#striketober
October 5, 2021 12:10 PM   Subscribe

 
For anyone like me with a reflexive reluctance to click links with "fox" in the URL, here's the Detroit Free Press on the Kellogg strike.

I have such sympathy for the Kaiser nurses. I mean, I have sympathy for pretty much anyone driven to strike, but anyone who's been dealing with the utter horror of health care work for the past 18 months deserves basically the rest of their life off, as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks for these links, toastyk - here's hoping for better pay and benefits for all those striking or considering it. (Heck, for EVERYBODY.)
posted by kristi at 12:18 PM on October 5 [33 favorites]


If we're lucky, striketober becomes an actual ongoing thing.
posted by aramaic at 12:20 PM on October 5 [37 favorites]


My 12 year old, three weeks ago: "I don't understand why I can't have Oreos just because you want to be a good person!" Not looking forward to having a Froot Loops conversation so soon.
posted by Mchelly at 12:21 PM on October 5 [36 favorites]


I am seeing more and more folks at my university, particularly the grad TAs, rumbling about striking over unsafe teaching conditions (i.e. mandating in-person classes) during the pandemic. It's interesting to watch in a state with way more union protections than I've been in for most of the last decade.

In Portugal, almost half of all teachers are currently on strike.
posted by sciatrix at 12:22 PM on October 5 [17 favorites]




Maybe you could try out Hydrox cookies.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:27 PM on October 5 [10 favorites]


It might be corny but I find the names of unions evocative and moving. For example, "Bakery Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union". Either "workers" or describing the work they do, like "millers". Unlike the company leadership's phrasing of "employees". It really sets up the contrast of how the groups are thinking of the people striking.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:30 PM on October 5 [60 favorites]


One of my acquaintances works a part time gig as "talent" in the local film industry. I asked them on Sunday to fill me in on their status.

Basically, they are working very very long hours every day of the week with no real benefits other than pay per hour. They admitted to almost falling asleep at the wheel a couple of times.

Safety protocols are not up to standards.....they predicted the vote would be to strike.

It's time for those who have resources to help all the various line workers; whenever, however and wherever.
posted by mightshould at 12:34 PM on October 5 [15 favorites]


By the way, is a 98.7% vote to strike normal? It seems major to me to be near unanimous, but maybe that is fairly typical for successful strike votes?
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:37 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


no strike at my place but they opened up the contract and gave us a dollar raise and 5k bonus for staying until next sept

people are still leaving

and that's the real national story - people are dropping out - they're hard to hire in - and everyone's burned out and pissed off if they're working

and kellogg's? they won't be happy until the porter st plant is one guy pushing a button - and what you don't hear about is how they're probably laying off most of the contracted workers and then hiring them back later

been there, done that, got a better job

you have no idea how much people in battle creek resent kellogg's
posted by pyramid termite at 12:40 PM on October 5 [38 favorites]


> and kellogg's? they won't be happy until the porter st plant is one guy pushing a button

I think that's every line of work now. Hell, I work for a public library system, and if management had its way the only employees would be managers and maybe one security guard/janitor per branch.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:45 PM on October 5 [16 favorites]


If you want to know more about why IATSE members voted to authorize a strike, I highly recommend the Instagram account ia_stories. They've been posting anonymous stories from union members about the working conditions that go into making TV shows and movies. It is horrifying.
posted by mcduff at 12:48 PM on October 5 [18 favorites]


At St. Vincent's in Massachusetts, nurses have been striking for 210 days.

At McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon, 400 frontline healthcare workers strike today.

At Sutter Health in Antioch, California, 350 healthcare workers join the Kaiser Permanente strike.

At Eagleville Hospital in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 110 healthcare workers on the behavioral health and addictions ward unanimously vote to strike.

At Network in Hartford, Connecticut, threatening to strike wins 300 group and nursing home workers concessions from corporate. Strikes remain on the table from workers at a number of other facilities.

Fuck, y'all.

