babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics

Topic Closed  Topic Closed


Post New Topic  
Topic Closed  Topic Closed
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » walking the talk   » labour and consumption   » Scabs

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Scabs
robbie_dee
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 195

posted 09 December 2005 11:45 AM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
On another thread, a poster asked whether there was a "more enlightened" term that should be used for people who steal other people's jobs. I disagree. "Scabbing" is an ugly word, but it describes an ugly deed. A person who scabs has debased his or herself and betrayed their coworkers. They should be called to acccount for this. To be clear - I don't condone violence or anything of that nature. It doesn't solve anything and it only brings the wrath of the State down on the union rather than the union-busters.

With that being said, I put forward the following works by Jack London. Jack doesn't mince words, but his thoughts on the matter are probably as good a starting point as any.

quote:
The Scab

"After God had finished the rattlesnake, the toad, and the vampire, he had some awful substance left with which he made a scab."

"A scab is a two-legged animal with a corkscrew soul, a water brain, a combination backbone of jelly and glue. Where others have hearts, he carries a tumor of rotten principles."

"When a scab comes down the street, men turn their backs and angels weep in heaven, and the devil shuts the gates of hell to keep him out."

"No man (or woman) has a right to scab so long as there is a pool of water to drown his carcass in, or a rope long enough to hang his body with. Judas was a gentleman compared with a scab. For betraying his master, he had character enough to hang himself." A scab has not.

"Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. Judas sold his Savior for thirty pieces of silver. Benedict Arnold sold his country for a promise of a commision in the british army." The scab sells his birthright, country, his wife, his children and his fellowmen for an unfulfilled promise from his employer.

Esau was a traitor to himself; Judas was a traitor to his God; Benedict Arnold was a traitor to his country; a scab is a traitor to his God, his country, his family and his class."

Author --- Jack London (1876-1916)


See also "The Scab," a speech first given by Jack London before the Oakland Socialist Party Local, April 5, 1903.

[ 09 December 2005: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7024

posted 09 December 2005 12:00 PM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In the US, the term 'replacement worker' is what the government's National Labor Relations Board calls such folks. That may partly explain why the media uses the term so often-- at least down here.
From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10724

posted 09 December 2005 12:03 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by robbie_dee:
"No man (or woman) has a right to scab so long as there is a pool of water to drown his carcass in, or a rope long enough to hang his body with. Judas was a gentleman compared with a scab. For betraying his master, he had character enough to hang himself." A scab has not.
I've always hated this bit of propoganda. I think this is used to encourage people to feel entitled to use intimidation and agression during a labour stoppage.

From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7440

posted 09 December 2005 12:11 PM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post
A scab is a scab is a scab. Calling it something a little more pleasant doesn't make it so. When a scab steals food from a family's table, I would call that intimidation and aggression.
From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 09 December 2005 12:12 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Makwa, how exactly do you think we should wage class struggle? Politely?
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7440

posted 09 December 2005 12:16 PM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Makwa, how exactly do you think we should wage class struggle? Politely?
Yeah, maybe harsh language, finger-waving and the frowning of a lifetime will do the trick.

From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 09 December 2005 12:17 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That prose is practically a parody of itself. It stops just short of accusing scabs of souring milk and causing stillbirths.

I'm not suggesting anyone should "like" scabs. But I think a sane, 'life-sized' criticism of them might be more credible. This is really so overblown, overdramatic and over-the-top that it's funny.

Like, don't hold back, Mr. London! Tell us how you really feel!


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7024

posted 09 December 2005 12:20 PM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
[H]ow exactly do you think we should wage class struggle? Politely?

Can we agree that waging it without lynching and drowning is perhaps a good outcome?


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 195

posted 09 December 2005 12:25 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
We should remember that in 1903 the employers were also regularly waging the class struggle with everything from brutal beatings to massacres, so Jack London's turn to violent remedies can be seen at least in part as a reaction to the situation unions faced at the time.

Magoo says feels the piece I posted was "over the top" - I did pick it precisely because of how agressive it is but also for historical context. You should check out the link to the speech as well - it is actually a much more thorough explanation by London of his thoughts.

[ 09 December 2005: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4722

posted 09 December 2005 12:30 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Anyone liking Historical Mysteries and this Jack London time period should check out the books by Karen Rose Cercone about 1900 Pittsburgh and fairly detailed depiction of the labour disputes and people involved.
The books are Steel Ashes, Coal Bones and Blood Tracks and all are in paperback. (in fact anyone local who wants to read them can have my copies, or even mailed to them)

From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Jimmy Brogan
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3290

posted 09 December 2005 12:31 PM      Profile for Jimmy Brogan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Scabs and their enablers share the same moral ground as child molesters. Lowest of the low.
From: The right choice - Iggy Thumbscrews for Liberal leader | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 09 December 2005 12:38 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Okay, we have one direct comparison of scabs and pedophiles. Can anyone top that?
From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 195

posted 09 December 2005 12:42 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Actually I think the comparison is apt. Both of them betray the trust of others for their own selfish gratification. Likewise, I wouldn't endorse either drowning or lynching members of either group, although I understand why others, in the heat of anger, may feel differently.
From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
oneiromancer
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11129

posted 09 December 2005 12:45 PM      Profile for oneiromancer        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by JimmyBrogan:
Scabs and their enablers share the same moral ground as child molesters. Lowest of the low.

Tommy Douglas hired scabs to break the doctors' strike in Saskatchewan. Wasn't he justified?


From: dreamworld | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7440

posted 09 December 2005 12:47 PM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Okay, we have one direct comparison of scabs and pedophiles. Can anyone top that?
I still think you need to consider the context Magoo. You cannot divorce the two. It would be like taking someone's over the top post and examining it in isolation. At first, they look like a nutbar, if you read the entire thread, it may make more sense.

From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10724

posted 09 December 2005 12:55 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
Makwa, how exactly do you think we should wage class struggle? Politely?
Legally, with basic human respect for everyone involved preferably. "Class struggle"? Please. Many unionized workers, especially government workers, are decidedly middle class. This kind of overblown rhetoric is the only think I hate about the union movement.

From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 09 December 2005 12:57 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
if you read the entire thread, it may make more sense.

But I've read this whole thread.

And I can't deny I find it morbidly fascinating that scabs occupy such a singular place here at babble. I've noted in the past that they're pretty much the only group of individuals for whom the suggestion of vigilantism, often gratuitously violent vigilantism, passes. If I were to suggest that child molesters deserve to be raped to death, or hauled out of prison and lynched, I'd be told in no uncertain terms that that kind of neanderthal response belongs on right-wing talk radio, not on a progressive board. But if I suggested the same for scabs, I'll bet you a paycheque it would be tolerated.

I've also seen it not only suggested, but vigorously defended, that if someone is poor they should be allowed to take what they need from the grocery store, or that if poverty drives you to theft, it's poverty's fault and not yours. The one exception? You guessed it! Crossing that picket line. Doesn't matter if your kids are coming down with Rickets. Doesn't matter if they're coming to repossess your car. It doesn't matter how hungry you are. Steal from anyone on the planet, but don't dare cross that picket line!

And again, I'm not suggesting there's something likeable about scabs, nor that anyone should be "polite" to them, but seriously... you don't find it a bit odd to compare people who rape children with someone who, for whatever reason, crosses a picket line?? That's not just a wee bit odd to you?

If you don't see anything just a wee bit over the top here then I'm going to suggest that you've already given your anger more credibility than it deserves. It's got the wheel now, not you.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10724

posted 09 December 2005 12:59 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by JimmyBrogan:
Scabs and their enablers share the same moral ground as child molesters. Lowest of the low.
So a single parent who crosses a picket line out of fear for her children's health is on the same moral level as a serial pedophile to you? So what is it about the union movement that has obscured reasoning for you?

