Radical media, politics and culture.


Month of Strike Action Spreads to Call Center, Burger King, Wellington

The Pizza Hut and KFC national call center, the first Burger King
stores and the first Wellington fast food store, joined the
SuperSizeMyPay.Com month of industrial action last night.

SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign co-ordinator, Simon Oosterman, said that the actions were a part of an escalating month of industrial action in the fast food industry leading up to the 'BigPayOut.co.nz'
demonstration and free concert on Saturday, 18th of March.

"In central Auckland, 60 call center workers, who take delivery orders for KFC and Pizza Hut nation-wide, went on strike. The striking
workers called on customers who were ordering pizzas on the 0800 83 83 83 number to say a message of support, and kept the strike to an hour to minimise disruption to customers," he said.

"The call center workers, who are a part of the SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign, but who have a different contract to the fast food stores, are asking for a training rate of $11 and $12.50 after 3 months as well as a 50% discount on Restaurant Brands food.

"In west Auckland, workers from two fast food stores became the first ever striking Burger King workers in New Zealand. The workers took action despite a memo sent from their head office falsely claiming that they would be fired if they took industrial action.

Historic find in Bisbee courthouse

from KVOA

A woman who works at the Cochise County Courthouse stumbled upon original
documents that may reveal history pertaining to the Bisbee Deportations of

Fran Ranaccelli says she found a box full of the documents in the evidence
room of the county courthouse, "As I looked it said 1917, I.W.W. and I
just froze."

The box contains documents including witness affidavits, and subpoenas of
the court case that followed the round up of more than 1200 miners in
Bisbee after they went on a strike citing improper working conditions.

The miners who were members of the International Workers of the World were
rounded up and put on a train and then transported to Columbus, New Mexico
where they were abandoned on July 12, 1917. Two days later U.S. troops
rescued the men.

UA Vice Provost and Historian Dr. Juan Garcia says finding these documents
may offer a painful insight into Arizona history during World War I.

"Nativism and hysteria generated by war can lead people to do things that
they normally wouldn't do," Garcia said.

The documents are the first original items from the Bisbee Deportation to
be found at the Cochise County courthouse.

Superior Court Clerk Denise Lundin says the documents will become archived.

"We're finding history and we're looking at a document signed by a person
who's long dead, who really tells us a story through those documents,"
Lundin says.

University of Arizone web archive on Bisbee deportations


March 26 - April 4, 2006

Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Allies Gear Up for McDonald's Truth Tour 2006

Major Rally April 1st, Chicago, IL

WHERE: From Immokalee to Chicago (home of McDonald’s) and points in
between, including Louisville, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Ann
Arbor, Madison, South Bend, and more!

WHO: You – and farmworkers from Immokalee. If you’d like to join us in
Chicago or you live along the route, contact us to see how you can
participate, at workers@ciw-online.org

CIW members organizing for the "Real Rights Tour" at a recent remote
broadcast of the CIW's low-power radio station "Radio Conciencia" in

WHAT: Farmworkers from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and their
allies will travel by caravan from Immokalee, FL, home of one of the
largest farmworker communities in the country, to Chicago, IL, home of the
world’s largest restaurant chain, McDonald’s.

On April 1st – the fifth anniversary of the launch of the successful Taco
Bell Boycott – the caravan will be joined by supporters from throughout
the region for a major rally in Chicago, where they will call on the
fast-food giant McDonald’s to work with the CIW and help establish real
labor rights for the workers who pick tomatoes for McDonald’s suppliers.

Why striking bus drivers in Tehran are the real defenders of Muslim rights

by Nick Cohen

from The Guardian

For three weeks, there have been demonstrations across the planet about a great injustice done to Muslims. After baton-wielding cops inflicted dozens of injuries, the fear of death is in the air. George W Bush's State Department has warned of 'systematic oppression', while secularists and fundamentalists have revealed their mutually incompatible values. Since you ask, I am not talking about the global menace of Scandinavian cartoonists that has so terrified our fearless free press, but mass arrests in Iran.

The media have barely mentioned the story, even though it cuts through the nonsense about a clash of civilisations between the 'West' and the 'Muslims'. The Muslims of Tehran are proving themselves to be anything but a monolithic bloc happy to follow the orders of the ayatollahs and their demented President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There are huge class divisions to begin with, and close to the bottom of the heap are the city's bus drivers. The authorities refused to allow them an independent trade union and ruled that an 'Islamic council' in the offices of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company would represent their interests. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the pious have not proved the doughtiest fighters for better pay and conditions. The bus drivers claimed that managers were stealing money from their pay packets. They formed their own union and threatened to strike at the end of January.

Ahmadinejad won the rigged Iranian elections last year with a promise to stand up for the little man against the Islamic Republic's corrupt elite. Faced with a choice between sticking to his word and carrying on with despotism, he showed his true colours by allowing the most ferocious crackdown Tehran has seen since the religious authorities crushed dissident journalists and students in 1999.

Radicals at Work: Young Labor Activists Building Power from Below

A forum hosted by the Rank and File Youth Project and the Starbucks Workers Union.