(That Kaiser Permanente strike may eventually include at least 8,000 workers across eight states--there are major articles covering it from Oregon, California, and Washington that I spotted in that cursory news search.)
posted by sciatrix at 12:50 PM on October 5 [24 favorites]


Employers keep complaining that it is hard to hire and hard to retain workers -- maybe I'm simplistic, but I would think that offering well-paid jobs with excellent worker protections (ie, what unions generally push for) would be an excellent way to attract and retain workers in a tough labor market.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:53 PM on October 5 [48 favorites]


One of my acquaintances works a part time gig as "talent" in the local film industry. I asked them on Sunday to fill me in on their status. [...] Safety protocols are not up to standards.....they predicted the vote would be to strike. It's time for those who have resources to help all the various line workers; whenever, however and wherever.

About 30-35% of my social media feed is former and current entertainment professionals; and universally they all started posting shows of support to the IATSE members about two weeks ago, when IATSE was first discussing whether to strike.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:55 PM on October 5 [19 favorites]


So proud of IATSE membership! What a stunning turnout and result! I'm in TAG and we're a month behind them, our parent union, until our current deal expires. Our sometimes a little sleepy crowd seems all fired up and I hope we'll all have your back if it comes to an actual strike. I know I'll do my part and render support where I can. And if there's no resolution by end of the month I hope we'll vote to join you!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:55 PM on October 5 [11 favorites]


Employers keep complaining that it is hard to hire and hard to retain workers

It's beginning to look like somebody declared a general strike but nobody told the media or the employers. "What's this, people just stopped working because they want to be paid more and have better jobs? There couldn't possibly be a economic term for such a thing!"
posted by AzraelBrown at 12:57 PM on October 5 [61 favorites]


If you're skimming, as I am:

IATSE = International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees

From the Variety article:
The Directors Guild of America issued a statement of solidarity after the vote tally was announced, and called on the AMPTP to reach an agreement. “The quality of life and living wage issues they are fighting for are important to all workers on set,” the DGA board said.

The strike threat comes as Hollywood has never been busier, especially on the TV side. Soundstages are at or near full capacity, and productions have had difficulty finding enough workers to keep shooting. That has led to exhaustion and burnout, but the high demand has also emboldened union members.
I didn't realize TV production was so busy right now. I hope that does, indeed, provide a sense of urgency to management to meet workers' demands.
posted by kristi at 1:03 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]


I fear that this "we can't hire anyone because lazy people don't want to work due to government handouts" narrative that's been everywhere for the past year was management laying the groundwork for a pushback to this. I think we're going to see Republican-led states hit back hard against workers, more than they even do now.
posted by star gentle uterus at 1:03 PM on October 5 [19 favorites]


It's beginning to look like somebody declared a general strike but nobody told the media or the employers.

it's like... magic!

But good. The "work ethic" in the US is so often just exploitation. It's healthy that, however it comes about, it should be corrected.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:04 PM on October 5 [11 favorites]


I could have sworn I saw something that said the Los Angeles area dock workers (ILWU) were planning to strike alongside the IATSE if that vote happened. Does anyone have more information about that?
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:08 PM on October 5


I didn't realize TV production was so busy right now. I hope that does, indeed, provide a sense of urgency to management to meet workers' demands.

It's all the streaming platforms. People being stuck inside during quarantine sent them to Netflix and Hulu and such and the demand got so great that the streaming platforms got motivated to make yet more shows to meet the demand. However, there was one problem with that - and for that, I will quote from a college friend, who's an animator who recently explained the problem on his own Facebook feed.
When Netflix and streaming services first started, they asked the Hollywood Unions to pay us below minimum rates because they weren’t sure if streaming would take off. All the Unions agreed. Now, a decade later, streaming services are the top producers, money makers, and award winners — yet they still pay below union minimums and don’t contribute to benefits.

