IWW-affiliated truckers to strike

IWW-affiliated truckers to strike

On Dec 8, North Carolina log haulers and container drivers - many who are misclassified as "independent contractors" - will be holding a work stoppage. They are demanding paper giant Weyerhaeuser and its subcontractors recognize their newly formed union, the United Truckers Cooperative.

On Monday Dec 8, the drivers of the United Truckers Cooperative will hold a work stoppage and picket outside of Weyerhaeuser Mills in Plymouth and Vanceboro, North Carolina. The workers are demanding Weyerhaeuser arrange a meeting between mill management, subcontractors, and representatives of the truckers to address the drivers’ legitimate grievances and negotiate a formal agreement on wages and working conditions.

A local driver who goes by the handle “Hollywood” explained the reason for the action: “If you see injustice, there’s something wrong and you are bound to stand up and say ‘no more.’ What’s going on with North Carolina truck drivers is wrong, so we’re standing up.”
The workers will be joined by concerned community members. In particular, local ministers will be in attendance. “Preacher,” a union member and an ordained reverend, recognized “The drivers represent the community, the church represents the community. What affects one of us, affects all of us. We’re all in this together.”

The drivers, who haul logs and finished wood products, have labored under a subcontracting system that has reduced them to little more than sharecroppers. Although many are misclassified as “independent contractors,” almost all work for subcontractors of paper giant Weyerhaeuser. Local driver “Pork Chop” stated that the drivers “demand to be paid directly by Weyerhaeuser.” He added that “What’s good for one is good for all” and that drivers were tired of management favoritism.

As founders of the Eastern North Carolina’s first truckers’ union, the members of United Truckers have voted to affiliate with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW IU 530). Founded in 1905, the IWW is a democratic and militant rank-and-file industrial union. The IWW believes that only through organization can the men and women who carry everything our communities need break the pattern of brutal exploitation and injustice faced by America’s truck drivers.

Based in Seattle, Washington, Weyerhaeuser is the second largest landowner in the United States and owns over 600,000 acres of forest in North Carolina alone. Besides having a history of mistreating its workforce, Weyerhaeuser’s environmental record is abysmal, both in our state and in many countries around the world.

The United Truckers Cooperative has received expressions of solidarity from North Carolina Public Sector Union UE 150, United Steel Workers Local 1325, and is actively seeking solidarity from other labor unions. Nationally, the Northwest Log Truckers Cooperative, an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists, has endorsed the union and the work stoppage. Unionists and environmental activists in Seattle will be demonstrating outside of Weyerhaeuser corporate headquarters in support of the North Carolina drivers.

Posted By

Chilli Sauce
Dec 7 2008 14:56

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Nwesttraveler
Dec 7 2008 21:01

The news release shows the writer hasn't kept up with the times. Weyerhaeuser over the past two years has sold off practically all of it's paper assets and now only has the pulp operations as any paper affiliated businesses. The Fine Paper business is now part of Domtar and the containerboard business is now owned by International Paper Company. The New Bern operation is part of the Cellulose Fibers Business which is the last paper related business of Weyerhaeuser.

The IWW has also been associated with the group known as the Wobblies in the early part of the 20th century in the U.S. and was associated with the socialist movement in the USSR, part of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia.

petey
Dec 7 2008 21:37
Quote:
The IWW has also been associated with the group known as the Wobblies in the early part of the 20th century in the U.S. and was associated with the socialist movement in the USSR, part of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia.

this statement shows that the writer hasn't kept up with the times, or indeed with any times..
i'll leave the rest to others.

Chilli Sauce
Dec 8 2008 03:45
Quote:
The IWW has also been associated with the group known as the Wobblies in the early part of the 20th century in the U.S. and was associated with the socialist movement in the USSR, part of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia.

Well that's blatantly not true. The IWW actually rejected an offer to join the Bolshevik-led Red Trade Union International.

Chilli Sauce
Dec 8 2008 03:54

oh yeah, "Wobblies" is as nickname for members of the IWW. Are you Weyerhaeuser management? I think you are...

syndicalist
Dec 8 2008 04:11

Good luck.

