This entry is the second part in a two-part story from contributor Phinneas Gage about a wildcat strike by contractors at the Canadian postal service, and continues our coverage of struggles within Canada Post.
Swedish company Electrolux proposes to workers at its four Italy plants to take a 50% pay cut so as to keep them competitive with their counterparts in Poland and Hungary.
It is certainly not a coincidence that Electrolux’s proposal came just after the signing of the new agreement on union representation, when in the eyes of big business the Italian unions look friendlier than ever.
Workers have today walked off the job at seven branches of Walmart across Dallas. The workers then joined protests outside, demanding that workers are paid a minimum of $25,000 a year. The action organised by the ‘OUR Walmart’ campaign has been played down by company lickspittles, who claim that very few employees have been involved, and that busloads of pickets had been transported between stores to boost numbers.
These latest walkouts follow on from similar wildcat actions in Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, and Miami. They are planning more of the same on ‘Black Friday’, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year, which signals the start of the Christmas shopping period.
A toadying Walmart spokesperson claimed that:
Striking workers peacefully picketing at Insomnia Cookies, Harvard Square, MA, have been attacked and arrested by the local police.
Picketers were asked to stop using a PA system, which they did, but were then attacked for no apparent reason. IWW member, Jason Freedman, was ‘punched and bloodied before being ‘thrown onto the trunk of a car’.
On Tuesday morning over 600 school bus drivers in Boston took wildcat action. They are angry at the complete ineffectiveness of their trade union (USW) and at the union-busting city administration, and the management style of Veolia, the private company now running the buses. Following an unsuccessful attempt at gaining an injunction, the mayor arranged a city wide scabbing operation by the police. The predictable purge and victimisation by bosses and union bureaucrats has now begun.
The dispute has been brought to a head due to the knock on effect of the Government shutdown. A dispute had been lodged with the National Labour Relations Board, but as they have not been working the dispute has not been looked at yet. The drivers decide to take matters into their own hands.
On Saturday September 21st there began a 10 day mass agitation by Bangladeshi Ready Made Garment(RMG) workers demanding a 170% increase in their minimum wage.
The reforms announced by government and industry in the aftermath of the Tazreen fire and Rana Plaza disasters included a review of the minimum wage for garment workers. The wage was last raised in 2010 while the cost of living has risen 2.5 times. Workers struggle to survive and many are malnutritious.