Monday, February 23, 2004
Use Your Mind Constructively
The marathon bargaining also suggests that the 59,000 idled grocery workers and the stores' stockholders 'have metaphorically locked the various parties in a room and won't let them out without a deal,' analyst Mark Husson of Merrill Lynch & Co. said in a report Friday.
It's been days, and there's no sign of an agreement. I'm sure things are exciting at the bargaining table, but not much else is going on. There have been some arrests, and the California AFL-CIO is threatening to expand its boycott. Strike pay has been cut again, but then it's not easy being a scab either. Sales are stong at alternative groceries.
All in all, not much news. I agree in spirit with the call to action Jonathan Tasani of TomPaine.com published yesterday. He writes:
The stakes must be raised now. First, every Democratic presidential candidate, with their various proposed fixes for the health-care system and their newfound populist rallying cries on behalf of workers, should march the picket line and unequivocally support the strikers. Second, while organized labor is beginning to press harder in a more coordinated fashion, with mass rallies in many cities, it is a moment for a concentrated focus on this one fight. Unions might consider redeploying to Southern California the legions of foot soldiers now trudging around various political battlegrounds on behalf of Democratic presidential contenders—it will not matter who the nominee is if hundreds of thousands of workers lose their employer-based health care in the inevitable aftermath of a lost strike.
Third and finally, every organization whose mission centers on preserving a basic social safety net must see the strike as a defining moment that will echo through all facets of advocacy. These workers have put themselves on the line for every citizen to prevent a further undermining of America's middle class.
It may be a little late to be offering this advice. Anyway, there's still time to donate to the strike fund.
Update:'Talks in the 135-day-old Southern California grocery workers strike and lockout continued past 2 a.m. Monday and resumed after breakfast.' Source: North County Times