From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 09 December 2005 12:59 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Workers are part of the working class.

There may be some intermediate layers in white-collar or professional unions, but well-paid workers (such as full-time auto workers) are definitely part of the working class.

Makwa, I'm a socialist. I believe in class struggle.

Remember that the capitalists wage class war themselves, eh?


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7440

posted 09 December 2005 01:02 PM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
"Class struggle"? Please. Many unionized workers, especially government workers, are decidedly middle class. This kind of overblown rhetoric is the only think I hate about the union movement.
What would you call it then?

And what does being middle-class have anything to do with it being understood as class conflict or not? It was never the lumpenproletariat that was expected to engage in class struggle, it was the middle class.


From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 09 December 2005 01:46 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And too many of those government workers and teachers gladly accept union wages and fringe benefits and all the while denouncing unions and the NDP. I wish they could opt out of unions and bargain for what they think they are worth across the table from the expensive suits. They should doff their working class hats altogether and become the bourgois butterflies they believe they are.
From: Viva La Revolucin | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 09 December 2005 02:02 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Most of the people you're referring to probably don't have the option to do as you suggest. You can't really hold it up as some kind of proof of their inconsistency or opportunism if they're unable to make that choice.

Me, I'm happy to be in a union (two, actually). If being in a union means I have to think that scabs are less than human, or if I'm expected to mouth some party line or "show solidarity" with points of view I can't agree with then I guess I'll just keep cashing my paycheques. At any rate, I'm one of those for whom it's not optional anyway.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7440

posted 09 December 2005 02:13 PM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post
Oops, I missed one of your responses Magoo. Maybe it is too late now, but, for clarification, when I said to read the entire thread, I was not referring to this one. I said that I could probably find a post here at Babble that sounds silly on its own, but less so when read in context. The above London excerpt must be read in context also.
From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 December 2005 02:37 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by JimmyBrogan:
Scabs and their enablers share the same moral ground as child molesters. Lowest of the low.

Scabs are Hitler!!!11

I think we should have a contest to see who can come up with the most violent revenge fantasy for scabs. Here, I'll start:

Scabs should be torn from limb to limb! They should be tied up and beaten with razor-tipped canes!

Okay, everyone else's turn.

[ 09 December 2005: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 09 December 2005 02:42 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Makwa:
So a single parent who crosses a picket line out of fear for her children's health is on the same moral level as a serial pedophile to you? So what is it about the union movement that has obscured reasoning for you?

Probably the single parent worried about her child's health who is walking the picket line.

Always edifying to watch working people fall for the bosses' propaganda and go for the throats of other working people rather than the bosses themselves.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 December 2005 02:47 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hardly. Supporting unions and being against scabbing doesn't mean you have to support the dehumanization of people who make crappy or morally bad choices, especially if they do so out of desperation.

And Makwa's right about a lot of white-collar unionized workers not being overly progressive anyhow. Some of the very nastiest classist behaviour I've ever seen has come from some unionized government front-line workers for certain types of social services.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10724

posted 09 December 2005 02:49 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
I wish they could opt out of unions and bargain for what they think they are worth across the table from the expensive suits. They should doff their working class hats altogether and become the bourgois butterflies they believe they are.
I wish I could opt out of my union too. And it would be interesting to see how many others would take that opportunity.

From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3308

posted 09 December 2005 02:51 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Makwa:
Legally, with basic human respect for everyone involved preferably. "Class struggle"? Please. Many unionized workers, especially government workers, are decidedly middle class. This kind of overblown rhetoric is the only thing I hate about the union movement.

"Middle" isn't a class. It's an income bracket which represents a success in working class struggle. Scabbing represents an attempt to make sure that "working class" (as in, nearly everyone doing wage labour) once again inevitably means "poor and insecure".
The whole point of class struggle, in a way, is for "working class" to become "middle class" in a way that makes sure that gain isn't taken away again. Saying that scabs are no big deal as long as they're mainly employed against people who have temporarily won what class struggle is about is shortsighted in the extreme.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
kuri
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4202

posted 09 December 2005 02:54 PM      Profile for kuri   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And it would be interesting to see how many others would take that opportunity.
I'm sure sufficient numbers would do it. Sufficient numbers to destroy a lot of progressive measures that have happened in the past 100 years.

That said, no we shouldn't dehumanize people who are making tough choices, but there's no need to tone-down the language of scabbing to make them seem like any other temp worker. Scabs shouldn't be violently attacked, but they should be made aware of the ramifications of their actions for everyone. This thread has got to be the most bizarre false binary I've seen on babble in a long time.

edited due to cross-posting

[ 09 December 2005: Message edited by: kurichina ]


From: an employer more progressive than rabble.ca | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 December 2005 02:55 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Tell a welfare recipient who gets harassed and nickel-and-dimed by her middle-class, unionized caseworker that "middle" isn't a "class", and that they're all in it together, Rufus.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 09 December 2005 03:02 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Okay, everyone else's turn.

Scabs should first be hogtied with barbed wire and their nipples twisted off with a pair of linesman's pliers. A parallel-circuit of 5 car batteries should be connected to the raw chest-meat where their nipples once were with safety pins. Their eyeballs should be pierced with fishhooks connected to their lower teeth with piano wire so that if their mouths open to scream or cry they rip their own corneas off and the Aqueous Humor of their eyeballs drips down their chest, shorting out the car batteries. They should have a glass tube inserted into their urethra which is then smashed with the same ball peen hammer that will later remove all 32 of their teeth. Rusty nails should be pounded into their ears with a cricket bat, even as Drano mixed with gasoline is rubbed into their scalp with a coarse wire brush and set alight. Each of their joints, from the smallest toe to hips and knees should be slowly crushed in a vise. Their lips should be cut off with pinking shears, leaving their mouths a ghastly, toothless, silent scream. Their spouses and children, the beneficiaries of their boundless and unforgivable lust for rent money, should be duct-taped to chairs and forced to watch, on pain of having their spinal cords severed with one sharp blow from a mason's chisel. When the scab succumbs to his injuries, he and his family should be nailed into a packing crate, one tiny air hole drilled, and the whole sordid lot of them mailed to a fake address in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Any blood spilled during this "Re-education session" should be used to draft warning signs for other potential scabs. Broken teeth and other shards of bone should be used to make a "scab rattle" which will be ceremoniously rattled to signal the beginning and ending of any future strike votes.

Next!


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 09 December 2005 03:03 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Michelle, class solidarity is not automatic. Workers can be racist and sexist as well. That does not make them somehow not part of the working class.

There are lots of other contradictions within the working class under capitalism as well, such as workers who produce environmentally-damaging products such as military goods and cars... I've seen very militant strikes by workers in so-called defence industries ... defending jobs that we (and the more progressive among themselves) don't think should even exist.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
BATMAN
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10832

posted 09 December 2005 03:04 PM      Profile for BATMAN     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've been gone a while, but this makes me mad. I tell you in no uncertain terms that if a scab crossed the line and took my truck to do my job, I'd mess him up but good, along with 50 of my closest pals. Teamsters are a great union.
From: CA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 09 December 2005 03:04 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You actually spent that much time and energy to write such a pointless post, Mr M?
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4722

posted 09 December 2005 03:06 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
How nice to see the Teamsters cling to their Hoffa goon mafia past.
From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 09 December 2005 03:06 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Only takes a minute. Besides, I thought it was a contest. Did I win?
From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 December 2005 03:07 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Good, good! Now you're getting into the spirit!

Let's have some more detail, BATMAN. How badly would you maim the person? Would you torture him for a little while before killing him, or would you just put the poor creep out of his misery right away?

Sure, lagatta, class solidarity is not automatic. But if you're a unionized worker, you can be excused for any racist, sexist, or violent behaviour (and you can even justify it) as long as you don't cross the picket line. But if you're a scab, you can never be forgiven! Ever! Scabs aren't allowed learning curves!