LauritzTheAgitator
Dec 8 2008 07:46

Oops, Weyerhaeuser hired PR firm message control astroturfer didn't check out the site he was posting to before putting up the talking points.

tsi
Dec 8 2008 19:15

lol @ idiotic "labour relations consultants".

fnbrill
Dec 10 2008 17:12

how did it go?

Chilli Sauce
Dec 10 2008 19:18

FNB, I'd call it a qualified success. W. has agreed to meet with us, but there's still a lot of work to be done.

Here's a good article on the action:

http://www.wdnweb.com/articles/2008/12/09/news/news01.txt

More updates to come....

Chilli Sauce
Dec 10 2008 19:20

Oh, if you can stomach it, throw some comments on this article. Talk about a bunch of reactionaries...

http://www.newbernsj.com/news/strike_43114___article.html/weyerhaeuser_monday.html#slComments

Chilli Sauce
Dec 18 2008 01:59

NC Truckers to Formalize Union Over MLK Weekend
Negotiating Committee Already Formed in Preparation for Talks

On the weekend of Martin Luther King Day, log truckers and container haulers from Eastern North Carolina and Virginia will be gathering to formally charter the United Truckers Union. This event will be the culmination of a nearly year-long organizing drive that led to a work stoppage on the morning of December 8, 2008. That action, which saw small but lively pickets outside of Weyerhaeuser mills along coastal North Carolina, reduced the amount of logs entering the New Bern mill by approximately 35% and shut down several tree stands in the Plymouth area. Only six trucks left BTT’s yard, one of Weyerhaeuser’s primary subcontractors and a target of the strike. Following the mornings’ stoppage, a unnamed Weyerhaeuser representative announced to local media that management agreed to the workers’ key demand: that mill management recognize the drivers’ organization and arrange a meeting between the drivers’ negotiating committee, Weyerhaeuser, and representatives of the subcontractors who employ the drivers. Accordingly, the union has directed a letter to the Vice President for Southern Timberland in Seattle, Washington offering several dates and places for an initial meeting.

Community support has proven integral to the drivers’ success. In particular, local churches have vocally supported the organization. “Preacher,” a union member and an ordained reverend, described this relationship: “The drivers represent the community, the church represents the community. What affects one of us, affects all of us. We’re all in this together.” Along much these same lines, the solidarity shown by the larger labor movement has been a source of moral as well as real world support. The drivers would to take this opportunity to thank the unionists and environmental activists who picketed Weyerhaeuser corporate headquarters on the day of their recent strike. Likewise, they are extending their sincerest appreciations to USW Locals in North Carolina and Washington State, UE 150, and the Northwest Log Truckers Cooperative.

The drivers have already announced their intention to affiliate with the Industrial Workers of the World Motor Transport Workers Industrial Union (IWW IU 530). Founded in 1905, the IWW is a democratic and militant rank-and-file industrial union. The IWW believes that only through organization can the men and women who carry everything our communities need break the pattern of injustice faced by America’s truck drivers.

petey
Dec 18 2008 14:23

smithfield unionized too.

Chilli Sauce
Jan 18 2009 23:35

Emergency Appeal – Funds Needed Immediately for IWW Truckers

PayPal: http://www.iww.org/unions/dept500/iu530

As many of you know the IWW has been organizing Truck Drivers in Eastern North Carolina and Virginia for much of the past year. In response to our growing power and planned founding convention this upcoming weekend, the bosses have begun firing the union's leadership. Two log drivers and five container haulers have lost their job over the past two days.

The union is already discussing legal and direct action means to fight these unjust firing, but right now we need funds to support our fired drivers.
These drivers have families to support and this is a part of the country where economic opportunities are very limited. Please offer whatever you can, drivers are counting on you.

Checks can be sent to the Freight Truckers Organizing Committee at
PO Box 274, Waukegan, IL 60079. Please include "emergency relief" in the memo line.

Steven.
Jan 8 2010 10:47

what is the score with the truckers organisation now? Is it still in existence?