Friday, December 12, 2014
As the strikes continue to catch on as a means to gain better wages and working conditions, it’s important to keep history, lessons learned and prior efforts in mind so as not to repeat them. Strikes have worked best when all workers sit down or walk out at once. Strikes are lost when just part of the work force leaves and the rest keeps working. In the construction trade this is called being covered up by other trades, which makes the trade out on strike in a disadvantage when workers go back, such as T-bar ceilings have been put up before the electrical, plumbing, fire sprinklers or air conditioning ducts have been put in this situation. This is the disadvantage of crafts unions who have different contracts that end at different times. Unions and workers must change the rules to where all workers can support each other. The new minimum wage fast food, box stores and restaurant workers should not fall into the trap pf setting up their craft-specific union, like the trade unions fell for, which ends up splitting the true strength of the union—its forces. Dishwashers, servers, bussers, stalkers, butchers, produce, janitors, cooks, cashiers, etc., should remain as one otherwise dividing up the jobs would demolish their force as one. All must stay together. Wages can be a little different if workers voted on it or vote to keep all wages the same as craft unions do.