When I say that, over the past couple of years, I have worked harder than the previous twenty — this is why. Network shows are fixed at 21 1/2 minutes. Streaming shows don’t have a fixed limit, so my episodes are frequently 27-28-29 minutes. I even directed a 31 minute episode. Because budgets are so small, we are given less time than a Network show and with one fewer artist on the story crew. So - with fewer artists and less time - we are drawing 30% MORE footage. This is why I have been working 12 hour days, super stressed, with little time for FB or hobbies or taking care of my health the way I should.

Streaming services asked us to sacrifice our Union minimums and retirement benefits in order to help them become viable. Now, a decade later, they are gigantic, rich, and the primary way people watch entertainment. We now want our MINIMUM wages and benefits restored. The Producers have said “no.”
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:13 PM on October 5 [97 favorites]


My 12 year old, three weeks ago: "I don't understand why I can't have Oreos just because you want to be a good person!"

Which provides some valuable insight into the mental age of supposed adults of the Libertarian/anti-labour persuasion.
posted by klanawa at 1:26 PM on October 5 [38 favorites]


If you think Oreos and Fruit Loops are hard to give up, Heaven Hill distillery is also on strike.
posted by tizzie at 1:27 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


I fear that this "we can't hire anyone because lazy people don't want to work due to government handouts" narrative that's been everywhere for the past year was management laying the groundwork for a pushback to this.

The "worker shortage" should be reframed as a wage shortage.
posted by rhizome at 1:41 PM on October 5 [74 favorites]


Sure, but that's the point. It wasn't a good faith argument, it was to fire up the base so when legislatures start passing garbage with titles like the "Hard Work and Personal Responsibility Act" to hurt workers it will be sold as just trying to motivate moochers.
posted by star gentle uterus at 1:46 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


I just checked Twitter and apparently 2k telecom workers for Frontier in CA are now on strike.
posted by toastyk at 2:14 PM on October 5 [6 favorites]


Work life balance means working them just hard enough that they don't die too early.

It's like there's some disconnect between the correlation of working hard equals success... Did that really used to exist in this country, grandpa?
posted by Jacen at 2:19 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]


Bakery Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union".

1937 Cigar makers strike.
"Lacking a union, with no means to negotiate wages, the women had attempted to ask management for a 10% raise. But their concerns were never addressed. Five days after a successful General Motors plant occupation in Flint, MI, women of the Websten-Eisenlohr cigar company put a plan in motion. This strike was a part of a string of labor activism that began diffusing at quick rates during the early 20th century throughout industrial cities. Goals of the cigar strike included union recognition, a protest of working conditions, and demands for higher and fair wages. Leaders of the strike put up a notice on the bulletin board in Polish announcing the protest, and on February 16, 1937, the women laborers conducted a sit-in."
posted by clavdivs at 2:21 PM on October 5 [4 favorites]


The thing I wish was at the top of every story about IATSE: their vote had 90% turnout, with 98.6% voting in favor of authorizing a strike.

I was a Seattle teacher when we went on strike in 2015, and I was there for the strike vote. A strike seemed like a foregone conclusion by the time we voted on it, and I felt like the union was really unified--but we weren't that unified.

98.6% is Fuck Around and Find Out numbers.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:05 PM on October 5 [81 favorites]



posted by Fiasco da Gama at 3:06 PM on October 5 [22 favorites]


Good shit all around, you love to see it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:21 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]


Mr. BlahLaLa is in IATSE and I have to say I've never felt such pride in American labor as the moment when I saw the turnout number for the strike authorization vote. Can you imagine what our country would be like if we had 90% turnout for every election?

