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News :: Labor
14 April 2015 - A Working Class Protest on the Streets of Boston - Unionize McDonald's! Organize all low wage workers - Workers Unite!
13 Apr 2015
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McD 2.jpg
Fast food workers and other low wage workers will march through the streets of Boston in a campaign to bring labor unions into the work place to demand better wages, conditions, and benefits. Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 11am a the march will begin at 870 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, a McDonald's restaurant.

The workers will then march through the streets to other workplaces were workers need labor union protection and strength. At 4:00 pm a rally will be held near Northeaster University at Forsyth Park located at near the intersection of Huntington Ave. and Forsyth Way.

Groups and labor unions backing the protest include the Immigrant Workers Center Collaborative, the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Teachers-Massachusetts, Boston Pressman's Local 3/Teamsters, Jobs with Justice, the Mass. Nurses Association, and 1199SEIU. ................

Fast Food Workers Need a Fighting Labor Movement

Protests in the past year by fast-food workers demanding a pay increase have highlighted the poverty-level wages and contemptuous abuse dealt out by the corporate bosses to this growing segment of the working class. The roughly four million men and women who run the grills and front the counters at McDonald’s, Burger King and other giant chains make barely $9 per hour and average about 26 working hours a week, putting them well below the poverty line if they have a family to support. In the wake of the 2007-08 financial crisis, such poverty-level work accounts for three out of every five new jobs. These are also often the only employment that black and immigrant youth—and, increasingly, laid-off older workers—can get.

The workers who have joined in the fast-food protests, in some cases walking off the job to do so, understand that it is necessary to fight. Yet the hundreds of thousands of small fast-food outlets are the point in the restaurant industry where workers are the weakest. To unionize fast-food workers and win significant gains in wages and benefits poses the need to mobilize the power of workers who are strategically positioned along the supply chain that provides the frozen hamburger patties, French fries and so on to the retail outlets. And that means a struggle against the meatpacking and trucking bosses to again make those industries bastions of union power.

But this is far removed from what the labor traitors at the head of the unions have in mind. Instead, they are pursuing a strategy, announced with great fanfare at the AFL-CIO convention last September, that is a substitute for the direct organization of workers into unions. The new strategy consists of alliances with “alt-labor” organizations—community groups that organize workers outside collective bargaining—as well as recruitment to the Working America lobbying organization. Mobilizing community groups to exert pressure on the bosses can be a useful tactic, but only if it is an auxiliary to hard class struggle—a perspective that is anathema to the pro-capitalist labor tops.

The bureaucrats’ strategy is epitomized by their current campaign on behalf of fast-food workers, as well as by protests against Wal-Mart centered on the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart). The United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW), which sponsors OUR Walmart, has repeatedly declared that it has “no intent to have Wal-mart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart.” This is part of what has come to be called “minority unionism.” Instead of seeking to win union recognition by signing up a majority of workers at particular work sites, the bureaucrats aim to win over isolated individuals at many sites. These small groups of workers bravely risk company retaliation by walking off the job to join protests like the November Wal-Mart Black Friday events that aim to shame the company. What such “strikes” do not seek to do is to shut down the bosses’ operations until they are forced to come to terms with the workers.

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Re: 14 April 2015 - A Working Class Protest on the Streets of Boston - Unionize McDonald's! Organize all low wage workers - Workers Unite!
24 Apr 2015
apologies for the links in previous post

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