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Grocery Strikers Must Win

by George Brookfield Monday, Oct. 27, 2003 at 2:23 PM

The grocery strikers must win their strike. First of all, because they have to win to protect their health care and that of their families in this dog-eat-dog society in which even medicine is treated as a commodity. And secondly because a defeat would be a disaster for working people all over California. Boeing, Disney, the large public and private universities, the film industry, the major hospitals, the shipping and trucking firms, and the various municipalities and counties would use such a defeat to attack the health care of their own workers, arguing that the wave of the future involved greater "flexibility" by working people in paying for their own health care.
A good case in point is the City of Long Beach, where the City Manager and one of his assistants have been visiting various City Departments and actually having the nerve to tell workers that they should void a rcently signed labor agreement so that the City can reduce their pay and slash their health benefits! An account of just one of these visits - in this case to the Library Services Department, appeared on this site a few weeks ago. They also have spoken openly to City workers of their plans to outsource many city jobs to private contractors in order to save money - in other words outsource them to slimeballs who exploit immigrant workers, many if not most of them undocumented, by paying them well below the level of a living wage and giving them virtually no benefits. The not so subtle threat was play along with us in our efforts to please the corporations by attacking the living standards of public employees or see your job go the same way. While city administration has never been a line of work famous for attracting towering intellects, none of the City's "managers" are so stupid as not to realize that contracting out = exploiting immigrant workers. The City plans to join in the exploitation.
One disgusting aspect of the whole situation is that Long Beach department heads have been openly siding with the City Manager against their own staffs -
exactly what one might expect from these low rent Alexis Karenins. They tremble at the prospect of the grocery strikers winning as a threat to their plan to please their bosses by convincing workers that reductions in their pay and benefits are inevitable. But the low intellectual and moral levels of these losers is not really the issue; if most of them got canned tomorrow they would be replaced immediately by similar toadies. The real issue is that the City of Long Beach, as well as other public and private employers, is counting on the defeat of the grocery strikers so that they can launch a similar attack on their own employees and unions. We must not let that happen. Support the grocery strikers in every possible way. Don't let some insect of a boss intimidate you and tell you that you can't mention the grocery strike at work.
An employee of the Long Beach Public Library told me yesterday that a library bureaucrat told him that the grocery strike must not be mentioned on the Library's email system, even in an effort ot inform other workers of alternative sources of information to the lies spewed out by City bureaucrats at a mandatory meeting that was held on City time. If you come across outrageous assaults on the First Amendment like this, publicize them to the best of your ability. Smoking these phonies out will reveal to their workers whose side "professional administrators" are on, and help them to realize that they and the grocery strikers are on the same side.
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 10 posted about this article.
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
big Ralph's strike Geoff Gregory Monday, Oct. 27, 2003 at 3:08 PM
h b Monday, Oct. 27, 2003 at 5:03 PM
Stock quotes show union is winning x Monday, Oct. 27, 2003 at 8:11 PM
Charts x Monday, Oct. 27, 2003 at 8:18 PM
message to Geoff ex-Ralph's shopper (until the end of strike) Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 11:19 AM
No Sweat union buster Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 12:02 PM
Love Scab food Scabbie Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 3:38 PM
scab food must kill brain cells strike supporter Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003 at 5:33 PM
Winning? Or Loosing overall Bk from Ca Wednesday, Nov. 05, 2003 at 8:47 PM
Jeff Jeff Saturday, Nov. 08, 2003 at 4:56 PM

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