(Also, I have personally lived through or witnessed literally everything posted on @IA_stories on Insta, so yes, I agree that it's the best encapsulation of what below-the-line entertainment industry work is actually like and what the strike's main issues are. At bare minimum, I too have my "gee, I almost killed myself by falling asleep at the wheel" story. I don't know any below-the-line crewmember who doesn't.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:11 PM on October 5 [22 favorites]


I love this all around. I grew up in a union family. Grandfather was a teamster and my mother was in the teacher's union for years. Saw many strikes. I believe everyone should be in a union. There's no better way to balance power between the owners and the workers than for the workers to say "Fuck this shit" when they're working conditions are bad. I've wanted to unionize my own employer but of course the last guys that tried got fired (which, yes, is illegal but if you're not paying them enough so that they want to strike they probably can't afford lawyers either). The employee/employer relationship in the US is fucked up. Anything that might push the needle back towards a balance rather than exploitation is a good thing.
posted by downtohisturtles at 4:19 PM on October 5 [10 favorites]


It might be corny but I find the names of unions evocative and moving.

The union for sex workers in Australia, where sex work is legal and regulated in some jurisdictions, is called the Scarlet Alliance, which I love because a) of course sex workers need a union, and b) it sounds like a faction from World of Warcraft
posted by Merus at 4:48 PM on October 5 [40 favorites]


I'm a member of SEIU. My union rep and I have been gently -- well, I'm gentle, she's certainly not -- trying to get my coworkers to join. I'm a generation older than my coworkers, and it's interesting how we have different perspectives that I think are directly related to that: I hunted down my union and asked when they'd be coming by, but the people I work with reluctant to join and at least one didn't know what a union was.

SEIU got us a 6% raise, starting October 1st, but I know that only from talking with union people -- our employer hasn't officially told us yet. I made sure to tell all my coworkers (in our group text chat, because they are young people) that the union got us that raise.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:03 PM on October 5 [19 favorites]


It's like there's some disconnect between the correlation of working hard equals success... Did that really used to exist in this country, grandpa?

Given the popularity of unions even during supposed Golden Ages I would say no.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:04 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


By the way, is a 98.7% vote to strike normal? It seems major to me to be near unanimous, but maybe that is fairly typical for successful strike votes?

From everything I've been seeing & reading about the IATSE vote, the level of turnout and "yes" vote is pretty darn major, bordering on astounding.

What I'm curious about is that this is mostly focused (ba dum ching!) on film crews, but there're a ton of IATSE locals for stagehands and crew for live events around the country - if they strike in solidarity there's a lot of venues & theaters & promoters (looking at you, Live Nation) that are gonna freak the fuck out, because they are just starting to be able to have shows again after being dark for a year and a half.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:15 PM on October 5 [11 favorites]


I'm curious, the Frontier tweet was removed, but I *cough* know some people *cough* who work at frontier who may have received a memo on an order from a tech indicating a strike of some sort.

There were previous indications of something regarding a related department a few weeks ago, but nobody was quite sure what. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I'm pretty sure this is related. AFAIK there has been no official announcement?

Anyways, it's great to see spontaneous random strikes. If the law makes a general strike and sympathy strikes illegal, at least these are all legitimate valid strikes directly relating to ones own "turf" (because as we all know, when corps bribe senators, that's totally not collusion and they're just "acting in their own best interest" even if they are all acting in one voice).
posted by symbioid at 5:53 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]


Good time to start thinking about organizing our own workplaces; check out EWOC!

You may also enjoy: Labor Notes, Organizing Work, Strikewave, Labor Wave Radio, Kim Kelly, This Week in US Unions, CM Lewis, Black Work Talk, Belabored podcast, the IWW and Jane McAlevey!
posted by latkes at 8:15 PM on October 5 [12 favorites]


May the odds be in our collective favor through all of this
posted by JoeXIII007 at 8:35 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


If strikes are inevitable I wish they had happened when Trump was in office.
posted by waving at 9:21 PM on October 5 [5 favorites]


Fuck yeah! Rise up, workers!
posted by dazed_one at 9:55 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


I too have my "gee, I almost killed myself by falling asleep at the wheel" story. I don't know any below-the-line crewmember who doesn't.

