Whar's on our mind?
Send your o
Labor Notes 7435 MichiganAve.
Demit, Michigan 48210
I I 1 1 1 . 1 I I ' l 1-
treat workers. Contact Pres:dont Nancy
a ainst u n i o n s in general. T h e Remember Woolworth?
w o l e point of u n l o n s i s that only
collectlvel c a n we have any say
Remember Woolworth? Even if you
haven't seen so many of its five-and-dime
Dye-phono 440 775-8400; e-mail
e i t h e r in t e e l e c t o r a l a r e n a or on
stores recently, the company still exists.
I t h e iob.
Obviously, this collective p o w e r
And, according to the Labour Behind the
Label Coalition, it's profiting from the
work of wbmen sewing for piece rates at
sweatshops in Toronto. The Coalition
California Trade Unionists in Support
is o n l v oossible w h e n a l l i n d v i d u a l of Guatemala is working to bring a Guate-
says women are sewing for as little as
1 m e m b & s have a democratic voice
in running t h e union, a n d I agree
$4.50 an hour in contract factories and
as little as $2.50 an hour at home.
malan trade unionist t o California for a
speaking tour in May. The group wants to'
publicize the conditions that still exist for
I that t h e r e s h o u l d b e a great d e a l They'remaking garments for the unionists in that country, even as Central
Woolrich Northern Group, which consists
' more discussion of our olitical
activity. But that i s not e same as8 of Northern Traditions, Northern
Reflections, a'nd Northern Getaway. They
American governments work towards a
2002 goal for joining in an expanded
/ allowing any individual who dip
agrees, after a full and f r e e debate,
get no vacation pay or holidays. and
sometimes work 12 hours a day wlthout
American Free Trade Agreement:
Although some American pol~tlcians
1 are applauding what they call human
to opt out. We can't allow that any overtime pay. rights progress in Guatemaia, some work-
I more than, after a s t r i k e vote, w e
Faced with bad publicity, one Wool- . ers there are still beingmurdered for
worth contractor, Unit6 Fashions, agreed organizing. The Archbishop's Office of
c a n s m i l e a n d wave "hi brother" a t to improve its practices. But Woolworth Human Rights reported 100 murders in
I m e m b e r s who cross t h e i c k e t line. immediately dropped the contractor.
Suzanne has bought e w h o l e 8
A m e r i c a n tradition that anyone can
The Coalition is asking supporters to
write Woolworth to urge the company to
the first 1 0 months of last year. And eco-
nomic policies are killing people by
hunger. Coffee growers do not even pay
clean up its "Northern Sweatshops." Urge the standard $ 3 a day wage.
! i nore e v e n t h e m o s t d e m o c r a t i c to
W o o l w ~ r t h work with contractors to To help bring a Guatemalan unionist to
f e c i s i o n if t doesn't s u i t good old
i ensure compliance with the Ontario California, send a contribution to:
number 1 . Employment Standards Act, rather than California Trade Unionists in Support of
simply cuning them off. The Coalition Guatemala, 615% N. Bonnle Brae St.,
The labor l e a d e r s h i p u n d e r - says just cutting off a contractor hurts Los Angeles, CA 90025.
stands t h e n e e d for a s t r o n g union the workers most and discourages them If you are in California, get your local
political voice a n d that i s a virtue. from voicing complaints. union, church, or other organization to
W e don't h e l p t h e cause of union Fax your letter to Woolworth CEO host the speaker. For information, call
d e m o c r a c y by a t t a c k i n g t h e ' l a b o r Roger Farah at 2121553-2042, or write Cindy Forster at 9091607-2807 or
Larry Derocher, Vice President of Market- Suyapa Portillo at. 2131413-1 525.
skates" w h e n t h e y a r e right. ing, Woolworth Canada. 100 Mainshep
I all t h i s as a Labor ParN
sav Rd., Weston, Ontario M9M 1L5.
r n e m b a who t h i n k s t h e present For more information, contact: Labour Partial Victory in
o o l i t i c a l o o s i t i o n of t h e u n i o n s i s Behind the Label Coalition, 606 Shaw St.,
Toronto, Ontario M6G 3L6., Phone
Neptune Jade Case
k o n g - h g a d e d . But-I want to c o n - 4161532.8584, E-mail: email@example.com. A California judge has tossed out law-
v i n c e my fellow u n i o n i s t s that t h e y suits against ILWU Local 10 Executive
Board member Jack Heyman and the
a r e wrong-headed and t h a t we Oberlin College Workers Golden Gate Chapter of the Labor Party
n e e d our o w n party. I don't w a n t for picketing which prevented a ship from
t h e "right" to take my m a r b l e s and Face 'Harassment unioadina scab cargo in Oakland last
go h o m e j u s t because I don't get In early February, Oberlin College, a
small liberal arts college in Ohio, laid off
my way. 13 part-time worlers at its athletic facnli.
Ernie Haberkern ty. Some were high school students from
the surroundina cornmunitv. Others relied
AFSCME Local 57 -~ ~~
on their incomk from oberiin to suppoit
B e r k e l e y California their families. None were given any
advance notice, severance pay, or assis-
tance in finding new jobs.
A Nightmare The college justified The layoffs by
claiming that the Athletlc Department is
Individuale a r m a r k i n g [of m e m - $25,000 over budget. It portrayed the
bers' d u e s u s e d for poliucal purpo* layoffs as a way to create more jobs for
es] w o u l d pose an administrative students, who are competing for jobs to
pay for skyrocketing tuition.
nightmare. A group of sfudents teamed up with
A F S C M E L o c a l 444 j u s t s p e n t the laid-off workers and launched a cam-
$18,000 on a n a u d i t d e m a n d e d by paign to get them reinstated. They set up
t h r e e e o p l e who w a n t e d to m a k e nonstop informational pickets in front of
sure gat n o q e of t h e i r agency s h o p
the O Y .,~ and bombarded the administra-
-, . ~ ~
tion with e-mail and hone calls. The
papents w e r e being u s e d for activ- campaisn generated a lot of publicity and
l h e s t h e y disagreed with. Iyou f support for the workers, and the story
have to a c c o u n t for w h e r e ever was picked up in local newspapers.
Finally, the college agreed to take them
individual penny from e a c h in4vid- back.
ual goes, i t s t h e end of anything But the fight is not over. Having won
r e s e m b l i n g administrative sanity, l e t their jobs back, these workers now face
alone democracy. harassment by supervisors, who are
denying them breaks and scheduling them
Tom Condit for unusual shifts. Let Oberlin College
Berkeley, C a l i f o r n i a know that this is an unacceptable way to
LABOR NOTES APRIL 1998 PAGE