Stand With the United Steelworkers

Cross-posted from Blue Jersey

For working families, to be on strike is scary and exhausting under any circumstances. It is even harder during the holidays -- especially for parents who want to give their kids the best memories they possibly can. But sometimes working people have to do what working people have to do, and the employees of Goodyear tires are doing just that.

And that's why I'm standing in solidarity with the United Steelworkers (USW) this Saturday for a National Day of Action, where we and others will hand out leaflets at 127 stores across the country that sell Goodyear tires.

The Dec. 16 action will highlight the key issues in the strike, issues that matter to every working person: retirement benefits and job security. Some 15,000 USW members were forced out on strike Oct. 5 after the company refused to budge on its demand to close its Tyler, Texas, plant. In addition, Goodyear wants to abandon its obligation to provide health care benefits for retirees by making a one-time payment to a fund that would provide inferior benefits.

The action also will point out how workers came to Goodyear's aid several years ago by taking wage and benefit freezes when the company experienced financial hardship. Now that Goodyear is making a profit, Goodyear is walking away from its promises of job-never mind the company achieved profitability in part through workers' givebacks.

The Tyler closing, affecting 1,100 workers, would be Goodyear's third U.S. plant to shut down in four years. At the same time, the giant tire maker is increasing tire imports from factories in countries such as China that pay workers 42 cents an hour. In the past two years alone, Goodyear has invested $18 million in a plant in China and is increasing production there to 5.3 million tires a year.

There are five places to take action in New Jersey: here and here in Cherry Hill, Edison, Englewood, and Paramus. If you're not from Jersey, find an event near you.

Amid all the hustle and bustle of the season, do something small to espouse good will toward working families.

Tags: Goodyear, Labor, pension, Retirement Security, strike, United Steelworkers (all tags)



Re: Stand With the United Steelworkers

I think it's too late to stand in solidarity. I think we might need to overthrow the corporations.

You want that plant to stay open? Just take it from them. Grab every suit in the place by the scruff of the neck and walk their asses out the door.

After you do that, I'll be standing outside waiting for the national guard with you.

Incidently, you might have the steelworkers joining you shortly.

You think it's crazy? Well, what do you do when the rule of law is overthrown? What do you do when these smirking fascists refuse to honor agreements, obey the law, or act in an ethical manner? I think what THEY are doing to this country is crazy, and I think that it would be crazy to continue to let them get away with it.

For forty years now, the union workers sat by and let the fascists divide and conquer the workforce in America, taking care of their own backyard instead of using their higher wages and better bargaining position to expand the labor movement.

Now that the fascists have the rest of us by the balls, their going to stab you union guys in the back, too. How's it feel to face what I've faced without your help ALL OF MY LIFE?

But the past is the past. If you believe in a labor movement, then do something about it. If you don't believe in a labor movement and think you can have your independence, your freedom and your rights without rolling up your sleeves and doing something about the fascists, then they'll laugh in your face while they lock up the gate for the last time.

If you GET IT NOW, and want some help, then you need to do something a little more effective than passing out flyers and waving signs. You need to do something that inspires people all over the country who are fed up.

Read what Lech Walensa did.

by taraka das 2006-12-15 04:24AM | 0 recs
Steelworkers might join you

That phrase, in my above post, was meant to refer to the INDIANA Steelworkers.

by taraka das 2006-12-15 04:29AM | 0 recs
More about Lech Walensa

When Lech Walensa organized coordinated general strikes all over Poland, the Red Army was reluctant to march into Poland and come to the aid of General Jaruzelski.

The Russians had a saying about the state-run economy:

"They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work."

So your average Russian probably had a secret admiration for a guy who organized nationwide general strikes to stick up for WORKERS.

What's the difference between an economy run by authoritarian government central-planners and an economy run by a tiny authoritarian corporate elite?

Not much. Different propaganda, same fucking result. For all their talk about the noble worker, the Communist Party were authoritarian elitists who screwed the workers during the week and spent the weekend in luxurious dachas.