Yeah my brief dalliance in the film industry is how I learned about Provigil/Modinafil, the narcolepsy drug that now is widely used as the modern amphetamine replacement for officially for the military and as a "work drug" unofficially for lots of working people.
posted by JauntyFedora at 10:41 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


> It's all the streaming platforms.

unions as talent agencies...
Endeavor's Chairman Renegotiates How Movie Stars Get Paid Online [ungated] - "The biggest TV producers now make several shows a year. With shorter seasons and no profit sharing, actors and writers need to appear in multiple projects to make as much money. That means agencies need more clients working more times to make as much money. And that translates to more agents. I guess everything is about streaming."
Our clients make the movies, and you need great talent to make the movies.

If streaming is so good for talent. Why do we see so many unions, whether it’s the crew or the writers, complaining about getting screwed over?

I am not the person to speak to physical production. We have a division, but it’s for the high-end cinematographer, people who are economically not as unhappy as others.

On the writers guild and unions, they were used to royalties from TV and film. There was a real methodology that had been negotiated over a series of years. Now something goes on streaming and there’s no transparency, fewer optics into how the show performed. How do you get your fair share of your royalty fee?

Are you comfortable with the level of transparency?

No, we want more. And we’ll get it over time. There will be a necessity for streamers to share more. The real question is what metric are going to be important? Right now acquisition and engagement are the most important. I would like to see, even when they buy out a back-end on a client, I’d like to see something if it goes over X million streams.

A performance bonus.

This is where history repeats itself. A new technology comes in, and you try to get your arms around it. It’s no different from selling a TV show to HBO instead of broadcast. There was no syndication. Even if it’s a huge hit, there was no back-end. Parties worked through it, and figured out how to deal with it. It was the same with the DVD. Studios didn’t want to disclose how much they made from it. We worked through it.

Streaming is a new way for content to be exhibited, but also its economic value is different. It used to be you could see how much it made and profit and loss for studios. Now there’s a situation where the individual project doesn’t matter.
also btw...
  • Introducing the Real Will Smith - "Nothing has been easy about the making of Emancipation, an Apple TV+ project that tells the story of 'Whipped Peter', the Black man whose tattered back is depicted in one of the most famous photos of an enslaved American. The movie was originally slated to shoot in Georgia, but filming was relocated in response to the state's attempt to pass new voting restrictions."
  • 'Student Athlete,' the latest doc from LeBron James, examines the exploitation of college athletes - "A new documentary about the exploitation of college athletes is right on time. The arrival of college football season has brought with it a fresh crop of horror stories."
  • Hoop Dreams - "You have to realize that nobody cares about you. You're black, you're a young male. All you're supposed to do is deal drugs and mug women. The only reason you're here–you can make their team win. If their team wins, these schools get a lot of money. This whole thing is revolving around money."
  • Payday for US college athletes rattles $14bn industry [ungated] - "For more than 100 years student athletes received no payment but a U-turn means they could earn as much as $1.5bn this year alone."
  • NLRB memo: College football players are employees - "College athletes who earn millions for their schools are employees, the National Labor Relations Board's top lawyer said in guidance released Wednesday that would allow players at private universities to unionize and negotiate over their working conditions." (College Athletes Could Unionize Under a New NLRB Memo)
> The "work ethic" in the US is so often just exploitation. It's healthy that, however it comes about, it should be corrected.

Nobel Prize-winning economist: The world of long work hours is ripe for a revolution - "Nobel Prize-winning economist Esther Duflo says American work culture needs a 'revolution' in how it thinks about hours on the job. The traditional obsession with long hours as the hallmark of productivity needs to go, especially for women in the workforce."
Congress is currently debating how to enact legislation that takes these issues into account. The “human capital” component of President Joe Biden’s two-part infrastructure spending plan, which Democratic leaders are trying to pass this month, seeks to make paid family leave and child-care funding core components of the social safety net.

What makes a good worker? Not long hours

According to Duflo, work culture itself needs to change, and specifically, the American obsession with long hours that places a major limitation on women succeeding in their careers. She says it is time for “getting rid of this idea that a good worker is a worker that puts in 90 hours a week.”