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
BATMAN
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10832

posted 09 December 2005 03:09 PM      Profile for BATMAN     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:

There are lots of other contradictions within the working class under capitalism as well, such as workers who produce environmentally-damaging products such as military goods and cars.

Uh, the Soviets had their own military-industrial complex as well, and on the whole they were a lot messier about it (the Aral Sea and Vladivostok come to mind immediately).

Maybe this is not an economic theory problem, but a problem with the whole human condition?


From: CA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 09 December 2005 03:11 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Very fast learning experience for an entire society: let the bosses destroy the unions by bringing in "replacement workers" all over the place.

Hello, the nineteenth century! Are there no work-houses? Are there no prisons?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
BATMAN
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10832

posted 09 December 2005 03:13 PM      Profile for BATMAN     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
Good, good! Now you're getting into the spirit!

Let's have some more detail, BATMAN. How badly would you maim the person? Would you torture him for a little while before killing him, or would you just put the poor creep out of his misery right away?


Well, I would never kill over it, just mess him up. Killing is, for the most part, wrong. But so is stealing someone's livelyhood. And think about this: If the scabs win, they'll be doing my job for less $. So the owners can just pocket the difference. Then they'll fire the scabs and get someone even cheaper, and so on. It's just like Walmart!!!!


From: CA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 09 December 2005 03:14 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Batman, I think you're confusing your socialists. It is Fidel who would minimise the great environmental, social and above all democratic failings of the USSR, not me.

I'm one of those old splittists.

Michelle, when on earth have I or anyone defended racism or sexism on the part of unionised workers? I was a member of le comit de la condition fminine on a CSN body for years. And I can assure you we fought sexism on the part of our male comrades just as much as that by the boss.

My point is just to correct the nonsense the ruling-class media spread about salaried workers being "middle-class".


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 December 2005 03:15 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Who says we should let them do that? I think everyone on this thread is against scabbing. I don't even really care all that much if you call it that. What I have a problem with is the utter dehumanization of people who, whether through desperation, or unenlightenment or whatever, cross a picket line. So the way to build solidarity with these people who are also part of the working class is to show them that union members are goons and will never ever forgive them ever ever ever again if they screw up? And that it's okay to physically harm people who steal from you?
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 December 2005 03:16 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by BATMAN:

Well, I would never kill over it, just mess him up. Killing is, for the most part, wrong. But so is stealing someone's livelyhood. And think about this: If the scabs win, they'll be doing my job for less $. So the owners can just pocket the difference. Then they'll fire the scabs and get someone even cheaper, and so on. It's just like Walmart!!!!


So, you'd just torture him a little bit?

How enlightened!


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
slimpikins
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9261

posted 09 December 2005 03:18 PM      Profile for slimpikins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am a Union rep, and the location that I am currently servicing just finished a bitter, dirty, nationally reported strike. We are now in the process of 'building bridges' between the workers and the scabs.

I am constantly amazed at the scabs who come running into the Union office crying thier eyes out when they get fucked over by the employer. They beg and plead for help from the same Union that mere weeks ago they were trying to bust. Some of them even have the sack to criticize the collective agreement! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that less scabs means a better contract.

Point is, scabs are selfish, self-serving, and care for nothing but thier own self interest. Fuck them all. Jack had it right.

FYI, I represent the scabby fucks to the best of my ability, because it's my job and I love my job.


From: Alberta | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
BATMAN
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10832

posted 09 December 2005 03:21 PM      Profile for BATMAN     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:

So, you'd just torture him a little bit?

How enlightened!


Beating someone up is not torture. I mean, every schoolyard fight or bar brawl would, by your logic, be torture. Torture is generally used by the state to either spread fear in a population, or to gain some sort of specific information. I'd just beat the scab up for taking my job.


From: CA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 09 December 2005 03:21 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
slim, I'm wondering how many of these babblers have ever been in a bitter strike, especially one organising a new union. I was one of the organisers of a union in a field where there were very few (this is over 25 years ago, and I was very young). I was sacked, got death threats, as did other organisers. The strike itself lasted for seven months. I've seen a lot of violence by scabs and especially by professional scab herders. Were we supposed to suck it up and not shove back?
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7440

posted 09 December 2005 03:22 PM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Scabs should first be hogtied with barbed wire and their nipples twisted off with a pair of linesman's pliers. A parallel-circuit of 5 car batteries should be connected to the raw chest-meat where their nipples once were with safety pins. Their eyeballs should be pierced with fishhooks connected to their lower teeth with piano wire so that if their mouths open to scream or cry they rip their own corneas off and the Aqueous Humor of their eyeballs drips down their chest, shorting out the car batteries. They should have a glass tube inserted into their urethra which is then smashed with the same ball peen hammer that will later remove all 32 of their teeth. Rusty nails should be pounded into their ears with a cricket bat, even as Drano mixed with gasoline is rubbed into their scalp with a coarse wire brush and set alight. Each of their joints, from the smallest toe to hips and knees should be slowly crushed in a vise. Their lips should be cut off with pinking shears, leaving their mouths a ghastly, toothless, silent scream. Their spouses and children, the beneficiaries of their boundless and unforgivable lust for rent money, should be duct-taped to chairs and forced to watch, on pain of having their spinal cords severed with one sharp blow from a mason's chisel. When the scab succumbs to his injuries, he and his family should be nailed into a packing crate, one tiny air hole drilled, and the whole sordid lot of them mailed to a fake address in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Any blood spilled during this "Re-education session" should be used to draft warning signs for other potential scabs. Broken teeth and other shards of bone should be used to make a "scab rattle" which will be ceremoniously rattled to signal the beginning and ending of any future strike votes.

quote:
You actually spent that much time and energy to write such a pointless post, Mr M?
Not to mention that he violated copyright by cutting and pasting all of Harper's policies on crime and punishment.


From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 December 2005 03:22 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by slimpikins:
I am constantly amazed at the scabs who come running into the Union office crying thier eyes out when they get fucked over by the employer. They beg and plead for help from the same Union that mere weeks ago they were trying to bust. Some of them even have the sack to criticize the collective agreement! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that less scabs means a better contract.

I agree with you there. I hope you take the opportunity, when they do, to tell them exactly that, every time they come in, until they admit that they were wrong to scab.

I think that's a much more constructive way of dealing with it than calling them pedophiles, or justifying beating them to a pulp, like brother BATMAN here.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 December 2005 03:25 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by BATMAN:
Beating someone up is not torture.

Really?

What do you think, skdadl, lagatta? Is beating someone a form of torture? Brother BATMAN seems to think it's okay.

Maybe we should let police beat confessions out of criminals while they're questioning them, huh? Maybe we should bring corporal punishment back into the justice system.

It's just a little beating, it never hurt anyone.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 09 December 2005 03:29 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Michelle, this is ludicrous.

There is a reason it is called class STRUGGLE.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
BATMAN
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10832

posted 09 December 2005 03:30 PM      Profile for BATMAN     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:

I agree with you there. I hope you take the opportunity, when they do, to tell them exactly that, every time they come in, until they admit that they were wrong to scab.

I think that's a much more constructive way of dealing with it than calling them pedophiles, or justifying beating them to a pulp, like brother BATMAN here.


Force, as a dispute resolution mechanism, has solved more arguments than any other method. It's messy but very effective. Talking might be the "enlightened" way to settle arguments, but what if the other side refuses to listen? Scabs know that they should not steal someone's job, but they do it anyway. Being a pacifist just means that you'll be pushed up against a wall someday and shot.


From: CA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4722

posted 09 December 2005 03:30 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Were we supposed to suck it up and not shove back?

Actually yes. You can defend yourself against a actual physical attack but yes no going after or torturing or dehumanizing of the scabs or personnel who are NOT physically attacking you.