Young activists are taking jobs in targeted workplaces (transit,
telecommunications, public schools, and retail) to organize.
These inside organizers are building a stronger labor movement from the bottom up; fighting for stronger, more democratic unions;
challenging racism, sexism, and homophobia on the job; and beating back the corporate assault on working people.
Come hear their stories and find out how you can become an inside organizer.

When? Saturday, February 18th, 7:00 PM

Where? Bluestockings, 172 Allen St. (at Stanton St.; F train to 2nd Avenue)

What is the RANK AND file Youth Project? We are a network of young activists and workers organizing to promote a grassroots perspective on radical labor activism. We help young activists find union jobs, connect them with experienced rank-and-file union activists, and serve as a support network for these inside organizers. For more
information, email ranknfileyouth.project@gmail.com.

What is the Starbucks Workers Union? We are Starbucks workers
organizing for better wages and raises, guaranteed hours, an end to understaffing, and a healthier and safer workplace. Visit
www.starbucksunion.org for more information about the campaign.

The Way They See It

Frustrated by Low Wages, Starbucks Employees Sow Union Seeds

John Davisson, Columbia Spectator

As if ordering a cup of coffee wasn’t complicated enough these days, things could get even muckier if federal labor law weighs in.

Since 2004, a group of baristas known as the Starbucks Workers Union has sought collective bargaining rights for the chain’s employees citywide, citing a need for improved pay and healthier working conditions.

While SWU has been unable to gain recognition from Starbucks or the National Labor Relations Board, the federal body that mediates labor disputes in the private sector, members are hoping that a recent wave of unfair labor allegations against the company might reverse its fortunes.

“Never before has such a fundamental anti-union and anti-worker company been so successful at creating a socially responsible image,” said David Gross, an SWU organizer and Starbucks barista. “They’ve embraced the Wal-Mart style of union-busting.”

After petitioning the NLRB in Nov. 2005, the group won a hearing at the board’s New York Regional Office, during which an administrative law judge was to review charges of illegal labor practices at several of the chain’s outlets. Members allege that Starbucks supervisors have
threatened or terminated baristas who took part in pro-union activities, both of which are illegal under the National Labor Relations Act. Originally scheduled for Tuesday, the hearing was pushed back to March 6, pending a review of several new accusations.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

Even Without a Union, Florida Wal-Mart Workers Use Collective Action to Enforce Rights
Nick Robinson, Labor Notes

Workers at Wal-Mart and other big-box retail chains—like workers in any mostly nonunion industry with low pay and tense, dreary working conditions—are generally a disgruntled lot. In central Florida, Wal-Mart workers are fighting and sometimes winning campaigns using collective action to solve both shop floor and larger industry-wide problems.

Workplace Position Paper

North East Federation of Anarcho-Communists (NEFAC)


As anarchist-communists, we want a radical reorganization of
the workplace. We want workplaces that are run by directly democratic
federated workers' and community-based councils. We want the highest
decision-making body to be general assemblies of workers held on the shop
floor and in the communities where they live. We want to abolish the wage
system, end the alienation and division of labor, and usher in a new
society of libertarian communism.

Jay Driskell writes:

Support Striking Teaching Assistants at New York University

Online Petition in Support of Striking TAs at NYU

List-Subscribe: here,

E-mail: here, Subject=subscribe

Please Forward Widely....

Hey all,

A quick report on the labor rally at NYU from Friday. The turnout was quite
good on short notice — well over 1500 folks from dozens of unions. The most
significant in attendance were Ron Gettelfinger, the president of the UAW, John
Wilhelm, the president of the hospitality division of UNITE HERE, John Sweeney —
the president of the AFL-CIO, and several city council members — all of whom
promised to do everything in their power to help GSOC win.

The President of
the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) at CUNY, Barbara Bowen, also spoke to the
importance of this fight, not only for the future of intellectual labor, but
also for the labor movement as a whole. "Winning this fight today is as
important as the air traffic controllers strike was early in Reagan's first
term," she said. A representative from the Teamsters promised to do everything
he could to back the strike.

Argentine Self Management

Michael Albert

This October I spent a week in Buenos Aires, Argentina learning about Argentina's workers movement to recuperate factories.

During the recent corporate globalization inspired economic downturns in Argentina, workers confronted disaster when their capitalist workplaces often went bankrupt. To preserve
income and avoid possible starvation, workers in failing plants in certain cases decided to recuperate their workplaces back into viable businesses despite the capitalist owner being unable to make a go of it.

Ignoring state opposition, aggressive competition, old equipment, and failed demand, workers in these instances took over roughly a hundred and ninety plants over the past five years. In each occupied workplace, we were told during our visit, not only did the capitalist owner leave the
operation, so too did prior professional and conceptual employees including managers and engineers. Where the privileged employees felt their prospects would be better served if they looked elsewhere rather than clinging to a failing operation, the unskilled and rote workers had to
recuperate their failing workplace or suffer unemployment. Thus to date the Argentine occupations, we were told by a highly conscious organizer in the movement, "have not been acts of ideology or followed a revolutionary plan." They have been, instead, "acts of desperate self defense." Yet most interestingly, provocatively, and inspirationally, after taking over a company, which usually required a struggle of many months to overcome political resistance from the state, and after then running the plants for a time, the recuperation projects have become increasingly


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