Tuesday, Jun. 02, 2009 at 3:28 PM
This is the 10th anniversary of the Carpenters Wildcat strike. In 1999 in sites all around the state the Carpenters rejected a contract which would have sold them out! Labors Militant Voice played a leading role in the strike and now a comrade running for President of the Local.
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In May of 1999 over 5,000 construction workers participated on an illegal, unsanctioned 4-day strike. Most of Northern California’s major construction jobsites were closed down. It was set in the background of two colliding elements: a booming economy and a weak contract that was forced on the members of the Carpenters Union by their union leaders. Over a hundred non-delegate carpenters showed up on Saturday May 15th at the Carpenters Regional Council, a representative body, dominated by full-time appointed staff where delegates were due to vote on the contract.
The contract included a small wage gain coupled with no morning coffee break (allowing employers to work you 5-hours without a break) and a no-overtime Saturday in the event of rain during the week.
People were pissed. Not being allowed to vote on your own contract was one thing, not being allowed to go into our “rep council” to hear the debate simply enraged people. The general feeling among carpenters was that they’vestolen our right to vote, so we will stop this charade any way we can...