Tag Archives: labor

Wildcat Strike in Indianapolis

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From Jacobin‘s excellent interview with Antoine Dangerfield:

“…Antoine Dangerfield’s recent viral video [is] a must-watch. A thirty-year-old welder in Indianapolis, Dangerfield worked for a construction contractor building a UPS hub. On Tuesday, he says that a small number of Latino workers (millwrights, welders, and conveyor installers, in his telling) working for a different contractor but in the same hub were ordered home after disobeying the orders of a white boss he calls racist.

In response, the entire group of workers — over a hundred, in Dangerfield’s estimation — walked out.

Dangerfield caught their wildcat strike on camera at the moment they walked off the job. In his video, he is positively giddy watching them shut down their massive workplace.

“They are not bullshitting!” he says as Latino workers walk off. Referring to the boss, he says, “They thought they was gonna play with these amigos, and they said, ‘aw yeah, we rise together, homie.’ And they leaving! And they not bullshitting!””

Read Dangerfield’s words here.

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Materials against the tech park

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Thanks to the Bloomington Solidarity Network for their research and organizing.

May Day 2015 Demo this Friday

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Received and transmitted from https://www.facebook.com/events/1034146529947843/:

Feeling overwhelmed with studmayday2015ent debt?

Fed up with low wages?

Tired of being treated (and paid) like you’re a second-class citizen?

Join us this International Workers’ Day! Let’s all stand together for economic equity and equality. Let’s fight to turn corporations into cooperatives. Let’s demand a higher standard of living from the people who would have us on the brink of bankruptcy. Let’s stand against the capitalist system that holds all but a few back!

To show opposition to unreasonable student loan policy, pin a red cloth square to your clothing. This was used in Montreal when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to protest rising tuition costs. You can wear the red square at all times, if you want.

If you’re interesting in bravely and proactively taking a stand against any of these issues (or if you have an issue you’d like to add, let us know) then join us! All are welcome.

Invite all of your friends!

We’ll be marching on the courthouse after speeches from a few faculty members regarding labor and economic movements.

Live Hip Hop music from Fricktion.

Highlights from the April strike #1

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Over the next months, we’ll post our favorite fragments from April’s IU-wide strike.

Strike out, but ‘crimson flu’ coming

By Bryce Smedley.  Special to the H-T April 8, 2013.

*This guest column was submitted by Bryce Smedley of Bloomington, former CWA 4730 union president and IU support staff.*

A general “strike” is being organized by Indiana University students who feel the brunt of an unfairly priced higher education system that forces upon them years of student loan repayment and debt. Support of this action by Indiana University support staff is warranted despite the fact that official staff strikes, even by the representative union, CWA 4730, are prohibited by the board of trustees under the mutual agreement of cooperation.

As the former president of CWA 4730 and no longer an employee of Indiana University, I finally have the freedom to speak my mind without putting my former union colleagues and other support staff in jeopardy. So, let me take the bold step to call upon all Indiana University support staff to strike alongside our students and stand up for a meaningful and symbolically important cause rather than allow this opportunity to slip by.

Here is why you should strike if you work for Indiana University as support staff:

You are some of the lowest paid Big Ten university employees and barely receive annual raises while the top income earners on campus receive huge pay raises each year. In fact, you have been asked in some years to forgo a raise — to sacrifice for the university. As loyal and hardworking employees, you do this, thinking that everyone will sacrifice together. Unfortunately, while this thinking appears to be fulfilled for a short time, top administrators eventually receive raises retroactively, but not you.

Most of the support staff is now doing the jobs of two or three people. The university has failed to maintain adequate staffing for the work required, and in addition, has failed to offer raises for the additional compensatory work conducted by current support staff.

As existing support staff, you end up paying more for health insurance. Almost every year, you are asked to pay more and more. And while you can complain or call upon your union to advocate for you, you can never strike as a means to a just end as this action is forbidden by the IU Board of Trustees.

Thus, you suffer year to year. At times, you can’t make ends meet; you struggle to pay the bills; and you remain an afterthought while top administrators line their pockets with higher raises on the backs of your children who each year pay higher tuition to attend Indiana University.

Now let me be clear: On April 11 and 12, you cannot strike or you could be fired. But you have accrued sick days, and I hear that a bout of the “crimson flu” has spread about the campus. If you don’t stand up for your own job and for the injustice faced by students and staff alike, then who will?

Social Rupture in Little Egypt: Presentation on the Campus Strike in Carbondale

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Indiana Memorial Union Dogwood Room @ 4:20pm.

Social Rupture in Little Egypt: Reflections on the Faculty Strike at Southern Illinois University, the Limits of Union Organizing, and the “Corporatization” of the University.  The last workshop of the all day “OUR-IU” conference.

IDS Coverage of the Mass Assembly

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Strike on IU campus planned for April 2013

By Matt Bloom| IDS

Fifty people sat in a large circle, with at least 20 scattered behind them on couches and chairs in the Indiana Memorial Union’s East Lounge. Attendees discussed problems facing the University community, including rising tuition and student debt.

The also gathered to organize, plan and prepare for an upcoming strike in April protesting IU administration operation of campus.

The assembly consisted of undergraduate students, faculty and staff members, and anyone else from the community who felt they had something worth offering to the strike’s organization. The group had no leader and only two moderators.

The strike is set to take place on April 11-12, 2013, to coincide with the days of the next IU Board of Trustees meeting.

Organizers of the movement developed a blog, iuonstrike.tumblr.com, where a published strike proposal is available for anyone to read or add to. The strike proposal on the blog highlights statistics detailing the sources of IU’s budget.

“As of this year, students pay for 51% of IU’s budget,” read the post. “Only 18% percent of the current year’s budget funding comes from the state of Indiana, as compared to 50% in the early 1990s.”

The mass assembly then sectioned off to give individuals a chance to voice their personal concerns with the University. A small group of eight gathered near one of the lounge’s corners.

Last names of some attendees were requested to remain confidential.

Chelsea, an IU student and RPS employee spoke about the University’s unfair treatment of employees injured at work. Peter, who recently dropped out of school, proposed that the strike target specific academic departments.

Samantha Harrell, one of the discussion’s moderators, is a senior studying social work.

“Because we’re relying more and more on the private sector to fund our education, it gives IU an incentive to meet the demands of those private corporations,” Harrell said. “So we have departments with agendas that aren’t necessarily representing what’s best for people. I want to get down to the basic principle of a public university.”

In the upcoming five months, there will be more meetings intended to solidify a plan for the strike. The groups insisted throughout the discussion that public awareness needs to extend beyond sidewalk chalk messages and fliers. The assembly established that it needs a final goal, something to which IU administration will pay attention.

After spending over two hours deliberating the question, “Why don’t we have a voice in the University that is equal to our contribution?” the group disbanded.

“We understand the serious limitations and risks involved,” organizers concurred in their strike proposal, “but we are open to dialogue to develop methods that advance the interests of students, faculty and workers together.”