The March 2008 issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
Industrial Worker #1703 (March 2008)
- UK blood service cuts blunted, IWW, allies fight to reverse them
- IWW Organizing Summit in Toronto, Canada announcement
- IWWs elect fresh crop of officers
- New York Wobs learn IWW history
- Obituary: Dorice McDaniels, lifelong fighter for peace, solidarity
- Australian IWW pleads guilty
- Auchan fires pro-union worker in Poland
- Spanish bus drivers strike for 5-day week
- Freeters' Union: organizing Japan's precariat
- Column: Working family - Trafficking law targets consensual sex workers
- Which union is up-to-date?
- AFSCME defeat borths new convictions, strategy
- Connecticut IWWs show solidarity for NYC food workers
- Rail Workers build inter-union solidarity caucus
- World labor solidarity
- IWW delegate finds courage on Mexico-US border
- New York Wobs demand Starbucks recognize MLK Day
Industrial Worker #1704 (April 2008)
The April 2008 issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
- NYC IWWs win $350,000 in back wages
- IWW Organizing Summit agenda set
- ILWU declares May 1 day to stop war
- Wobbly trucker refuses to cross UAW picket at American Axle
- Metro Lighting remains a scab business
- Barcelona workers end occupation
- Puerto Rican teachers defy government, AFL
- "Flag 3" sues Seattle for false arrest
- Green unionism: saving the world and the union
- FBI arrest Marie Mason, 3 others for 'eco-terrorism'
- Wobblies observe Internal Women's Day
- World labor solidarity
Industrial Worker #1705 (May 2008)
The May 2008 issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
- Truckers fuel actions build towards May Day
- Zimbabwe on the brink
- Union rivalry leads to clash ay Labor Notes conference
- Direct action empowers workers to get the goods
- Diesel price rally hits New Jersey turnpike
- Leicestershire IWW targets education
- Harvest Co-op fires 2 in Massachusetts
- No-match letters a wedge between workers
- Twin Cities workers fight 'no-match' firings
- Obituary: Robert "Bob" Wahlfeldt (1925-2008)
- International Workers Memorial Day statement
- World labor solidarity
Industrial Worker #1706 (June 2008)
The June 2008 issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
-Zimbabwe arrests unionists, opposition
-African unions fight food crisis in streets
-E-Z Supply ordered to pay IWWs $1 million By Stephanie Basile
-UK blood service protesters demand secret report be released to public
-Australian taxi drivers sit down for safety
-N. Carolina log truckers strike
-California truckers in Stockton strike
-Supermarket story: “Get out as fast as you can”
-Indian guest workers launch hunger strike
-Extremists attack CNT France members
-Swedish syndicalists disrupt Bonniers to press stalled talks
-IWW red van helps organize day laborers By x353554
-Haitian unions host IWW solidarity delegates: A travel diary of the IWW delegation By Cody Anderson, Nathaniel Miller, Justin Vitiello and Joseph Lapp
-Unions listen! Another world is possible by Staughton Lynd
-Grad students organize at U of Chicago
-Militant, independent, all-Cambodian union: Union perseveres despite murders, threats by Erik Davis
Industrial Worker #1707(July-August 2008)
The July-August 2008 issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
-IU 410 shop scores 3-year contract, raises, healthcare
-Thousands sign petition to decriminalize prostitution in San Francisco
-Zimbabwe still persecutes teachers, unionists after election fraud
-Restaurant joins Wild Edibles boycott
-Flaum Appetizing violates Jewish law, say locked out IWW members
-IWW Assembly to land in London, UK
-Obama won’t save the US working class
-Polish Workers’ Initiative wins, fights on
-The IWW in Japan: Fighting together from Tokyo to the streets of Sapporo
-Utah Phillips: can I tell you another story?
-Starbucks union-busting exposed in 20 countries
-Mexican teachers struggle for union democracy
-Mexico City market cleaners defeat union-busting contractor
-German-area IWWs picket Boesner for union-busting
Industrial Worker #1708 (September 2008)
The September 2008 issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
-South Korea orders arrests of union leaders
-Female migrants unlikely to be paid minimum wage in the UK
-IWWs remember Utah Phillips
-Mall of America Starbucks baristas join IWW
-No heat at Ohio textile shop sparks complaint, workers win NLRB ruling
-Wild Edibles files for bankruptcy
-Ottawa IWW picket wins $2,500
-Sex workers campaign to decriminalize jobs
-Troublemaking in Edmonton for 10 years
-Rambling to Revolution: Hobohemia and the IWW
-Frank Little’s grave restored
-Providence IWW rallies against police brutality
-Rail Workers United founding convention
-Dishwasher Pete wanders, entertains, rebels
-Nationalization controls Venezuelan workers
-Anti-mining union leader murdered in Guatemala
Review: Dishwasher Pete wanders, entertains, rebels
A review by Scott Satterwhite of Dishwasher, a book based on a zine about a man attempting to have a dishwashing job in all 50 states of the U.S.
Pete Jordan, Dishwasher, Harper- Perennial, New York, 2007, 386 pages, paperback, $13.95.
In the early Nineties, an occasionally employed dishwasher found a calling that led him on an atypical mission to wash dishes in every state in the United States.
Pete Jordan’s trek became legendary in punk circles as he recorded his adventures of bouncing from dish tub to dish tub in the seminal Nineties fanzine Dishwasher. While finding his niche in the zine world, the writing of Pete Jordan (aka Dishwasher Pete) stood out because he could tell a good story.
While it may be difficult for those who have not worked in a kitchen to understand, there is no shortage of adventures that happen every day in the average restaurant. Add to that the element of interesting travel that is far from aimless and you have the material for what is one of the most appealing, readable, and unique books on modern labor to come out in years.