As much as the world of work has experienced an upheaval in the past two years, today’s labor culture can still be compared to the 1950s “Mad Men” model, according to Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

“What that pandemic has shown us is that that model has never worked for women,” Mason said. In a professional culture that glorifies being busy, women adapted because they had to, but work culture was never designed to work for them.

“The first [lesson we learned] is that the workplace and our workplace model was not working for most workers, or half of the workforce: women,” Mason said...

The current work culture is unsustainable, according to Julie Kashen, director of women’s economic justice and senior fellow at The Century Foundation, “I think we will be a healthier and better society if we start shifting our values,” she said.

That means employers need to treat employees “like people who have lives outside of the workplace,” Kashen said... The policy ideas being debated in Congress would offer support and alternative options for working mothers. “Transformative change is on the table for the first time in a very long time,” Kashen said. “We may see Congress address some of these new key issues that would make a huge difference.”
if congress can't, unions will! :P
posted by kliuless at 12:34 AM on October 6 [20 favorites]


At Network in Hartford, Connecticut, threatening to strike wins 300 group and nursing home workers concessions from corporate. Strikes remain on the table from workers at a number of other facilities.

It's worth noting that if corporate -- which is to say, capital -- could afford those concessions now, they always could have afforded them, and the concessions represent a fraction of the profit that isn't just going directly into the shareholders' pockets.

US-ian society in general and the so-called "liberal media" in particular are inherently biased against labor, so it's good to see them flexing their muscle.

I hope some day we also see the concept of an "exempt employee" consigned to the dustbin of history, so corporations can't lay off workers and expect the rest to make up for the work in unpaid overtime.
posted by Gelatin at 5:02 AM on October 6 [11 favorites]


If strikes are inevitable I wish they had happened when Trump was in office.

Why?

I mean that very genuinely: do you think that workers would have succeeded more effectively under a Trump administration? Do you think that the political discourse would be better if workers were striking? Do you think that successful strikes under a presidential administration weaken the successes of that administration?

Why does that timing matter?

I'm asking that because when I look at a strike, I see workers making a big leap of faith: people risking their livelihoods and sometimes their bodies and lives to try to demonstrate that the power of the many can overcome the power of the few, even if individually the few can swat any dozen of the many aside without blinking. The worse the situation gets, the harder it is to hold that faith collectively enough that a critical number of people don't flinch away from it at the moment of greatest tension.

Strikes are terrifying for workers, especially the first time, especially when they happen without security and trust that the strike fund will catch them if they fall. If I was considering striking, the risk of federal administration doing something short sighted and bloody would certainly factor into my calculations.

Think about the police violence at protests this past summer. Now remember that the first time the US federal government has ever ordered military air strikes on its own civilians was over the Battle of Blair Mountain, and consider: what might Trump have tried to do?
posted by sciatrix at 5:43 AM on October 6 [25 favorites]


I mean that very genuinely: do you think that workers would have succeeded more effectively under a Trump administration? Do you think that the political discourse would be better if workers were striking? Do you think that successful strikes under a presidential administration weaken the successes of that administration?

Why does that timing matter?


I can see why people might wish that if there to be widespread disruptions, that it had happened to Trump and be blamed on him. But, personally, I'd be a lot happier to strike now, with a semi-supportive administration in the White House, than under Trump when there was a 50/50 chance they'd just send in the goons.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:22 AM on October 6 [8 favorites]


Around 301 CE, near the end of the "Crisis of the Third Century," Emperor Diocletian introduced a series of legal and economic reforms. Among them was an edict tying formerly free agricultural workers to the lands they worked on, and making their professions hereditary.

Medieval historians now consider this to have been one of the necessary conditions for the emergence of the feudal system. I'm sure, at this very moment, some MBA somewhere is thinking, "Man, if only there was a way we could legally make people stay at their jobs, without having to offer them better pay, benefits, or working conditions..."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:01 AM on October 6 [14 favorites]


I mean that very genuinely: do you think that workers would have succeeded more effectively under a Trump administration? Do you think that the political discourse would be better if workers were striking? Do you think that successful strikes under a presidential administration weaken the successes of that administration?

