Report back on recent day of action in solidarity with Seattle IWW local 650 who are fighting against an illegal lockout by Grassroots Campaigns.
Fellow Workers from the Seattle IWW Industrial Union local 650 (IU650) at Grassroots Campaigns (GCI) are facing an illegal office closure by the GCI bosses in retaliation for an Unfair Labor Practice Strike action protesting egregious labor violations. Just under a week after the office closed, Wobblies at the Seattle GCI job branch called for a National Day of Action on Friday, August 10th. Wobblies in other GCI offices around the country are starting to face increased heat from management’s aggressive union busting. Most are fighting back – and winning. Here’s a quick roundup from each of the seven actions.
Action in Seattle focused on the national legal strategy against GCI. Wobblies have served multiple small claims notices for stolen wages and filed suits with multiple Washington State agencies. Seattle also participated in the nationwide phone zap that helped paralyze the GCI Central Office. GCI is trying to cut and run, but they cannot hide for long.
The Seattle IU650 Wobblies also received a dubious parting gift from GCI management earlier in the week. Multiple Fellow Workers found that travel reimbursement checks paid out by GCI on August 3 bounced, and the money was directly removed from their bank accounts. GCI’s legendary pettiness and vindictiveness tasted particularly bitter when we discovered multiple Wobblies’ bank accounts over drafted thanks to GCI. For folks barely getting by due to the boss’ repression, that $30 means a lot.
NEW YORK CITY
The NYC Wobblies stepped up big time in solidarity with IU650. They held a large picket outside the office and gave the canvassers flyers. According to the NYC Wobs, they talked to “hordes of workers.” Workers told the picketing Wobblies how furious the director was with this action.
— IWW NYC GMB (@IWWNYC) August 10, 2018
Philly Wobblies greeted GCI management with a surprise picket and flyering session early in the morning. Wobblies had great conversations with the workers entering the office and handed out many flyers describing the precise exploitation canvassers experience at the hands of GCI management.
During the most recent day of action, supporting the Seattle Unfair Labor Practice Strike, a Boston Wobbly entered the corporate office and personally served a copy Seattle’s demand letter to a GCI cofounder. The Boston GCI field office responded with a mass firing of canvassers suspected to have been in contact with the Boston IWW.
The Boston General Membership Branch held a sizable picket outside the GCI office in tandem with a couple allied groups. Wobblies handed out flyers and had conversations with canvassers leaving the office for the day. A Boston Wobbly spoke with and handed out flyers to several workers in a nearby business, who were supportive of the action.
Picketers made a connection with workers at a different non-profit office seeking union representation. They offered to connect the lead with the Boston Wobblies.
SF BAY AREA
Bay Area Wobblies braved the hellish wildfire smoke brought on by the past 200 years of capitalist development to flyer outside the San Francisco Grassroots office.
Before getting to Day of Action events, we must spend a moment on some heroic actions the New Orleans GCI workers have pulled off in the past couple of weeks. First, major congratulations to New Orleans for receiving NLRB certification earlier this week – after multiple petty challenges and firings by GCI management. About two weeks ago, NOLA IU650 Wobblies sat through a field manager meeting where director Darrius Summers was recorded telling lies about IWW, and expressing a strong opinion that the IWW should not be able to knock on peoples’ doors to talk about unions. In other words, Darrius and his lackeys at a canvassing company told IWW members they should not be allowed to canvass for their union. But he says he’s pro-union! Just not the IWW, which he says is all about “striking and protesting”.
The NOLA IU650 members celebrated their recent union certification by passing out flyers throughout the office, much to the chagrin of GCI management’s lackeys.
The Raleigh-Durham IWW reported that they had a successful flyering action.
The Vermont IWW and NYC IWW have been laying a full court press on getting media attention and social media posts across Twitter and Facebook. One particularly damning post includes a photo of one of GCI’s executive managers posing for a photo with AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka. That post has been shared hundreds of times. Please join the campaign by tweeting with #GCI!
Hey @RichardTrumka, why are you hanging out with union busting @GrassrootsC? GCI locked out their workers in Seattle, fired canvassers in NOLA for organizing, and are refusing to bargain in Portland? Solidarity forever, right? Never cross a picket line, right? WTF!? #1u pic.twitter.com/WHHQjTiwDP
— Green Mountain IWW (@GrnMtnWobblies) August 6, 2018
This campaign is really making GCI management quake in their boots. The fight continues to reopen the Seattle office, to get fired canvassers rehired and compensated, and more. In the meantime, Seattle canvassers need help paying their bills, so please continue contributing to the Hardship Fund if you can!
With lots of love and solidarity,
IWW IU650 at GCI Seattle