful "anonymous" text messages to false allegations in a NY Post article, SFU has stood their ground every single time. And every single time, they've won.

    With invaluable support from the One Big Union, SFU has been relentless in holding Sturm and his army of corrupt lawyers and dictatorial managers accountable for their actions. Now that back wages are being paid to those illegally terminated, an injustice has been righted.

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