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 December 2005 03:31 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm sorry, I missed where that refutes what I wrote.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 December 2005 03:36 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by BATMAN:
Force, as a dispute resolution mechanism, has solved more arguments than any other method. It's messy but very effective. Talking might be the "enlightened" way to settle arguments, but what if the other side refuses to listen?

Yeah, it's kind of like, when you try to talk to your spouse about money, and your spouse keeps refusing to consult you when they spend money, even though you keep asking them to. They just don't listen. Force is the very best dispute rsolution mechanism. It's messy but very effective.

I mean, talking to them might be the "enlightened" way to solve your problem with your spouse, but what if s/he refuses to listen, even though they are obviously in the wrong?

Beating the shit out of them would get their attention! That probably solves more arguments than any other method.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
BATMAN
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10832

posted 09 December 2005 03:43 PM      Profile for BATMAN     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:

Yeah, it's kind of like, when you try to talk to your spouse about money, and your spouse keeps refusing to consult you when they spend money, even though you keep asking them to. They just don't listen. Force is the very best dispute rsolution mechanism. It's messy but very effective.

I mean, talking to them might be the "enlightened" way to solve your problem with your spouse, but what if s/he refuses to listen, even though they are obviously in the wrong?

Beating the shit out of them would get their attention! That probably solves more arguments than any other method.


Sad, but true. Look, I'd like to live in world where we all got along, but we don't, because we're just naked apes who only climbed down from the trees 2 million years ago. We still have all the instincts from the jungle. You don't see lions reasoning with hyenas.


From: CA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 09 December 2005 03:43 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Michelle, I don't think you really get the class struggle, do you? I mean as a force in history. Wouldn't it be nice if enemy groups had always just got along together and resolved their differences peacefully?

- Excuse me, master, but I don't think we slaves are really getting our fair share. We want shorter working hours and a lighter lash...

And similar vignettes...


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4722

posted 09 December 2005 03:48 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And that jusstifies violence and torture and barbarism here and now exactly how?

Or are you saying "hey darfur is just what happens get used to it?"


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6477

posted 09 December 2005 03:48 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
But scabs are not the masters; why not physically attack the masters instead of the scabs?

And Batman, scabs are not a different species; and beating people up is torture and it is not the right thing to do. It's never a solution.

[ 09 December 2005: Message edited by: Contrarian ]


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
BATMAN
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10832

posted 09 December 2005 03:51 PM      Profile for BATMAN     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Bacchus:
And that jusstifies violence and torture and barbarism here and now exactly how?

Or are you saying "hey darfur is just what happens get used to it?"


The only way to solve Darfur is to go in the there and fight the Muslim Janjaweed (sp?) who are killing the Black Africans. The UN has talked quite a lot over the past 3 years, and what's been accomplished? More dead Black Africans, that's all.


From: CA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 09 December 2005 03:51 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I forget who made this point above, but I agree: I'm a bit amazed that the focus on violence in this thread has been on violence committed by union members rather than against them.

I don't know how anyone finds stats on these things, but I'm confident that, overwhelmingly, it is union members who have had to face the violence, the cars and buses driving right into their midst, the hired goons with the steel pipes, out to break legs, the death threats, the beatings.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 December 2005 03:52 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
Michelle, I don't think you really get the class struggle, do you? I mean as a force in history.

Sure I do. I just don't think beating up people who are lower than you are on the economic scale because they're not enlightened enough is a very good way to build class solidarity. Nor do I think that dehumanizing people in your own economic class (or those beneath you) is legitimate.

There are better ways to introduce those in your economic class to the class struggle.

quote:
I forget who made this point above, but I agree: I'm a bit amazed that the focus on violence in this thread has been on violence committed by union members rather than against them.

Yes, it's funny how that happens when you have unionized workers talking about how scabs deserve no better than pedophiles, and how they'd like to get 50 of their friends to mess up scabs real good, huh?

That's what I've been addressing in this thread, at least. But I'll tell you what. If you talk about an incident where scabs or rent-a-cops are roughing up workers, I will be right there denouncing that too. How does that sound?

BTW, skdadl, is beating torture? Just curious. Brother BATMAN says it's not, and that it's okay to use beating as a form of coercion. Is it okay with you if I disagree with him, or would I be focusing too much on violence from union members by telling him that's not okay?

[ 09 December 2005: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
BATMAN
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10832

posted 09 December 2005 03:55 PM      Profile for BATMAN     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Contrarian:
But scabs are not the masters; why not physically attack the masters instead of the scabs?

And Batman, scabs are not a different species; and beating people up is torture and it is not the right thing to do. It's never a solution.

[ 09 December 2005: Message edited by: Contrarian ]


OK, if I were to beat up my employer, then I'd be fired for cause, even if I was locked out or on strike. That helps me how? But, in theory, the best thing to do would be to beat up the boss and burn down his company. Then I could start up my own company and take over his market share. Hmmm....


From: CA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 09 December 2005 03:58 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
skdadl, I've lived through a lot of tough labour conflicts (especially the big strike wave in Qubec in the late 1970s). Remember the Robin Hood strike where an armed goon shot four workers (fortunately none fatally) and the Manoir Richelieu strike where a worker who was throttled by a cop or scab did die.

I don't think enough emphasis is placed on the extreme violence and threats against workers who are attempting to exercise their democratic right to form a union. This includes death threats, threats of deportations (often to regimes where trade unionists are systematicaly tortured) frame-ups and other such forms of management politeness and police and government complicity.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 09 December 2005 04:03 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Exactly. I've seen cars filled with scabs driven right into picket lines, and that was a tame strike.

Where did all these people come from who think that the unions started the violence?

Of course the answer to all this is to outlaw scabbing, one of the few smart moves that the Rae government started to make in its ineffectual passage through this life.

There is next to no point in having the right to strike if aggressive scabbing is still defended by the state and its police. The strike - withdrawing their labour - is the only weapon that workers have, and it's already puny enough.

You feel inconvenienced by a strike? Great. That's the point. Complain up. Complain to the bosses - stop attacking the workers. Without them and their strikes, you are headed back to feudalism yourselves.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4722

posted 09 December 2005 04:03 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I have nothing against prosecuting or defending yourself against physical attacks.

But if that is to be used as a justification for attacks on others, then no


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10724

posted 09 December 2005 04:03 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by BATMAN:
I'd just beat the scab up for taking my job.
I would never want to walk in solidarity with a thug with an attitude like that.

From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
BATMAN
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10832

posted 09 December 2005 04:09 PM      Profile for BATMAN     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
Exactly. I've seen cars filled with scabs driven right into picket lines, and that was a tame strike.

Where did all these people come from who think that the unions started the violence?

Of course the answer to all this is to outlaw scabbing, one of the few smart moves that the Rae government started to make in its ineffectual passage through this life.

There is next to no point in having the right to strike if aggressive scabbing is still defended by the state and its police. The strike - withdrawing their labour - is the only weapon that workers have, and it's already puny enough.

You feel inconvenienced by a strike? Great. That's the point. Complain up. Complain to the bosses - stop attacking the workers. Without them and their strikes, you are headed back to feudalism yourselves.


You know, if the workers at Walmart all joined unions and went on strike, walmart would just shut down the stores, like in Quebec. But that would be good because smaller local businesses would fill the gap left by its departure. So then Walmart might actually deal with the unions and wages would rise, more full-time, etc. What we really need is strong anti-scab legislation. That would go a long way to calming things down on the picket line.


From: CA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7440

posted 09 December 2005 04:09 PM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I don't know how anyone finds stats on these things, but I'm confident that, overwhelmingly, it is union members who have had to face the violence, the cars and buses driving right into their midst, the hired goons with the steel pipes, out to break legs, the death threats, the beatings.
That is why the Teamsters became such a rough union in the first place.