That depends on the strike’s effects. People perk up when their daily lives are made inconvenient. Meat or fuel made scarce would definitely discredit the government for some people.

However, Trump is a true master of deflecting blame so I doubt it would have made much difference.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:25 AM on October 6


The latest on Kellogg's - apparently Kellogg's has been threatening to move production down to Mexico.
posted by toastyk at 9:17 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Damn. I've been hearing about the IATSE strike already - New Orleans has a lot of film work going on, and it's come up in local groups - but this is impressively wide-spread! Here's hoping for the unions winning every negotiation.

(I keep on wondering if my friends in IATSE 839, the Screen Cartoonist's Guild (aka "the animator's union") are gonna end up striking too. I don't see 839 in the graphic at the head of the IATSE post about the strike so I guess either they are all quislings, or 839 is one of the few locals that's been doing a good job in beating back management's demands for more work for less pay.)
posted by egypturnash at 9:53 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


(If you, like me, were curious where the hashtag was “started by the AFL-CIO,” it looks like this might be the original tweet.)
posted by sidesh0w at 10:10 AM on October 6


My 12 year old, three weeks ago: "I don't understand why I can't have Oreos just because you want to be a good person!" Not looking forward to having a Froot Loops conversation so soon.

Suggested viewing: Newsies!
posted by corb at 11:11 AM on October 6 [5 favorites]


"I don't see 839 in the graphic at the head of the IATSE post about the strike"

That's because even though TAG (Local 839) is part of IATSE they negotiate separately from them. However, TAG negotiations are built on top of the basic IATSE agreements and they're part of the overall health and pension plan (MPIPHP) as well.

TAG is about a month behind IATSE in terms of negotiations and their current deal had been extended to end of this month. If IATSE does not succeed in getting an agreement negotiated by then, TAG will have their own strike authorization vote and, I hope, members will vote to join in with IATSE. If IATSE reaches an agreement before the deadline then TAG negotiations will continue based on the basic agreements reached.

This has both advantages and disadvantages, e.g. TAG gets days for specific negotiations rather than just hours. The reasons for the separation is historical. Up until the early 80s TAG was part of IATSE like the other Locals but then decided to go on a wildcat strike in opposition to them. As a result IATSE kicked out TAG from the unified negotiations and have been negotiating separately as described above.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:24 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


My 12 year old, three weeks ago: "I don't understand why I can't have Oreos just because you want to be a good person!" Not looking forward to having a Froot Loops conversation so soon.

I saw the Kellogg strike, but what strike is affecting Oreos?

This does remind me that there was a grape boycott for most of my childhood. I largely remember this as the time that I ate a ton of grapes every time I was at any kind of event that provided food and was insufficiently lefty. (At the lefty gatherings, of course, everyone was boycotting grapes.) By my teens, it was easier to understand the connection between delicious food and the workers who provide it.
posted by blueberry monster at 12:13 PM on October 6


I'm always curious about calls for boycotts and how they relate to strikes. For instance, at the end of this article about the Kellogg's strike, we have this snippet:
"There is not a sanctioned boycott of Kellogg cereals by the BCTGM or the AFL-CIO," Christensen tells Metro Times. "However if consumers were to take it upon themselves to vow not to buy Kellogg cereals until workers get a fair contract… that is up to the consumer. 😊"
It seems like while the pressure of a boycott could provide assistance, a union calling for a boycott is counterproductive while negotiations are ongoing?