Sound familiar? Just substitute empty propaganda about freedom, liberty and rights and you have the same kind of assholes screwing us around over here.

by taraka das 2006-12-15 04:57AM | 0 recs
How to Stand With the United Steelworkers?

If we can't make an event, is there a paypal donation list that we can use that goes to these hard working families that may not be able to afford the essentials?  Or perhaps an amazon gift list that we can send their children for the holidays.  Do you know if the Union has anything like this set up?

by maddogg 2006-12-15 04:57AM | 0 recs
Re: How to Stand With the United Steelworkers?
I admire your impulse for charity. It shows that you have some grasp of basic human virtues and ethical principles.
But do we need to resort to charity to address this situation, or do we need to resort to action?
It may soothe your conscience to make a financial donation or donate a gift for a child, but doesn't the solution to this problem involve more direct participation?
If the unions have finally had enough, maybe it's time to think about wider applications and more permanant solutions.
Maybe we need to stop mouthing our complacent satisfaction with trade policies that exploit people with families OVER THERE and people with families OVER HERE for the benefit of a tiny group of people who spend a lot of time jetting over here and over there making deals with oppressive governments that create problems for us and fat bank accounts for the jet set.
I commend your desire to respond in the immediate sense to people in crisis, but the current crisis is the symptom of a disease, and it won't be cured with band-aids.
This calls to mind my outrage when the complacent, corporate-owned media derided and ridiculed Generation X for "protesting capitalism," as they so aptly mislabeled the protests against the global imperialists, and as they so loyally mischaracterized the global ambitions of the corporate elite.
Do your principles extend to a daily commitment to social justice? If you have the means, are you willing to employ them? And if you don't have the means, are you willing to reach out to those who do, and ask them: QUO VADIS?
by taraka das 2006-12-15 05:26AM | 0 recs
Re: How to Stand With the United Steelworkers?

Click here -- every penny goes to the strikers at Goodyear.

by jrb1968 2006-12-15 05:26AM | 0 recs
every penny goes to the strikers at Goodyear.

A few moments ago, I enjoined another poster to reach out to those with means, and ask of them: Quo Vadis?
I'm not a Christian. I grew up as a Christian, and I've studied the Bible intensely. In fact, it was this spiritual exercise that led me to apply Christian Teachings to my own path, and adopt a Universalist faith. I strongly recommend the exercise to anyone, Christian or not. So now you have my disclosure.
Quo Vadis is a phrase that means, literally, "Where are you going?" It is a short expression used to symbolize the moment in Christian mythology when the Apostles met with Jesus after his ressurection, and he bid them farewell. The Apostles asked Him, "WHERE ARE YOU GOING?" Christians assume that Jesus ascended to Heaven when he departed, so the phrase "Quo Vadis" has a layered meaning.
First, as a Christian Teaching, it is meant to warn of pride, for, it is taught, that even the Apostles who walked with Jesus and had blessed authority from him, knew not at that moment where Jesus would go when he departed. The lesson is that: Even those who think they SHOULD have all the answers, sometimes DON'T.
Second, the Apostles, having walked with Jesus, should have known that he would "walk in the ways of Heaven" after he departed, where-ever he actually went, since he supposedly did that his entire life. And this is important because the Apostles were asking Jesus where he was going so that they could follow him. They wanted to do what Jesus was going to do.
And so why would I ask people of means "Quo Vadis?" Because they claim to be authorities. And because I want to know if they are going to "walk in the ways of Heaven." I want to know where they are going MORALLY and ETHICALLY and as a matter of justice.
I haven't seen them walk that way their entire lives. I can't assume they will from now on.

Lastly, the authorites I refer to do NOT have all the answers, and we shouldn't expect them to have all the answers, and we shouldn't follow along with them blindly as if they do.

You may know the updated version of Quo Vadis, even if you are unaware of it's origins:
Question Authority.

by taraka das 2006-12-15 06:07AM | 0 recs


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