Thursday, December 18, 2008

[olympiaworkers] [Fwd: Teamsters on strike in Auburn]

message from OWLS (organized Workers for Labor solidarity)

Dear friends,
During this cold snap, one group of your fellow workers is facing a
particular challenge: staying warm on the picket line.

Teamsters 174 is striking Oak Harbor Freight Lines. They have been
striking since September 22 to combat unfair labor practices including
coercing and threatening employees, as well as making unlawful changes to
working conditions.

Join OWLS on the picket line! We will be car pooling to the Auburn strike
site from Linda's house at 900 Hiawatha Pl S, Seattle at 11:30am on
Saturday, December 20.

Contact : Linda 206-328-2509 for more information about Saturday's
Solidarity Action.

For more information about the strike, please see

[olympiaworkers] Greek workers occupy union offices

Greek workers occupy union offices

dec. 17, 2008

A banner handing from the facade of the building reads:

From labor "accidents"
to the murders in cold blood
State - Capital kill
No persecution:
Immediate release
of the arrested
Workers' self-organization
will become the bosses' grave

The historic central offices of the General Confederation of Greek Workers
in Athens have been occupied by militant workers

The action forms part of a strategy to counteract the designs of the
union bureaucracy to distance its membership from the current revolt,
and protest its management and mediation of workers' struggles in
Greece. The occupants aim to create a space in which to facilitate a
grassroots and self organised workers response to the crisis, and bring
the wider working class into the events unfolding on the streets of
Greece. Town halls in Athens and Thessaloniki have also been occupied
in order to hold general assemblies.

The communique of the "General Assembly of Insurgent Workers" follows below:


We will either determine our history ourselves or let it be determined
without us

We, manual workers, employees, jobless, temporary workers, local or
migrants, are not passive tv-viewers. Since the murder of Alexandros
Grigoropoulos on Saturday night we participate in the demonstrations,
the clashes with the police, the occupations of the centre or the
neighborhoods. Time and again we had to leave work and our daily
obligations to take the streets with the students, the university
students and the other proletarians in struggle.


-To turn it into a space of free expression and a meeting point of workers.

-To disperse the media-touted myth that the workers were and are
absent from the clashes, and that the rage of these days was an affair
of some 500 "mask-bearers", "hooligans" or some other fairy tale, while
on the tv-screens the workers were presented as victims of the clash,
while the capitalist crisis in Greece and Worldwide leads to countless
layoffs that the media and their managers deal as a "natural

-To flay and uncover the role of the trade union bureaucracy in the
undermining of the insurrection -and not only there. GSEE and the
entire trade union mechanism that supports it for decades and decades,
undermine the struggles, bargain our labor power for crumblings,
perpetuate the system of exploitation and wage slavery. The stance of
GSEE last Wednesday is quite telling: GSEE cancelled the programmed
strikers' demonstration, stopping short at the organization of a brief
gathering in Syntagma Sq., making simultaneously sure that the people
will be dispersed in a hurry from the Square, fearing that they might
get infected by the virus of insurrection.

-To open up this space for the first time -as a continuation of the
social opening created by the insurrection itself-, a space that has
been built by our contributions, a space from which we were excluded.
For all these years we trusted our fate on saviours of every kind, and
we end up losing our dignity. As workers we have to start assuming our
responsibilities, and to stop assigning our hopes to wise leaders or
"able" representatives. We have to acquire a voice of our own, to meet
up, to talk, to decide, and to act. Against the generalized attack we
endure. The creation of collective "grassroot" resistances is the only

-To propagate the idea of self-organization and solidarity in
working places, struggle committees and collective grassroot
procedures, abolishing the bureaucrat trade unionists.
All these years we gulp the misery, the pandering, the violence in
work. We became accustomed to counting the crippled and our dead - the
so-called "labor accidents". We became accustomed to ingore the
migrants -our class brothers- getting killed. We are tired living with
the anxiety of securing a wage, revenue stamps, and a pension that now
feels like a distant dream.

As we struggle not to abandon our life in the hands of the bosses
and the trade union representatives, likewise we will not abandon no
arrested insurgent in the hands of the state and the juridical



Wendesday, 17 December 2008, 18:00
General Assembly of Insurgent Workers

A letter to students, December 2008

An open letter to students by workers in Athens, against the background
of the social upheaval following the police shooting of a young boy.

