From October 1950 to January 1952, the Mexican American miners at the Empire Zinc mine in Bayard, New Mexico were on strike, protesting the racial discrimination between them and their Anglo counterparts in pay, safety standards, and quality of life in company housing. Two events make this particular strike stand out from similar strikes at other mines are the involvement of the miners' wives in both requesting better living conditions and later in taking to the picket lines themselves, and after the strike was over, the feminist and pro-labor docudrama made by blacklisted Hollywood film makers, Salt of the Earth (YouTube; lower quality on Archive.org; Wikipedia). [more inside]
"Today, the Chinese working class is fighting. More than thirty years into the Communist Party’s project of market reform, China is undeniably the epicenter of global labor unrest." — Eli Friedman from Jacobin
In December 1946, 100,000 union members participated in a 54-hour general strike that effectively shut down Oakland, California. Since November,425 non-union retail clerks at Kahn’s and Hastings department stores had been picketing for several weeks, attempting to organize as the Retail Clerks (Local 1265). On December 1, after Teamsters refused to deliver merchandise to the stores in solidarity, the Retail Merchants Association, sent in 12 trucks driven by non-union strikebreakers, supported by a 300-member police escort [PDF]. The next day, "the bus drivers," remembers Secretary of the Alameda County Central Labor Council Robert Ash, "told the police that the carmen had never crossed a picket line, and so long as that cop picket line was across the street, they were not going to take the streetcars or the buses through." [more inside]
America's Next Top Picket Line Writers from America's Next Top Model have gone on strike after the Writers Guild of America West began a campaign to unionize reality TV. How many strikes do you know have their own MySpace page, Television without Pity interview, and a model "working it" on the picket line? Ironically, a previous 1988 writers' strike encouraged the current boom in reality TV, as this article argues.
Rev. Jackson rallies West Coast dock workers. I'm proud of Jesse for this action. The workers are only averaging $80K per annum and foreman are averaging only $167K per. I'm surprised he didn't try to do the same for the MLBPA.
Teachers jailed for, well, NOT teaching... (NYT link) I live in Middletown, but I think this is interesting for the general crowd. Aren't teachers allowed to strike? Should they be forced to return to work without a contract? Should they be thrown in jail because the school board won't work with them on a contract?