I heard the good word from brother Matt earlier today:
Today, fast food and retail workers in Milwaukee went on strike. They’re fighting for a living wage, $15 an hour, and for the right to form a union without retaliation. This move comes on the back of other walkouts in New York, Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit and highlights the plight of low-wage workers across the nation. [http://wisconsinjobsnow.org/2013/05/15/milwaukee-workers-strike/
The excellent discussion, generated by Ohio Barbarian’s recent post on earlier fastfood worker walkout,s inspired me to share this good news with the FDL community today. Working with older established unions like the I.B.E.W., U.A.W., and the Teamsters, I’ve long felt that new energy, new ideas, and new blood were desperately required to revive workers’ interest in banding together to promote their interests.
What’s happening today, from Walmart to Wendy’s, is potentially as important as what happened in earlier generations in the mills and mines across this country. Workers don’t need any politician’s approval to organize collectively to improve their lot. My brothers and sisters who work in service jobs have begun to awaken to their own power.
This is a genuine grassroots movement, evolving rapidly and organically. In Chicago, this new movement has even led to a resurgence of the I.W.W., the beloved “wobblies” who were met with such violent opposition a century ago by the bad old robber barons.
The union makes us strong! In fact, there’s absolutely no reason why the millions of unemployed Americans shouldn’t follow the lead of our brave brothers and sisters in postindustrial Rhode Island, who are organizing themselves int “unemployed councils,” and putting the heat on local government to do something about their plight.
Know Justice, Know Peace. No Justice, No Peace. Solidarity to Milwaukee from NYC!!