A letter to students

Our age difference and the general estrangement make it difficult for
us to discuss with you in the streets; this is why we send you this

Most of us have not (yet) been bald or big-bellied. We are part of the
1990-91 movement. You must have heard of it. Back then, and while we
had occupied our schools for 30-35 days, fascists killed a teacher
because he had gone beyond his natural role (that of being our guard)
and crossed the line to the opposite side; he had come with us, into
our struggle. Then, even the toughest of us got to the streets and
riot. However, we didn't even think of doing what you easily do today:
attack police stations (although we sang "burn police stations…").

So, you're gone beyond us, as always happens in history. Conditions are
different of course. During '90s they passed us off the prospect of
personal success and some of us swallowed it. Now people cannot believe
this fairy tale. Your older brothers showed us this during the 2006-07
students' movement; you now spit their fairy tale to their faces.

So far so good.

Now the good and difficult matters begin.

We'll tell you what we've learned from our struggles and our defeats
(because as long as world is not ours we'll always be the defeated
ones) and you can use what we've learned as you wish:

Don't stay alone. Call us; call as many people as possible. We don't
know how you can do that, you will find the way. You've already
occupied your schools and you tell us that the most important reason is
that you don't like your schools. Nice. Since you've already occupied
them change their role. Share your occupations with other people. Let
your schools become the first buildings to house our new relations.
Their most powerful weapon is dividing us. Just like you are not afraid
of attacking their police stations because you are together, don't be
afraid to call us to change our life all together.

Don't listen to any political organization (either anarchists or
anyone). Do what you need to. Trust people, not abstract schemes and
ideas. Trust your direct relations with people. Trust your friends;
make as many people as possible in your struggle your people. Don't
listen to them when they're saying that your struggle doesn't have a
political content and must seemingly obtain. Your struggle is the
content. You only have your struggle and it's in your hands to preserve
its advance. It's only your struggle that can change your life, namely
you and the real relations with your fellowmen.

Don't be afraid to proceed when confronting new things. Each one of us,
as we're getting older, has things planted in their brains. You too,
although you are young. Don't forget the importance of this fact. Back
in 1991, we confronted the smell of the new world and, trust us, we
found it difficult. We learned that there must always be limits. Don't
be scared by the destruction of commodities. Don't be scared by people
looting stores. We make all these, they are ours. You (just like we in
the past) are raised to get up every morning in order to make things
that they will later not be yours. Let's get them back all together and
share them. Just like we share our friends and the love among us.

We apologize for writing this letter quickly, but we do it swinging the
lead from our work, secretly from our boss. We are imprisoned in work,
just like you are imprisoned in school.

We'll now lie to our boss and leave work: we'll come to meet you in
Syntagma sq with stones in our hands.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

[olympiaworkers] Week-long strike in Vietnam factory ends Dec 13 2008

Wildcat strikers at a South Korean owned firm returned to work yesterday
11 December gaining promises of improved working conditions. reported that on Thursday last week, around 1,300
workers gathered in front of Doosan Vina Company office in the Dung Quat
Economic Zone in the central Quang Ngai Province to demand proper
treatment and payment of allowances.

At a meeting on Wednesday, Doosan Vina management said they would soon set
up a labor union, improve the quality of food, guarantee safety, and
behave better with employees.

Other demands concerning pay rises and a range of allowances will be
considered later, they said.

Doosan Vina makes cranes, pressure tanks and filtering devices.

The meeting was attended by the striking workers, Nguyen Hoa Binh,
deputy chief of the Communist Party Unit of Quang Ngai and the
provincial People's Committee vice chairman Le Quang Thich.

The strike on Thursday followed up on another by more than 200 workers
three days earlier.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

[olympiaworkers] Sit-Down Strike Ends in Victory at Republic!

From UE Dec. 10, 2008
"Victory for republic workers. Negotiations are over and the workers have
won a victory for the American working class."

The plant occupation has ended as workers have reached a settlement
Wednesday, December 10, 2008! "Members of UE Local 1110 have voted to
a tentative agreement at Republic Windows and Doors. The occupation has
ended. Details as soon as possible."
<>For updates, see the
UE website at !

This is a fantastic precedent, winning a factory occupation after only five
days....! Let's keep up the militant energy in our organizing! For anyone
who doubts the power of organizing in our communities-- let's hold this as
an example of what grassroots organizing, base-building, and militant
escalation tactics can accomplish!!!

Peace and solidarity forever,

Update #2: Vote is 'Yes' at Republic; Plant Occupation Ends
After the conclusion of negotiations Wednesday evening, the membership of
Local 1110, more than 200 workers, met in the plant cafeteria to hear and
consider the tentative settlement that had been worked out by UE
negotiators over the past three days.

The settlement was approved by a unanimous vote.
'Justice - We Did It!'

Following the vote, the UE members, led by Local President Armando Robles,
marched out of the plant, chanting "We did it!" in English and Spanish.

