Kenny, a bicycle courier, recalls taking direct action to get management to abandon a new work practice.
Being a bike messenger in Seattle is hellish, but we had it kind of cush. We had to work our butts off, but at least we got paid by the hour.
The company always let us wear shorts, but since we had to wear company T-shirts, we cut off the sleeves. All of a sudden the company decided to clean up its image because they were dealing with big businesses. They started making us wear long pants and shirts made of heavy material, which is insane. Try biking ten miles up hills, up massive hills with heavy packages as fast as you can, in long pants!
All of the messengers agreed there was no way this could continue. We all decided that we wouldn't wash our clothes at all and that we'd wear the same thing every day. We also realized that the intense heat you build up when you bike, mixed with the right food, means you're farting all the time. So we found the right type of food that caused the worst type of explosions, and whenever we were in a big office building, we farted. You can imagine what it was like when one of us was in an elevator with ten business people in suits. Our clothes were stinking, our bodies were stinking and within a month the company had enough complaints to let us wear shorts again.
This is an edited extract from Sabotage in the American Workplace by Martin Sprouse taken from www.prole.info