Occupy South Bay San Diego

Are Your Non-Union Wages Being Kept By The Rich?
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Are Your Non-Union Wages Being Kept By The Rich?

Download the poster pack

An employee of a public relations firm tied to the corporate giant Wal-Mart has been found to have posed as a reporter at a news conference about poor labor conditions at major retailers. Stephanie Harnett, a publicist for the company Mercury Communications, claimed she was student journalist “Zoe Mitchell” when she attended a media briefing on a recent report highlighting the practices of companies like Wal-Mart. The report, called “Chain of Greed,” singled out Wal-Mart for maintaining low wages and poor workplace conditions in a network of subcontracted labor. At the news conference, Harnett, posing as Mitchell, approached at least two workers and got them to reveal detailed information about themselves under the guise she was interested in reporting their story. Mitchell’s employer, Mercury Communications, claims neither it nor Wal-Mart authorized her stunt.

It begs the question as to how someone can directly support labor organizing at Walmart when management generates so much FUD?

It begs the question as to how someone can directly support labor organizing at Walmart when management generates so much FUD?


You’re working, or just started work somewhere where there is no active collective workers’ organisation. What can you do to get organised? This guide will help you get started.

Nowadays many workplaces have no active workers’ organisation. Depending on whereabouts you are in the world and what sector you work in there may or may not be much of a trade union presence. And even if there is it may just be a skeleton organisation which only represents workers with individual problems, and is unable to win demands of management. Or worse, it could be actively in cahoots with management against the workers.

Hardly, surprisingly, therefore that one of the most frequently asked questions by workers is - “What can be done at my workplace to improve things? It seems impossible, the bosses are too strong.”

We would suggest that the following should be considered:

 (via The Walmart 1%)

Another Walmart is, uh, popping up, in the San Diego South Bay.


This is what passes as progress in my neighborhood.

Here is a Google Map of the building they’re proposing to move in to.
Immigration reads you may have missed this weekend


Get up to speed with our picks from the holiday weekend. (Flickr)

Channel: Immigration

Don’t worry if you were too busy over the holiday to keep up with the latest in immigration. We all need to do a little catching up. Here are our picks for top weekend reads to help get you get up to speed.

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¿Como se dice facepalm en español?

ALEC: “no more sick days from work”

Ever get any sick days from work? Assuming that you have a job that will pay for them, do you have to wait longer than 90 days on the job to get them? Yes, they are drying up — it’s not uncommon to see people chose to work even when it will do the business no good.

Now, the mega-gazillionaires who fund ALEC want to ban sick days all together. Even those who run fast food restaurant chains like Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC. I say that we tell YUM that staph is not something we want as a pizza topping, a chicken finger dip or an ingredient in refried beans in our community. We should picket at these places:

View YUM restaurants in the South Bay in a larger map

We would rather stick together and transform our industry from within. We deserve to be fairly rewarded and valued. That is why we have united to stage convoys, park our trucks, marched on the boss, and even shut down these ports.

It’s like our hero Dutch Prior, a Shipper’s/SSA Marine driver, told CBS Early Morning this month: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

The more underwater we are, the more our restlessness grows. We are being thoughtful about how best to organize ourselves and do what is needed to win dignity, respect, and justice.

Nowadays greedy corporations are treated as “people” while the politicians they bankroll cast union members who try to improve their workplaces as “thugs.”

For years, members of certain — not all — unions say their bosses have compromised their collective power in back-door agreements and concessions. Some resent the “team concept,” a labor term for the working relationship between union bosses and CEOs, which places efficiency and profits over workers’ needs, according to disgruntled members. There is similar sentiment regarding the unions’ long-standing relationship with the Democratic Party — an institution also married to big business.

“The Occupy movement struck a chord,” explained Stan Woods, a member of the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee, a multi-union rank-and-file organization made up of ILWU members, teamsters, city train drivers and other similar blue-collars workers. “The union leadership doesn’t want to be left out, but they are hamstrung by their relationship with the Democrats, mayors and other politicians. They’re caught in a quandary.”

Occupy vs. Big Labor - Salon.com

This explains the following explanations about tomorrow’s actions:

We have contacted the International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU). The ILWU has taken the stance that they will not stand in solidarity with Occupy, and as such, though we did talk to somebody from their local, it seems they aren’t talking about it. The first people who were contacted about this action was the Local ILWU, it’s hard for me to say exactly why he didn’t find out. I’ll have (redacted), one of the organizers of this action contact you about this if he has time as well.

Which was followed up by…

There are some misconceptions about whether ILWU supports The December 12th West Coast Port Shutdown.

ILWU national leadership released a statement saying they “don’t endorse” the December 12th Shutdown.

This is exactly how it was done on November 2nd as well. They participated in and supported it just as much then as they do now.

Here’s how it works: We block the gates to the docks, the arbitrator comes and declares it unsafe for the longshoremen to go to work, and the longshoremen then go home- with pay.

ILWU has to officially say that they don’t “endorse” the shutdown, this is the only way that they will be able to claim that the blockade is a safety hazard for longshoremen.

If they endorsed it, there would be no safety hazard. How could there be a safety hazard from an action that they endorse? It would be a “strike”, no pay for longshoremen that day, and ILWU would be liable for a lawsuit in the millions.

Do not believe the rumor that this means the longshoremen rank-and-file, and the President of the locals don’t individually support us. They do. ILWU just can’t officially do it as an organization.

This action is in support of Longshoremen in Longview, WA who are militantly fighting union-busting activities by the grain company EGT. The actions of the rank-and-file there are not officially endorsed by ILWU either. These are technicalities for legal reasons, not a measure of support in this case.

Here’s what ILWU Local 21 President Dan Coffman said to Occupy Oakland last week at a public rally: “You can’t believe what you people have done for my people!”

ILWU Local 10 Executive Board member Clarence Thomas said publicly: “These Ports are public. People have a right to come to the Port and protest. The ILWU has historically honored picket lines at the Port.”

The ILWU has always honored community pickets. They understand solidarity. This is all part of how it works.

They supported the November 2nd shutdown under the exact same circumstances. The longshoremen support this one too.

Please let folks know about this. The details of this action have caused some confusion among people that need to be clear about their support.