Pres. Robles stepped to the microphones outside the front entrance to the
plant, where a throng of reporters and cameras had been waiting. He
announced the end of the occupation and said that justice had been

UE Western Region President Carl Rosen then described the negotiations,
summarized the settlement agreement, and commented on the significance of
the struggle and the achievement.

Pay, Health Care, Vacation Pay
The settlement totals $1.75million. It will provide the workers with:

* eight weeks of pay they are owed under the federal WARN Act;

* provided with two months of continued health coverage, and;

* pay for all accrued and unused vacation.

JPMorgan Chase will provide $400,000 of the settlement, with the balance
coming from Bank of America
Third Party Fund
Although the money will be provided as a loan to Republic Windows and
Doors, it will go directly into a third-party fund whose sole purpose is
to pay the workers what is owed them.

As the Local 1110 leaders characterized the settlement, "We fought to make
them pay what they owe us, and we won."

'Historic Victory'
UE Director of Organization Bob Kingsley spoke on behalf of the National
Union, describing the outcome of the occupation as "a victory for workers
everywhere," and as "an historic victory for America's labor movement."

Kingsley went on to call the settlement "a win for all working men and
women who face uncertainty, unfairness and job loss in a troubled
'The Window of Opportunity'

Kingsley then announced the creation of a new foundation, dedicated to
reopening the plant. It will be initiated with seed money from the UE
national union and the thousands of dollars of donations to the UE Local
1110 Solidarity Fund that have come in from across the country and around
the world in just the past five days.

Melvin Maclin of Local 1110 announced the name of the foundation, which
was chosen by the workers themselves: the Window of Opportunity Fund.
Maclin said that the fund will be open to receive donations from all
friends of the Republic workers and supporters of their struggle.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

[olympiaworkers] 1,300 manufacturing workers wildcat in Vietnam Dec. 5, 2008

The wildcat strike of more than 200 workers from a company in the central
Quang Ngai Province escalated on Thursday.

Since Thursday morning, around 1,300 South Korean-owned Doosan Vina
Company employees, gathered in front of the company office in the Dung
Quat Economic Zone to emphasize their demand for proper payment of

Workers first walked off the job on Monday, saying Doosan Vina had not
honored its promise to pay a range of allowances and hand out pay rises to
employees once they'd completed four months of service.

"The company's payment policies are inconsistent," one worker said.

Workers hired by the company, which makes cranes, pressure tanks and
filtering devices, during its first days of operation are paid more
than those hired later, the workers said. The workers are also
complaining about the many insults and beatings they've suffered at

Jae Young Kim, the company deputy director, told Quang Ngai
authorities Thursday the language barrier had caused many
misunderstandings between management and the workers. Kim admitted the
company had made some errors with bonus payments but only in a few
cases. He said the company had not awarded pay rises because some
workers were not skilled enough while others were still interns. The
first workers were recruited carefully while those put on later were
not, he said. The company was initially seeking senior and skilled
workers and so offered higher salaries as an incentive, he said.

The workers, however, disagreed with the deputy director and said they
were continuing the strike.

Meanwhile, labor protection and union development were the focus of
a two-day conference held by the Vietnam General Congrederation of
Labor and the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Ho Chi Minh
City Thursday.

Vietnamese workers in private companies often lack of confidence in
labor unions and go on strike spontaneously every time they feel their
rights have been infringed, Jan-Min Sunoo, head consultant of ILO
-Vietnam Labor Relationship project, told the conference.

Sunoo stressed the importance of negotiation, which is used in many
other countries to protect laborers, but was not popular in Vietnam.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

[olympiaworkers] Chicago Workers Occupy Factory

Saturday, December 06 2008 infoshop news

The workers of Republic Windows and Doors are right this minute occupying
their factory, which was due to close at 10:00 AM Friday morning.

The workers are fighting for pay for their lost vacation days and for the
75 days notice that they are guaranteed under Illinois law. This is the
first time in many years workers have taken the bold, militant strategy of
occupying their place of work to demand justice. The plan to occupy the
plant until they hear the results of the next round of negotiations Monday

A prayer vigil has been planned for 12:00 Noon tomorrow. Please attend.
presence and the press that is the workers best defense against the police
raiding the factory.

These workers are fighting for all of us!!! As the economic crisis deepens
we need to launch a working class fight back. These workers are the
starting point and deserve our full support.

Go to:

Republic Windows & Doors
1333 N. Hickory
On Goose Island, near the intersection of Division & Clyborn

Feel free to call me for more info… (312) 502-7867 - Jerry Mead-Lucero
[ ]