From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7440

posted 09 December 2005 04:11 PM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I would never want to walk in solidarity with a thug with an attitude like that.
Yeah, but I thought you said above that you would like to opt out of your union.

quote:
I wish I could opt out of my union too. And it would be interesting to see how many others would take that opportunity.

[ 09 December 2005: Message edited by: Cartman ]


From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
BATMAN
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10832

posted 09 December 2005 04:14 PM      Profile for BATMAN     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Makwa:
I would never want to walk in solidarity with a thug with an attitude like that.

Oh man, I thought you were cool. You have to fight for what's yours, man. And sometimes you have to fight with more than words.

I know you're FN, so I'll use the example of Oka. Those guys talked anout not building a golf course with the municipality, and what good did that do? So the warriors fought back, killed a cop, and won. Violence can solve disputes. Like I said, that's sad, but it is reality.


From: CA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 09 December 2005 04:15 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by BATMAN:
What we really need is strong anti-scab legislation. That would go a long way to calming things down on the picket line.

Now THERE'S something we can definitely agree on. Like skdadl, I think that was a really good thing that Rae did, and it's a crime that Harris got rid of it.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10724

posted 09 December 2005 04:25 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by BATMAN:
Oh man, I thought you were cool. You have to fight for what's yours, man. And sometimes you have to fight with more than words.

I know you're FN, so I'll use the example of Oka. Those guys talked anout not building a golf course with the municipality, and what good did that do? So the warriors fought back, killed a cop, and won. Violence can solve disputes. Like I said, that's sad, but it is reality.


I am not a supporter of the Warrior society, but I am not a pacifist. I don't condone killing anyone other than in self defense or in a just military capacity. I supported the people of Kanasetage in their struggle and believe that non-violent means are the only justifiable form of non-military struggle.

From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2777

posted 09 December 2005 07:02 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I don't know how anyone finds stats on these things, but I'm confident that, overwhelmingly, it is union members who have had to face the violence, the cars and buses driving right into their midst, the hired goons with the steel pipes, out to break legs, the death threats, the beatings.

The only picket line violence I've ever been involved in during my years in the labour movement has been directed against me. Once being assaulted by a member of the management personnel and another time being assaulted by the cops.

I've never ever seen an act of violence committed against scabs by union members despite being on hundreds of picket lines. Sure I've heard them being called lots of nasty names but that's about as far as it goes.

As for the nasty names? In most strike situations folks will indeed try "reason" to persuade folks not to scab, to stick together to get a good deal from the boss etc.

But if that doesn't work within a day or two, most reasonable folks will decide "fuck 'em...they're a dirty rotten scab".

And Michelle, in my experience in most cases folks don't scab out of economic fear...they scab out of pure bloody-minded selfishness or they are simply "ideologically anti-union".

In most unions, folks get picket duty pay for starters. Its never enough to pay the bills, but usually enough to help you muddle through.

Unions will often organize welfare committees. They work to help members keep the bill collectors away during a strike, keep members from getting evicted or banks from foreclosing on mortgages. If members aren't so worried about their bills, then the members are more likely to stick together.

If a union gets into a long protracted struggle with an employer, unions will send out appeals for donations to other union locals. Central labour organizations will send out appeals to unions across a city, across a province or right across the country...and in some cases ... internationally.

Many local unions are on "autopilot". If an appeal for donations comes from a central labour body...out goes a cheque for say $25 or $50 or whatever. All these little amounts add up.

I've seen "adopt a striker's family" campaigns where local unions are asked to adopt a family...say at Christmas time. There was an incredible campaign like this during the bitter strike at Gainer's Meat Packing in Edmonton back in the 1980's.

So I just don't buy this idea that folks scab on their co-workers out of economic fear.


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7024

posted 09 December 2005 07:40 PM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What do you folks feel is responsible behavior of middle-level managers in strike situations? Very often those managerial types were once union workers who moved up over the years. And, of course, if a manager refuses to cross a picket line her or she is generally fired.

I ask also because of all three strikes that I've been close to, managers were attacked in precisely the same manner as 'scabs,' even though they 'replaced' no one. Are managers fair game?


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7440

posted 09 December 2005 07:56 PM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post
I think radiorahim puts the matter quite accurately. From my experience, scabs are not hard-up folks trying to make ends meet. They are scumbags simply trying to keep all of the advantages of being unionized, but do nothing in return.

quote:
I ask also because of all three strikes that I've been close to, managers were attacked in precisely the same manner as 'scabs,' even though they 'replaced' no one. Are managers fair game?
In my experience, managers rarely get anything more than a tongue-lashing. Fair game for what exactly?

From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7024

posted 09 December 2005 08:01 PM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cartman:
In my experience, managers rarely get anything more than a tongue-lashing. Fair game for what exactly?

My experience has been rather different: assault, death threats, kidnapping threats, vandalism of home and car, being chased at high speeds by a car-full of angry workers, etc.

Edited to add: To a degree, I can sympathize with the anger of someone who feels that his or her job is in jeopardy from a scab, but I can't much fathom that sort of action taken toward someone who, say, runs one department.

[ 09 December 2005: Message edited by: Tape_342 ]


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2777

posted 09 December 2005 09:48 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What do you folks feel is responsible behavior of middle-level managers in strike situations? Very often those managerial types were once union workers who moved up over the years. And, of course, if a manager refuses to cross a picket line her or she is generally fired.

I ask also because of all three strikes that I've been close to, managers were attacked in precisely the same manner as 'scabs,' even though they 'replaced' no one. Are managers fair game?


It really depends on the behaviour of the managers approaching the picket line. I've known managers who've bought coffee and donuts for the folks on the picket line. I've also been assaulted by one.

Smart managers realize that they're going to have to deal with the folks on the picket line after the strike is over. Sometimes they'll either deliberately or accidentally let details "slip" as to what's going on inside the struck workplace. Often it can be very valuable information for the strikers.

Some managers make it perfectly obvious that they're "just doing their job" and don't enjoy it. Others are complete assholes and engage in deliberately provocative activities.

These are all very human situations that you "play by ear".

If the managers in your workplace Tape_342 are being given a hard time, maybe its because they've been provocative...or maybe its because they are complete assholes on a daily basis at work.

The "politics" of every workplace is different.


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
abnormal
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1245

posted 09 December 2005 11:00 PM      Profile for abnormal   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Smart managers realize that they're going to have to deal with the folks on the picket line after the strike is over.

Understandable. Having lived through a strike where the picketers decided to break a number of windows at the plant (part of the settlement was not to charge anyone with vandalism) I've seen it. [Place I worked a number of summers.] Of course, the factory wasn't air conditioned and when management decided to cover the entire factory with solid aluminum siding so that this wouldn't happen again ...

Was always interesting when the union executive would complain about the lack of ventilation and executive management would simply smile and explain that because of some unknown vandals a couple of years ago, they'd had no choice but to board up the windows.

I do know that the production managager would just smile when the staff complained about the heat and tell them the same thing. Wasn't his fault (after a couple of years of this the staff was seriously down on the union because it wasn't the local employees that had done the damage, it was a group that the union had parachuted in from elsewhere).


From: far, far away | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Chubbles
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11268

posted 09 December 2005 11:35 PM      Profile for Chubbles        Edit/Delete Post
What if you happen to side with the employer and just want to work there? Why is that "stealing" a job? The job is available. If the striker wanted the job as offered, then it wouldn't be available. I'm not talking about shitty employers like Telus but isn't it possible that sometimes unions get it wrong? As for the word "scab," I think anyone who uses it sounds like an uneducated thug.
From: Canada | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 09 December 2005 11:47 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Was always interesting when the union executive would complain about the lack of ventilation and executive management would simply smile and explain that because of some unknown vandals a couple of years ago, they'd had no choice but to board up the windows.

