Wednesday, February 03, 2010

[olympiaworkers] Pizza Time Strike 5 Year Anniversary Feb. 12

The Pizza Time strike 5 year anniversary is coming up Feb. 12.
Come out to remember workers struggling for better working conditions in

Meet Friday Feb. 12 at noon at 4th and Jefferson in downtown Olympia to
show support for local workers.

Check out Pizza Time Strike history at:

On Feb. 12, 2005 all the Pizza Time workers in Olympia walked off the job
after presenting a list of demands to the new owner to improve working
conditions and reinstate two wrongly fired co-workers. When the owner
failed to meet these demands the workers created a daily protest at 4th
and Jefferson streets in downtown Olympia. With community support, Olympia
Pizza Time closed down after eight days of picketing.

In Aug of 2005, former repo-man Heath Flores bought the Olympia Pizza Time
franchise and locked out the striking workers. Heath used various
intimidation tactics including suing the workers in federal court, while
playing the victim in the situation to bust the strike. Heath bought off
the replacement workers with a futon and air conditioner to keep them
loyal and working. Heath even fake cried during one meeting with the
striking workers. By this time most of the striking pizza workers had
other jobs but wanted to establish a grassroots union that could improve
working conditions at Pizza Time and elsewhere in Olympia. The Pizza Time
strikers remain locked out five years later.

The effort to create a local grassroots union was attacked from all angles
and nipped in the bud here in Olympia. Business owners and other labor
unions in particular didn't like the idea. The Olympia Workers Association
(OWA) lasted about two years before becoming the Olympia Workers Resource

Such a union, if active, could drastically alter power relations in town.
Business owners would have to deal with their workers as an organized body
that could shut down their business at any time instead of people that can
be replaced individually and fired without cause. The threat of workers
getting together and taking action together is that they will start
demanding health care and retirement benefits, sick days and safe working
conditions, paid vacation and a living wage. Workers will start to demand
that they have a say in how the business is run. The dictatorship at work
would be broken if such a union existed.

Right now is as good of time as ever to get organized with the people you
work with. Form a union where decisions are made directly by workers and
any worker can join. Then stand up for each other. Working conditions
won't get better until you do.

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