While Dishwasher started out as a fanzine, Harper-Perennial found Pete Jordan’s story intriguing enough to want to publish it in book format, which is an odd move for a major publisher and an even more strange testimony toward the universal appeal of this book.
Throughout the book, Jordan tells story after story of bouncing around from one kitchen to another, working anywhere, from small restaurants to big ones, from ski resorts to off-shore oil rigs, all in his quest to wash dishes in all 50 states.
While most would find this a strange profession to spend a considerable amount of time devoted toward, Jordan explains that in reality washing dishes is one of the most ideal jobs. The dish area is usually a solitary environment, free of oversight. There are few employee benefits, but food is as plentiful as the availability of work. While generally looked down upon in the typical kitchen hierarchy, the dishwasher’s job is arguably one of the most integral parts of any restaurant. Not only is the task itself crucial for obvious reasons, but more importantly, no one else wants to do it. Dishwasher Pete found this situation alone gave him a good deal of power in the workplace.
How he used this power is what I would criticize; this same power is seldom used in a profession where there is so much potential to win workers demands. When the workplace becomes intolerable, most people quit and the job remains a “shit job” for the next person. The only ones who benefit from this scenario are the employers who are rarely forced to give concessions that are not mandated by law (if even that is respected) to the workers.
While there are few feelings as nice as telling a bad boss to shove it, that joy is short-lived, lasting as long as the last paycheck. After that, it’s back to the grind. If the workers in this industry realized their power to change their workplace, the benefits gained could mean greater joy that lasts. What is better? Telling a boss to stick his job where the sun doesn’t shine or winning better wages and health care?
That said, there are moments in this book where the workers rise up to their potential. In a few touching scenes, Dishwasher Pete begins researching the lives of other dishwashers. He learns of past dishwasher strikes and people who attempted to organize this profession.
Jordan even pays tribute to these “Pearl Divers” who had gone before him and leaves makeshift memorials at the sites of these strikes and also at graves of dishwasher union organizers. This affinity for other suds busters ultimately led Dishwasher Pete to join an independent union where he gives a great account of kitchen worker solidarity in a wildcat strike.
In fact, there is a great deal of dishwasher history and trivia in this book. (What’s one thing that Gerald Ford and Ho Chi Minh had in common? They were both dishwashers!)
Also filling these pages are great personal stories about the “rootless irresponsibility” touted in the cover blurb and a few very funny moments, most notably the infamous story of Dishwasher Pete hoodwinking Late Night with David Letterman by getting a friend to impersonate him on the talk show.
Dishwasher obviously will appeal to those who have worked the worst of these jobs and cleaned dishes in the grimiest kitchens. Yet, Jordan’s writing goes further than the obvious and leaves plenty for those who are interested in travel, labor history, love, and the love of strange accomplishments. Dishwasher is a fun read with great (and sometimes inspiring) stories about the day-to-day workplace struggles for the so-called unskilled worker. Now that Jordan has moved on to greener pastures in another country, I only hope his next venture will give us more great stories in the future.
Originally appeared in the Industrial Worker (September 2008)
Industrial Worker #1709 (October 2008)
The October 2008 issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
-Police arrests try to disrupt Republican National Convention protests
-Quebec workers get union contract at Wal-Mart
-UK cinema fires IWW organizer
-Ward’s Supermarket fires IWW for petition
-Marie Mason pleads guilty
-Mall of America Starbucks IWWs take direct action: buying a fan for freedom
-Martyred Sacco & Vanzetti are honored in Boston
-One million signatures sought for Employee Free Choice Act
-Youth must organize at school and work to win power
-Toronto campus radio fires news director as it bargains
-UK inquiry reveals chronic neglect led to death
-General Assembly in Europe an IWW first
-SweatFree Communities press state governors
-Turkish trade unionist acquitted after waiting 8 months in jail
-Remembering Helen Keller as a fighter
-French Post targets CNT striker in Marseille
-Chinese unions inch toward independence
Industrial Worker #1710 (November 2008)
The November 2008 issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
-Wal-Mart closes second union store in Québec
-Crisis a product of capitalism
-Letter: Venezuela is not the Soviet Union
-Couriers aim to organize across North America
-Sheffield IWW barman fights for job with another day of action Nov. 8
-Seattle Solidarity wins back wages
-N. Carolina truck drivers build community support
-Social workers need job control
-Wild Edibles uses fronts to avoid boycott
-MetroLink rail crash makes safety reform a must
-CN Rail workers dump UTU for Teamsters
-We are the RNC8: open letter
-Union leadership: the ability to move people
-Mentally ill workers an ‘indicator species’ for fairness on the job
-The IWW: Literature Review 2008
-Pakistani women need rights respected every day
-ISC delegation to Haiti appeal for donations to help recovery
-Zimbabwe unions condemn opposition deal with Mugabe
-Spanish CGT protests union-busting
Industrial Worker #1711 (December 2008)
The December 2008 issue of the Industrial Worker, the newspaper of the revolutionary union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
-G20 defends capitalism
-Economic meltdown global
-Ontario farm workers win right to unionize
-Minneapolis Starbucks baristas join IWW, demand guard
-GDC to fight SLAPP lawsuits
-Colorado right-to-work campaign defeated
-Proposition K fails, sex workers continue to organize
-Unemployment is the economic policy
-Debt, exploitation and the crisis in Canada
-Conservative workers ready for exploitation
-Grocery worker fights boss, union for rights, pension
-Young Edmonton workers launch comic
-German IWW speaking tour builds links