Every Province has standards for ventilation, temperature, etc.

Apparently the company was just "smiling" and breaking the law.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7440

posted 10 December 2005 12:32 AM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What if you happen to side with the employer and just want to work there? Why is that "stealing" a job? The job is available. If the striker wanted the job as offered, then it wouldn't be available.

From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Chubbles
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11268

posted 10 December 2005 12:33 AM      Profile for Chubbles        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cartman:

Just a question. Haven't you ever heard of a labour dispute where you didn't necessarily side with the strikers?

Added: Oh, I believe the source of the confusion is the following poorly worded sentence.

quote:
If the striker wanted the job as offered, then it wouldn't be available.

I meant that it wouldn't be available to a replacement worker because the original worker would have the job, i.e. not be on strike.

[ 10 December 2005: Message edited by: Chubbles ]


From: Canada | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 10 December 2005 02:17 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Chubbles:

Just a question. Haven't you ever heard of a labour dispute where you didn't necessarily side with the strikers?

When the self-interests of scabs interfere with the self-interests of unionized workers in what is supposed to be a free and fair market place, then selfish actions on someone's part are apparently causing harm and needs to be dealt with by the law, would you agree ?. And elected governments have the responsibility to balance power and favour neither employers or unions. The concept of collective bargaining for fair wages is entirely democratic. But when scabs are introduced to what is a coercive process from the get-go, it's an attempt to undermine that process and shift the balance of bargaining power on to the side of the employers or capital.

Unions are the only real opposition to fascism. And they're the very institutions that have come increasingly under attack by right-rightist governments influenced by big money across North America since the 1980's-'90's and cold war's official conclusion. The U.S. and Canada, one-two, have the lowest rates of unionized labour among richest nations as well as the same ranking for largest and second largest percentages of low skilled, lowly paid workforce. Coincidentally, the U.S and Canada, one-two, also own the highest rates of child poverty among richest nations. The market seems to produce an especially unequal state of affairs in this part of the world.


From: Viva La Revolucin | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
cdnviking
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9661

posted 10 December 2005 10:45 AM      Profile for cdnviking        Edit/Delete Post
I remember, back in the late 1980's, Canada Post was on strike.

I recall that, in Ontario, welfare recipients were instructed to apply for "replacement worker" jobs or BE CUT OFF OF WELFARE.

There was NO regard for the recipient's safety and/or security or that of his/her family.

It was a scheme to cut back the welfare roles a bit, by government, while Canada Post was on strike.

If you were offered a scab job and refused, YOU WERE CUT OFF OF WELFARE.

This predates the NDP anti-scab laws and the Harris "volunteer worker" legislation, by the way.

Side with the employer? Why? Isn't that the government's job (apparently, judging by government's pro-business tilt for most of our history)?


From: The Centre of the Universe, Ontario... Just kidding | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
cdnviking
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9661

posted 10 December 2005 10:49 AM      Profile for cdnviking        Edit/Delete Post
skad... try a google search for "anti union violence"

Quite disturbing the tactics used to supress union drives in the third world where workers are just trying to get acknowledgement of their RIGHTS!


From: The Centre of the Universe, Ontario... Just kidding | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Chubbles
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11268

posted 10 December 2005 11:29 AM      Profile for Chubbles        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
When the self-interests of scabs interfere with the self-interests of unionized workers in what is supposed to be a free and fair market place, then selfish actions on someone's part are apparently causing harm and needs to be dealt with by the law, would you agree?

Not necessarily, no. What if it was the unionized workers who were being selfish (by making unreasonable demands) and causing harm (by temporarily shutting down their employer)?

Added later:

quote:
The concept of collective bargaining for fair wages is entirely democratic. But when scabs are introduced to what is a coercive process from the get-go, it's an attempt to undermine that process and shift the balance of bargaining power on to the side of the employers or capital.

Not sure what coercive process you're referring to here.

[ 10 December 2005: Message edited by: Chubbles ]


From: Canada | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
abnormal
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1245

posted 10 December 2005 11:46 AM      Profile for abnormal   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
posted by cdnviking:
quote:
I recall that, in Ontario, welfare recipients were instructed to apply for "replacement worker" jobs or BE CUT OFF OF WELFARE.

There was NO regard for the recipient's safety and/or security or that of his/her family.


I have to admit that I find this one very disturbing. While I can understand emotions running high on a picket line the implication here seems to be that the recipient's family would somehow be threatened by this.


From: far, far away | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
abnormal
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1245

posted 10 December 2005 11:50 AM      Profile for abnormal   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Every Province has standards for ventilation, temperature, etc.

Apparently the company was just "smiling" and breaking the law.


I rather doubt it. There's a big difference between meeting the standards and having eight foot openable windows that run the full length of both sides of the factory.

Not that two wrongs make a right but the first group to break the law were the union members that decided to vandalize the place - as an observation, there were no scabs during the strike. And the windows were not broken by the actual employees that were out. They were broken by a group that the union brought in from elsewhere to help man the picket line.


From: far, far away | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 10 December 2005 12:31 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by cdnviking:
I recall that, in Ontario, welfare recipients were instructed to apply for "replacement worker" jobs or BE CUT OFF OF WELFARE.

That's pretty bad all right. I've heard this before, but I would be interested in seeing it confirmed.

BTW, just curious, if it IS true - who was it who told welfare recipients that they had to do this? It wouldn't have been their caseworkers, would it?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7024

posted 10 December 2005 12:37 PM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by abnormal:

And the windows were not broken by the actual employees that were out. They were broken by a group that the union brought in from elsewhere to help man the picket line.

Much of the violence that I have seen-- or certainly the beginning of it-- also came from so-called 'International reps' who go from strike to strike to stir things up among the rank and file.


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
ReeferMadness
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2743

posted 10 December 2005 01:40 PM      Profile for ReeferMadness     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Back to the topic of class struggle, unions have to decide whether they're about social justice or simply defending the privileges of a special interest group.

When a union demands a wage increase for a $20K per year single parent, it's not hard to make an argument that this is about class struggle and social justice.

When a union stands up for an individual who is making over $100K annually, owns rental property or a small business (non-unionized, of course!), and has a spouse with another income, it gets tough to tell which side of the class struggle the union supports.


From: Way out there | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Anarchonostic
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4133

posted 10 December 2005 02:45 PM      Profile for Anarchonostic     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Tape_342:
What do you folks feel is responsible behavior of middle-level managers in strike situations? Very often those managerial types were once union workers who moved up over the years. And, of course, if a manager refuses to cross a picket line her or she is generally fired.

I ask also because of all three strikes that I've been close to, managers were attacked in precisely the same manner as 'scabs,' even though they 'replaced' no one. Are managers fair game?


It all depends. It was the greyest of grey areas in the recent TWU/TELUS dispute. Several factors:
- there was precedent. A manager in the 1981 dispute refused to cross a picket line. He was fired, but then BC Tel was ordered by the CLRB to re-instate him in his job, based on interpretation of the Canada Labour Code.PDF here.
- if managers sincerely didn't want to cross picket lines, they would organize, wouldn't they? A little cheeky, but first level supervisors can always form a union.
- this is a biggie: in our particular case, we didn't know who were scabs and who were managers. Nearly all of those crossing the lines were imported from somewhere, most of them wouldn't say if they were members, managers or what. Doesn't apply for a small shop dispute, though.
- the managers we did recognize and know, we were easy on them, since we did have good working relationships with the first levels (though management above that level are generally pricks at TELUS, and were true to form during the dispute).


