AFL-CIO joins grocery strike at…

AFL-CIO joins grocery strike at national level

This is wonderful news

The AFL-CIO is taking control of national strategy for the California supermarket strike and lockout, assigning two veterans of labor wars to turn around a battle in which employers seem to have gained the upper hand.

The plan is to pressure the supermarket companies by hounding executives and directors with phone calls and visits, staging demonstrations across the country — including a pray-in outside the Northern California home of the chief executive of Safeway Inc. — and persuading major grocery-company shareholders, such as pension funds, to take stands in the union’s favor.

On Friday, top AFL-CIO officials and representatives of 40 national labor unions discussed strategy and plans for fundraising during a conference call. More than $600,000 was pledged, Trumka said.

ILWU donates over one million to emergency fund

In addition, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union will announce at a news conference today that it plans to raise more than $1 million for health benefits for the picketing grocery workers; the longshoremen’s union will ask its members to pay an extra $25 a month in dues for six months.

This money is for striking workers who are in desperate financial condition, who are in imminent of losing their homes, having the utilities turned off, etc. The ILWU, one of the most militant unions in the country, are my heros. One more time, they’ve put their union motto, “An injury to one is an injury to all”, into action.

Some of you who don’t live in LA have written asking what can you do. With the AFL-CIO organizing at a national level, there will be lots for us all to do. I’ll keep you posted. And if you hear of organizing in your area, let me know! And maybe you could do what some Green friends are doing, and raise money and build support by showing films.

Salt Of The Earth benefit for strikers in LA
Thursday Jan 22, 7:30 pm
Laemmle Monica 4-Plex
Santa Monica

Laemmle Theatres and the Los Angeles, Arroyo Seco and Westside chapters of the Green Party are proud to present a special screening of the classic, blacklisted 1950 film SALT OF THE EARTH as a benefit for the striking grocery workers. The movie portrays the true story of a Zinc mine strike, and how the workers overcame an injunction, and won! Many of the roles in the movie were played by the actual strikers.

All proceeds will go to the strikers. The movie will be followed by a panel discussion of the movie and the current strike.

PS As an example of the miltancy of the ILWU, the San Francisco ILWU will shut down San Francisco port on March 20 in sympathy with the worldwide antiwar demonstrations happening that day.