Friday, February 09, 2007

[olympiaworkers] meeting notes

Labor organizing/strategy meeting notes:

In attendance: Jon, Paul, Jens, Lindsey, Tom, Evan, Brendan. Members of
ILWU Local 5 and IWW as well as non-union members were present.

This is what we decided to work on:

1. Establishing a "Fire Your Boss" training. (Olympia IWW held these in
the late 1990s.) This training would teach workers about solidarity
unionism, NLRB/NLRA and labor law, general understanding of worker power,
organizing and unionizing, workplace democracy and improvements on the
job. We decided that a workshop like this could be held at Evergreen,
SPSCC, Olympia and Lacey - it should be made as accessible as possible to
workers who are often ignored.

2. Social mapping of Olympia businesses. This will include researching
where there are trends of corporatization, property and income of business
owners, where there are "hot" workplaces (places where there are a number
of problems at a job site and where workers are interested in organizing).
Specific interest was given to the bicycle and restaurant industries, as
well as organizing day laborers.

3. Flyering and canvassing was also discussed to give information to
workers and to start a face-to-face dialogue.

4. The creation and distribution of labor and union literature.

Here's our "homework":

Brendan and Lindsey agreed to meet to discuss establishing an agenda and
co-facilitating for the next meeting so it runs smoothly and efficiently.

Paul wants to research and help develop contacts with other labor and
labor rights organizations (Jobs with Justice, etc.). Jon wants to help
research labor material.

Jon and Brendan are going to raid the Evergreen Labor Center, and Bread
and Roses for OWA literature and other labor-related literature.

Evan and Jens agreed to either bring food (or suggested a potluck) for the
next meeting in 3 weeks.

Every person has to bring 2 new people to the next meeting.

We also discussed:

-The Free Choice Act. (Perhaps we can make petitions, etc. for this.)
-Unionizing versus cooperatives. Jon recommended people read an IWW
writing on this which can be found at (A longer pdf version is at
the bottom of the page.).
-The ILWU Del Monte food boycott at Evergreen and the No Sweat campaign.
-The Starbucks Workers Union IWW protest and action planned around the
annual Starbucks shareholders meeting in Seattle March 21st.

-We also decided not to have an official group name (yet) and not to be
the OWA because of some concerns with the OWA in the past.

-We also agreed that we wanted to work hard to reach out to workers not
just at Evergreen and downtown. We want to reach out to workers at the
Mall, Lacey, etc.

The next meeting will be at 6:30 at Media Island on Thursday March 1.

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