From: Vancouver | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 10 December 2005 02:59 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Chubbles:

Not sure what coercive process you're referring to here.
[ 10 December 2005: Message edited by: Chubbles ]

It's funny you ask bc it tends to be corporations who are blind to federal and provincial government coerciveness when they intervene in the market place on behalf of corporations and furthering their own self-interests by slashing corporate taxes, enforcing patent protections, corporate subsidies that amount to taxpayer handouts to rich people etc. But they snap to full attention if governments introduce progressive taxation or redistribute wealth in order to fund social programs thereby making workers a little less dependent on corporations and the market for their right to exist. In short, governments can expand the rights of either corporations or workers in what has become a coercive arrangement of labour offering their time and skills to employers for wages. IOW's, People cannot just go out and live off the fat of the land like they were able to throughout human history up until this thing called the free market system came into existence in the western world as of a couple of centuries ago.

I'm referring to workers who offer their services to employers for a salary or pay rate. It includes the enormous pressure placed on workers to maintain a roof over their families heads and put food on the table. And I'm referring to the way in which corporations and employers in general want to pay the least amount of money to their workers in order to maximize profits made possible by collective efforts of their workers.

And the whole interdependency of the thing is entirely affected by society in agreement that we should fund public infrastructure: schools, hospitals, roads, water works, policing, weather offices, hydro-electric power generation, airports, research and development etc etc in order that corporations and employers are able to co-exist with society. It's the reason that corporations and multinationals don't pack up and move to Tahiti or Haiti and create a second United States or Germany. They can only exist because of the collective efforts of society and therefore why governments have the power to redistribute wealth and collect taxes to pay for a civilized society. Corporations and rich people would like us to believe that they don't need society - but you and I know better. It's why IBM and INTEL and Walmart are in China and taking advantage of low wages on up to R&D facilitated by Chinese investments in education and infrastructure and forking over controlling interest, or large minority ownership in their enterprises to the Chinese communist government and not El Salvador or Haiti or Chad or Puerto Rico.


From: Viva La Revolucin | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Chubbles
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11268

posted 10 December 2005 03:09 PM      Profile for Chubbles        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
I'm referring to workers who offer their services to employers for a salary or pay rate. It includes the enormous pressure placed on workers to maintain a roof over their families heads and put food on the table.

And this strikes you as coercion? The "enormous pressure" to feed workers' families has nothing whatsoever to do with employers.


From: Canada | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 195

posted 10 December 2005 03:19 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The "enormous pressure" to feed workers' families has nothing whatsoever to do with employers.

What? I don't know where you get your food from, but I have to buy mine. With the money I earn from my job. If my employer refuses to pay me a fair rate and locks me out of work or forces me out on strike, I don't get to eat. If some asshole goes in and takes my job, which they are in fact doing by refusing to abide by the collective bargaining process, they are in fact taking food off my table and that certainly would piss me off.

[ 10 December 2005: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Loretta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 222

posted 10 December 2005 03:27 PM      Profile for Loretta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The "enormous pressure" to feed workers' families has nothing whatsoever to do with employers.

I'd say it has everything to do with employers because they use the fact that most of us are one paycheque away from utter poverty and thus, the pool of those who are willing to scab (in desperation for the sake of their own families) is large. Employers use workers against workers to wield their power -- we need to develop non-violent strategies to deal with that.


From: The West Kootenays of BC | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 10 December 2005 03:36 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Chubbles:

And this strikes you as coercion? The "enormous pressure" to feed workers' families has nothing whatsoever to do with employers.


So how long have you lived in a kibbutz ?. Or did you win the lottery ?. Trust fund ?. We're curious. Do tell.

[ 10 December 2005: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolucin | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3278

posted 10 December 2005 04:08 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The analogy I use is that scabs are like the Frankenstein monster when it is really the evil Dr. Frankenstein who should face most of the wrath of striking workers for using scabs in the first place.

In Ontario, there are at least three kinds of scabs.

1) Those from within the bargaining unit who are invited to work by the employer who appeals to their selfishness. I have had the misfortune of going through 2 strikes. In the first case, we expelled 50 members from our local after the strike. That was one of the saddest days of my union activists career. As pointed out by Contrarian, the union needs to win workers back (which is why kicking them out is counter-productive in the end even if it feels good to a lot of union supports.

This was part of the pure evil of the Harris government because they knew and consciously chose to poison our workplaces. Ten years later, the poison is still there.

2) The second kind of scabs are the replacement workers who come in to do our work and then usually leave after the strike is over. Some of them aren't even aware when they're hired that this is what they're hired for.

3)The third type of scabs are the "temps" from outside the bargaining unit who the employer brings in before the strike and keeps on during the strike. Most people don't consider them scabs (even some union reps I know). In our 2nd strike, we took roving bands of strikers to temp agencies and consulting houses like Anderson Consulting to occupy their offices and accuse them of being scabherders (which they really didn't like). The main effect was that it kept our spirits up and was a break from going around in circles.

quote:
FYI, I represent the scabby fucks to the best of my ability, because it's my job and I love my job.
This is an important point - not so much because reps love their jobs but because the "sanctity" of the collective agreement must be maintained. If the union allows the employer to violate the collective agreement with scabs, then they're ultimately going to do it with non-scabs which puts the union in a bind. Usually though, we refer scabs from the local (volunteers) to the union office (staffers) for representation because the optics with our members is not very good.

[ 10 December 2005: Message edited by: Polunatic ]


From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7024

posted 10 December 2005 04:53 PM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Polunatic:
In our 2nd strike, we took roving bands of strikers to temp agencies and consulting houses like Anderson Consulting to occupy their offices and accuse them of being scabherders (which they really didn't like).

This was civil disobedience, I take it?

I ask because the strikes I was involved with were in the US, and here even setting up a picket line in front of their offices would likely constiute a secondary boycott, netting you a cease and desist order (and perhaps fines) from the NLRB.


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Chubbles
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11268

posted 10 December 2005 05:05 PM      Profile for Chubbles        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What? I don't know where you get your food from, but I have to buy mine. With the money I earn from my job. If my employer refuses to pay me a fair rate and locks me out of work or forces me out on strike, I don't get to eat. If some asshole goes in and takes my job, which they are in fact doing by refusing to abide by the collective bargaining process, they are in fact taking food off my table and that certainly would piss me off.

Really not what I meant. Of course, I buy my food too. However, I don't contend that my employer somehow coerces me into feeling pressured into feeding my family. Being "forced to go out on strike" is a contradiction in terms. Many people don't agree with some strike actions and they're not "assholes" for taking a job that somebody else turns their nose up at. Why should somebody not in union "abide" by a collective bargaining process with which they may not agree?

quote:
I'd say it has everything to do with employers because they use the fact that most of us are one paycheque away from utter poverty and thus, the pool of those who are willing to scab (in desperation for the sake of their own families) is large. Employers use workers against workers to wield their power -- we need to develop non-violent strategies to deal with that.

"Most of us"? Maybe most of us with very low paying jobs. However, most middle class people can do without a paycheque or two before crumbling. Employers are as varied as employees. I happen not to believe that all employers are evil scumbags and that all employees are pathetic victims.

quote:
So how long have you lived in a kibbutz ?. Or did you win the lottery ?. Trust fund ?. We're curious. Do tell.

I work, just as most of us do. I didn't graduate from high school. Yet I still make a decent enough wage without a union job to live securely and not be at the mercy of my employer. Since you insist on framing it in terms of a power struggle, my "big stick" is that I do my job very well and I'd be hard to replace. That's kept me continuously gainfully employed for almost 25 years. That "big stick" is far more valuable to be than any union rep acting on my behalf.


From: Canada | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2777

posted 10 December 2005 05:09 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Usually though, we refer scabs from the local (volunteers) to the union office (staffers) for representation because the optics with our members is not very good.

There is a legal responsibility by a union to represent those covered by a collective agreement...even folks who have scabbed.

You want to barf when you have to do it but you do it anyway...and hope that "next time" the scab will do the right thing in a strike situation.

quote:
Much of the violence that I have seen-- or certainly the beginning of it-- also came from so-called 'International reps' who go from strike to strike to stir things up among the rank and file.