I don't want to be scab-adjacent, but I don't know how many weeks I can really manage without Cracklin' Oat Bran.
posted by phooky at 12:28 PM on October 6


blueberry monster there was a recently resolved strike at Nabisco: Wikipedia
posted by Xoder at 12:48 PM on October 6 [3 favorites]


Thanks, I want to make sure we're not crossing strike lines, even metaphorically here.
posted by blueberry monster at 6:02 PM on October 6 [2 favorites]


It’s not that the union won’t call for a boycott, it’s that that is a big tool and they don’t want to use it too early. They’re starting by just reminding management that it’s an option and also gauging how much traction they get / whether they can pull off a boycott of sufficient scale. The Nabisco strike also started with “well, we’re not calling for a boycott yet…”

Surely there are generic / organic equivalents to Cracklin’ Oat Bran? I know some folks have food sensory issues that make not having That Exact Product really hard and am happy for them to support strikers in other ways, but also the point is to make a small sacrifice for the greater good. Solidarity!
posted by momus_window at 7:23 AM on October 7


Surely there are generic / organic equivalents to Cracklin’ Oat Bran? I know some folks have food sensory issues that make not having That Exact Product really hard and am happy for them to support strikers in other ways, but also the point is to make a small sacrifice for the greater good.

I...took the quip about Cracklin' Oat Bran as just that, a tongue-in-cheek joke.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:13 AM on October 7 [1 favorite]


I am positively gleeful to be living through a modern Labor Movement. I mean, "gleeful" is likely the wrong word, but it captures some of the essence. Don't get me wrong — I don't think the world we're living in is anything close to the best of all possible worlds, but can you imagine the tragedy of being in this situation, getting to this point, and letting things just "get back to normal"? Not taking lessons like "things can get done without everyone sitting in an office cubicle farm" and "the workers who get things done are super important"?

My wife and I went camping at Seneca Rocks this past weekend, and along with the obvious songs to play while driving across Virginia and into West Virginia — "Take Me Home, Country Roads", "Shenandoah Valley" — we also listened to "Solidarity Forever" (for those unfamiliar, wikipedia, youtube). And I not-so-humbly submit my idea for the modern Labor Movement anthem: Strike Party in the USA.

All I've got so far is the beginning of the chorus.
I raise my fist up
They're playing our song
Workers Walk Away
Noddin' my head like yeah
Droppin' my tools like yeah
posted by cardioid at 6:28 AM on October 8 [1 favorite]


I wonder how many people from your target audience use “tools” as we think of them. I could drop my computer stylus, but that feels less dramatic.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:15 PM on October 8




AzraelBrown: It's beginning to look like somebody declared a general strike but nobody told the media or the employers. "What's this, people just stopped working because they want to be paid more and have better jobs? There couldn't possibly be a economic term for such a thing!"

Looks like you called it - Robert Reich in Why Literally Millions of Americans Are Quitting Their Jobs, Time:
“[Employees] don’t want to return to backbreaking or boring, low wage, sh-t jobs,” Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, tells TIME. “Workers are burned out. They’re fed up. They’re fried. In the wake of so much hardship, and illness and death during the past year, they’re not going to take it anymore.”

...

“People are quitting and they’re not taking jobs,” he says. “That’s tantamount to a strike. American workers have, in effect, called a general strike.”
posted by kristi at 4:00 PM on October 14 [3 favorites]


I mean....no. Reich is a cool dude but not a labor historian or labor organizer. It's not a general strike. It's a pandemic and a wave of environmental disasters and political crises leading to a labor shortage that do, together, create conditions that allow many more strikes to occur and to be successful at achieving specific demands, a strike wave. And it's fair to conjecture that a more powerful, militant, striking-and-winning labor movement in the midst of such a strike wave could seed general strikes, as the strike wave of 1945-1946 did. And my feeling is, we should be thinking of what specific power do we want to seize when we have those general strikes, and joining organizations that are building toward outcomes we want - so we don't squander the moment.
posted by latkes at 8:20 PM on October 14 [3 favorites]


I saw in our local news yesterday that our school district's teachers' union also authorized a strike. Vote was something like 98.6 percent in agreement, with almost 100% of members voting. It may not be a general strike...but definitely people are fed up.

California healthcare workers are striking to protest staff shortages.
posted by toastyk at 8:38 AM on October 15 [3 favorites]




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