Day Four of the JeffBoat Wildcat, by a Louisville IWW Member at Jeffboat, May 3, 2001
It's Thursday afternoon, the fourth day of the wildcat strike at JeffBoat. All lines are holding strong.
Yesterday many workers received two letters in the mail; one from Zuckerman, the other from Bob Greene. Both letters ordered us back to work as well as talking to us like we were dogs and, at times, very stupid children. Folks on the picket lines were passing the letters around and discussing them. To counter these letters, someone wrote responses last night, made several hundred copies and distributed them among workers on the lines. A copy of each has been sent to Zuckerman and Greene.
I have copied the workers' response letters below. I hope you enjoy. The hard copy of these letters ape the font and even the verbatim of many sentences and all the tone of the two letters sent to us workers. It's funnier to read them after reading the originals but that will have to wait. We've got photos of the originals that'll be posted on the website soon.
Louisville Food Not Bombs and IWW members gathered food from grocery stores and prepared a healthy, good-tasting late supper that feed the many folks stationed at each of the gates leading into the shipyard. Folks were delighted at the treat and we told them, "This is in repayment for your courage and strength. Thank you."
It seems police in Jeffersonville, Indiana are no longer interested in assisting JeffBoat in any way. One wildcatter quoted a high-ranking police officer as saying that he was "tired of JeffBoat's bullshit. Half of all our calls," the officer claimed, "come from those pricks complaining about somebody they're fucking with."
There was absolutely no police presence at JeffBoat today.
From being on the barricade at the main gate, I can tell you that company men are carrying pistols. Several wildcatters on the moving barricade reported seeing pistols placed on the passenger seat of the vehicles driven by management. After seeing one, a barricader announced that he had taken his 9mm pistol out of his truck and left it at home. "I strongly encourage the rest of you to do the same," he said. "That's something they'll use to try and screw with us."
I left the lines earlier today and finally got some sleep. Louisville Food Not Bombs and IWW members from the area began gathering food at about 9:30 am in order to prepare a massive, free and good lunch for wildcatters.
Your phone calls and faxes and emails are really helping. We're not only putting pressure on the company and the capitalist-sucking "union," but you're honoring the brave folks who are taking a stand today. I spent from 10:30 pm to 12:30 am reading emails to folks all along the frontlines last night and this morning. People were standing very tall after what they heard.
Out of approximately 800 workers, 7 went to work today.