I seriously doubt this because it runs totally contrary to my own experience. Union staff reps usually go out of their way to prevent violence on picket lines...it leads to picket line injunctions etc. which are counter-productive to the effectiveness of the strike.

On the other hand I am aware of situations where employers have sent in agents provocateurs to stir up violence to achieve those employer objectives.
Employers have a history of this going back over a century...in fact that's the origin of May Day...employer provoked violence that ended up in a massacre.

The situation you speak of may involve your union only, but it is definitely not representative of the union movement as a whole.

quote:
BTW, just curious, if it IS true - who was it who told welfare recipients that they had to do this? It wouldn't have been their caseworkers, would it?

Michelle, if those caseworkers were referring people to struck work, they were not doing this on their own...they were doing this based on orders from their employers. If you don't do what your employer tells you to do, you may end up being subject to disciplinary action yourself...or end up getting fired.

You seem to have a "bugaboo" about public employees who are involved in administering social welfare programmes.

Just because someone is a member of a union and is covered by a collective agreement, doesn't instantaneously and miraculously turn someone into a radical left-wing socialist. They're just like anyone else in the general population who has their opinions formed by the MSM and general societal attitudes.

Transnational capital continues to rule based on dividing us. I hear it all the time. Public employees will think autoworkers are all overpaid lazy folks who build crappy cars. Autoworkers will think public employees are all lazy bureaucrats with secure jobs for life.

Workers in general are made to think that social assistance and EI recipients are all folks who are "too lazy to work" and would rather sit at home drinking beer and watching TV.

Changing peoples attitudes is a process that takes years...decades...and sometimes it never happens.
A union activist's job is to work on changing those right-wing attitudes, and building class/union consciousness.

I'm sure that there are caseworkers who give poor folks a hard time. But IMHO these folks aren't "good trade unionists". A "good trade unionist" who works in a social service agency will try their best to make the system "work" for people to the best of their ability despite being strangled by bureaucratic regulations.

The situation referred to previously where caseworkers were referring folks to scab on other workers took place in 1969...over 35 years ago.
I seriously seriously doubt that would happen today. Back then, "union consciousness" in the public sector was very weak...its much different today...although yes there's still work to be done on relations with victims of extreme poverty.


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3278

posted 10 December 2005 05:12 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
This was civil disobedience, I take it?
Well we never called it that and we always cleared out after making our point. We would demand a meeting with someone and usually they would accede.

In one temp agency, they met with all of us in their boardroom - we shared positions and then left. In another, they met with two of us in a backroom while everyone hung around the lobby eating their candies. No one wanted to get arrested. The fun part was smuggling groups of 30 or 40 people up the elevators in downtown Toronto office towers without getting detected until we were inside their offices.

(The trick is to leave the picket signs outside). Our goal was to get inside the office - not to make the point that we had a "right" to go into the office but never actually get inside. Shades of difference.

[ 10 December 2005: Message edited by: Polunatic ]


From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Chubbles
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11268

posted 10 December 2005 05:14 PM      Profile for Chubbles        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Polunatic:
Well we never called it that

Well, that's good because it verged on criminal behaviour.


From: Canada | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10724

posted 10 December 2005 05:20 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Polunatic:
The analogy I use is that scabs are like the Frankenstein monster when it is really the evil Dr. Frankenstein who should face most of the wrath of striking workers for using scabs in the first place.
Oh Em Gee. Can you repeat the word 'scab' any more? Can't you see, especially in the light of your above analogy, how dehumanizing this is?
quote:
The third type of scabs are the "temps" from outside the bargaining unit who the employer brings in before the strike and keeps on during the strike. Most people don't consider them scabs (even some union reps I know). In our 2nd strike, we took roving bands of strikers to temp agencies and consulting houses like Anderson Consulting to occupy their offices and accuse them of being scabherders (which they really didn't like). The main effect was that it kept our spirits up and was a break from going around in circles.

Well I am sure that we are all happy that you and your cohort were kept entertained. So you feel justified in 'occupying' temp employers because they do not remove temp workers already on site? So to support your strike, temp workers, who are usually the lowest paid and least secure, must be fired?

This kind of agressive and hostile rhetoric is something that keeps many people unsympathetic to the union movement, including those who are required to belong to unions.


From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3278

posted 10 December 2005 05:43 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I hear what you're saying but there's no nice way to describe them or their behaviour. The word is meant to create an emotional response - in particular to shame people from engaging in the activity. Sorry if it offends you.

If you've ever been on a picket line, you would know that after several weeks, maintaining morale is crucial. And we targetted the temp agency, not the temps themselves. What are we supposed to do, tell them that it's okay, we understand that they're doing our work while we're on the picket line, that we don't mind.

Our demand was that the temps be reassigned to other workplaces. At no time did we ever try to get anyone "fired".

[ 10 December 2005: Message edited by: Polunatic ]


From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10724

posted 10 December 2005 05:52 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by radiorahim:
Michelle, if those caseworkers were referring people to struck work, they were not doing this on their own...they were doing this based on orders from their employers. If you don't do what your employer tells you to do, you may end up being subject to disciplinary action yourself...or end up getting fired.

You seem to have a "bugaboo" about public employees who are involved in administering social welfare programmes.

Just because someone is a member of a union and is covered by a collective agreement, doesn't instantaneously and miraculously turn someone into a radical left-wing socialist. They're just like anyone else in the general population who has their opinions formed by the MSM and general societal attitudes.

The situation referred to previously where caseworkers were referring folks to scab on other workers took place in 1969...over 35 years ago.
I seriously seriously doubt that would happen today. Back then, "union consciousness" in the public sector was very weak...its much different today...although yes there's still work to be done on relations with victims of extreme poverty.


No, the post claims that these referrals were made in the late 1980's. I was a caseworker then, and I can guarentee no such directive was ever issued in Toronto, and any management directive like this would leave a huge paper trail. There is no way city management would try to get an entire unionized workforce to force people to cross picket lines. Didn't happen in Toronto, and I would like to see proof that it happened elsewhere.

From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 195

posted 10 December 2005 05:54 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So you feel justified in 'occupying' temp employers because they do not remove temp workers already on site?

I can't speak for Polunatic, but my response in a similar situation would be: hell yeah!

quote:
So to support your strike, temp workers, who are usually the lowest paid and least secure, must be fired?

EDIT 1: Because Polunatic already responded to this point above. The proper thing for the union to do is to demand that the temp agency place the temps elsewhere. After all, that's what temp agencies do, right?

quote:
This kind of agressive and hostile rhetoric is something that keeps many people unsympathetic to the union movement, including those who are required to belong to unions.

What do you expect? Those "who are required to belong to unions" also reap the benefits of belonging to unions - a collectively negotiated wage that is much higher than they would be able to obtain in a nonunion setting, access to a grievance and arbitration procedure that protects them from arbitrary discipline or dismissal, better leave and benefits, health and safety and anti-discrimination protections that often far exceed what the law provides, union-sponsored training, etc. I don't think it is too much to ask those people to respect their fellow union members picket line in return.

As for those who are not currently members of a union, maybe they should consider organizing. There are obviously significant obstacles down that road, but anti-union attitudes among the general public are just one of them, and not really the most significant one - far more daunting are legal barriers and management opposition. In any case, I don't think being "nicer" to scabs will make organizing the unorganized any easier. Unions achieve the things they do through solidarity. People who undermine that solidarity must be confronted.

I'm going to assert my privilege as moderator by having the last word on this thread because its over 100 posts, but please don't take that as a bar on continuing the discussion. Feel free to start a new thread if you wish.

EDIT 2: toned it down a bit.

[ 10 December 2005: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]

[ 10 December 2005: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  
Topic Closed  Topic Closed
Open Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca