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Posts from the ‘Events’ Category

Remember 1934!

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This month marks the 80th Anniversary of a series of important strikes in American history. The West Coast waterfront strike, the Toledo Auto-Lite strike and, closer to home, the Minneapolis trucker’s strike. All 3 of them were happening simultaneously in late Spring and Summer of 1934. The victories these strikes ended in (whether full or partial), set important precedents for industrial unionism, mass picketing, unemployed involvement, radicals being the decisive factor and breaking anti-union vigilante alliances.

Here in the Twin Cities, Remember ’34, a group created to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Minneapolis strike, is holding a series of events this weekend.

Thursday, July 17

“Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Truckers’ Strikes of 1934″ book event, 6:30–9PM, Minneapolis Central Library, 2nd floor, Doty Board Room

In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the 1934 truckers’ strikes, Canadian labor historian Bryan Palmer will talk about his book “Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Truckers’ Strikes of 1934.” The strikes had state-wide significance and galvanized the labor movement in Minnesota.

Friday, July 18

Labor Movie Night, 6:00PM @ Bell Museum Auditorium

In 1934, a number of citywide and industry wide strikes changed the face of labor in this country. We’ll commemorate the 80th anniversary by sharing documentary footage of the most significant strikes of that year: West Coast Longshore Workers; Toledo Autolite Workers; Minneapolis Truckers; and Southern Textile Workers. This special screening is part of the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the strike that made Minneapolis a town. Special guest speakers include Joe Burns, author of Reviving the Strike and Strike Back, and Bryan Palmer, author of Revolutionary Teamster. Screening will be at the Bell Museum Auditorium on the U of M Mpls. Campus, corner of University Ave. & 17th Ave SE.

Saturday, July 19

Teamsters march, 3PM, starting at Star Tribune printing plant

The public is welcome to join Teamsters Local 120 for a march to the “Bloody Friday” site from a staging area near the Star Tribune printing plant at 800 North 1st St., Minneapolis. Teamsters Local 120 is the successor local to Teamsters Local 574, which waged the historic 1934 strike. Earlier in the afternoon July 19, Teamsters Local 120 will host a rally and picnic for its members at Boom Island Park. For more information, contact Paul Slattery at 651-343-1714.

One Day in July: a Street Festival for the Working Class, 4PM-10PM, 3rd St & 7th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

Featuring: I Self Devine, Tall Paul, MaLLy, Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings, Mad Dogs of Glory, Shannon Murray, The Blowout, Kalpulli KetzalCoatlicue Aztec Dance, The Little Thunderbirds Drum and Dance Troupe and more.

For the 80th anniversary of the events that “Made Minneapolis a Union Town” we are once again holding a street festival to commemorate the 1934 Teamsters strike and to remember and honor the victims of the “Bloody Friday” shootings.

Join us for this festival of Music, Art, Performance, Historical Displays, Food, and Speeches. We are not only commemorating the struggles of the past, but also pointing to the struggles of today and the future.

We will also be showcasing the design for a planned permanent historical marker on the site that we hope to place later this year.

Sunday, July 20

80th Anniversary Teamsters’ Strike Bike Tour, 10:30am, Peavey Plaza, Nicollet Mall and 11th Street

Bring your bike and join us in celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the Minneapolis Teamsters’ Strike by touring the important sites of the historic struggle and learning of their significance. The tour will terminate at the 80th Anniversary Picnic, where bikers can join the festivities that will include music, speakers, and food.

Depart at 10:30am from Peavey Plaza
Tour Historical Sites (Mostly Downtown)
Arrive at Minnehaha Park for Picnic celebration

80th Anniversary Picnic – Minnehaha Park, 12PM, 4655 46th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

Descendants of participants in the 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters strikes will be honored at a picnic planned Sunday, July 20, from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. at Wabun Picnic Area at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis (follow Godfrey Parkway north from Minnehaha Falls, turn right into Wabun Picnic Area). The event will feature brief speeches, a free picnic lunch, children’s games, and music by folksinger Larry Long and others

To contact the planners of the July 19 street festival and July 20 picnic, e-mail remember1934mpls[at]gmail.com or phone 612-802-1482. A facebook page, www.facebook.com/remember1934, also provides updates and posts featuring “this week in strike history.”

YARD SALE (Complete w/PANCAKE BREAKFAST!!)

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Please come this Sunday the 22nd to a double header fundraiser for the Junior Wobblies! We are raising money to fund Junior Wobblies, an outdoor adventure and political education camp for the next generation of labor organizers!

From 10-4 we will be having a yard sale! All proceeds go to funding camp! Rain location will be inside 4200 Cedar.

ADDITIONALLY we will be having a PANCAKE BREAKFAST from 11-2! Vegan and vegetarian options available.

Date: Sunday, June 22, 2014, 10AM-4PM
Location: 4200 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407

IWW Picket of Harriet Brewing and Tap Room

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Harriet Brewing and Tap Room is holding a SCAB FUNDRAISER for Sisters Camelot, a business that the IWW has been striking for over a year, through the self-organized Sisters Camelot Canvass Union (SCCU).

Sisters Camelot fired one of these workers on th the IWW on March 4th, 2013. Since then, the workers have been on strike. The National Labor Relations Board has consistently ruled in favor of the striking workers, and Sisters Camelot responded with ever-more-embarrassing tactics: allowing a notoriously misogynistic union-busting lawyer, John Hauge, to represent them pro bono, and even encouraging an attack on IWW members on May Day (of all days, they attack us on a day memorializing the fight for the 8-hour day!).

The IWW has called for a Complete Boycott.

The following unions have signed solidarity statements and pledged to encourage and enforce the boycott: AFSCME 34, AFSCME 3800, CWA 7250, and TEAMSTERS 638. The Twin Cities General Defense Committee has also condemned the Sisters Camelot Collective and thrown their full solidarity to the striking workers.

These striking workers have endured over a year of precarious existence, living with extremely few means, all as a result of the Sisters Camelot collective and their allies engaging in classic capitalist union busting techniques.

These workers provided approximately 95% of the Sisters Camelot funding base, as canvassers. They are on strike. Supporting a fundraiser is SCAB WORK.

The IWW has always enjoyed the Harriet Brewing Tap Room. Immediately across from our office, we have supported it and been customers since day one.

We assumed that this error was merely that – an error made without knowledge and in good faith. We assumed that after we reached out to the manager and owner and explained the situation, they would cancel the event.

But for the past two weeks, through emails, documents dropped off at the tap room, and many many phone calls, the management of the Tap Room has refused to respond.

 

We went in one last time on Thursday, and explained that if they did not cancel the fundraiser, we would picket, and that this picket would hurt their business. This is, after all, the intent of any picket. We told them we didn’t want this to happen, especially to the workers at the brewery, but that we have to look out for our Fellow Workers in the union first and foremost. We practically begged them to cancel this event.

But they haven’t.

So on SATURDAY, JUNE 21st, WE WILL GATHER AS MANY WORKERS AND SUPPORTERS AS WE CAN AND PICKET THEIR PAID EVENT, BEGINNING AT 6 PM.

Show up at 5:30 on the sidewalk across the street from the brewery! Show your support for independent worker-directed unions! Show your refusal to allow scabs and bosses to rule our world!

And yes – this is going to be FUN. Bring your party mindset.

Time:5:30 PM, Saturday, June 21 2014

Place: 3036 Minnehaha Ave Minneapolis, MN 55406

Phone Blast Harriet Brewing!

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Sisters’ Camelot is a union-busting organization whose fundraising workers have been on strike since March 1, 2013 and have endured a long and brutal union-busting campaign by their bosses.

On May 4th a peaceful picket of the Sisters’ Camelot Kitchenbus was violently attacked by supporters of the union-busters at the May Day Festival. In response the Twin Cities IWW announced a complete boycott of Sisters’ Camelot whose canvass workers are still on strike. This boycott was endorsed by AFSCME Local 3800, AFSCME Local 34, Teamster Local 638, CWA Local 7250. More info can be found at: tcorganizer.com

Minneapolis bar & brewery Harriet Brewing has announced they will be hosting a fundraising event for Sisters’ Camelot on Monday, June 23rd.

Please call Harriet Brewing several times a day, every day this week with the following message:

“Harriet Brewing is hosting a fundraising event for union-busting organization Sisters’ Camelot on Monday, June 23rd. Sisters Camelots’ fundraisers are still on strike and there is currently a full boycott of Sisters’ Camelot that has been endorsed by five prominent local unions. Please publicly cancel the event and notify the striking workers union at twincities@iww.org.”

Here’s the phone number:

General phone: 612-315-4633

(call this number and ask to speak to a manager or whomever is in charge.

Call several times per day. Leave messages if you don’t get through. Call every day this week!

Their hours are:
Tuesday: 4:00-11:00 pm
Wednesday: 4:00-11:00 pm
Thursday: 4:00-12:00 am
Friday: 4:00-12:00 am
Saturday: 1:00-12:00 am

POSTPONED: Junior Wobblies Yard Sale!

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Come support the Junior Wobblies summer camp and pick up some great yard sale treasures. All proceeds go to programming for a summer camp & education program for working class kids & families held annually in the Iron Range of Minnesota.

770 Hamline Ave N, St Paul, MN
Saturday, June 6, 2014
3PM-6PM

 

DUE TO CRUMMY WEATHER, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED. NEW DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED.

Labor Board Sides With Fired Workers At Chicago-Lake Liquors

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Editor Note: This is the press release from last week’s picket. A video of the picket can be seen at the end of this post.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Almost two months after 5 employees at Chicago-Lake Liquors were fired for presenting a petition to management asking for higher wages, the National Labor Relations Board indicated yesterday that it found merit in the charges that the firings were a violation of federal labor law, as well as two other charges against the employer relating to ongoing organizing. The fired workers are now calling for Chicago-Lake’s owner, John Wolf, to respect the law and rehire them. The workers and their supporters will picket outside the store at 7:30PM on Friday, May 24th, asking customers to shop elsewhere for the evening in solidarity with the campaign for higher wages and union rights.

The workers were fired the first week of April 2013, days after a majority of Chicago-Lake employees signed a petition asking management to raise the starting wage from $8 to $9 an hour, give a $1 raise to all workers in the store, and increase the wage cap from $10.50 to $13 an hour. The firings were a clear case of retaliation for organizing activities and an attempt to intimidate other workers in the store. Since then, the fired workers have announced their union membership and have remained a visible presence outside Chicago-Lake, handing out fliers to customers and picketing the store on several occasions with community support.

The Labor Board’s decision comes as a victory for the fired workers, but they note that it does not mean they will be walking into work tomorrow. “We are thrilled that the Labor Board found merit with our charges,” said fired worker Joe Giwoyna, “but we also know that the legal system can take a long time to turn that determination into action. We’re calling on Mr. Wolf to settle with us and get us back on the job, but we also are not going to forget why he fired us in the first place: because we believe that our coworkers should be able to live decent lives and deserve a raise.” He added that the workers will continue to bring attention to the situation until they get their jobs back. The union has vowed that it will mobilize the community for a boycott of the store on July 4th, an important sales day for the store, if the fired workers have not returned by then.

Chicago-Lake is one of the highest volume liquor stores in the state and is estimated to make millions of dollars a year for Mr. Wolf, who relies on his workers to deal with the high intensity environment of an incredibly busy store in a low-income neighborhood. “The reality is that the working class people who shop at Chicago-Lake make John Wolf rich, and he disrespected that community by firing some of the very people who keep him so wealthy just for asking for a slight wage increase,” pointed out fired worker Arella Vargas, “It’s insulting and now it’s time for John to do the right thing. If we’re not at work by July 4th, he’ll see exactly how the working class in Minneapolis can stand together.”

The campaign at Chicago-Lake Liquors represents a new step for Food and Retail Workers United, an organizing committee of the Industrial Workers of the World labor union. Gaining prominence in recent years for organizing Starbucks and Jimmy John’s workers, the IWW is a global union founded over a century ago for all working people.

Absolut Picket at Chi-Lake Liquors 5/24

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Help us turn away customers, demand management pay a living wage to all of the workers at Chicago Lake Liquors, and demand they stop union-busting!

MEET AT NW CORNER OF POWDERHORN PARK at 7:00PM

Background of picket:

On the week of April 1st, five workers at Chicago-Lake Liquors were fired for respectfully asking management for raises. This is wrong and illegal. All workers have the right to come together to improve their job conditions, and these firings are a clear attack on their rights and dignity.

On April 6th, the five fired workers announced their membership with
Food and Retail Workers United (FRWU), an organizing committee of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) labor union.

We are demanding that management:
-Rehire the 5 fired workers
-Pay a living wage to all employees
-Stop union busting

Short video of April 6 thpicket: http://youtu.be/37N73QAcQr8

Short video of April 13th picket: http://youtu.be/B04Uc7weqS8

CityPages coverage: http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2013/04/chicago_lake_liquors_employees_petition_for_raises_five_fired_two_days_later.php

We Are Not Machines! Foxconn workers struggles in China

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Foxconn employs more than one million people in China alone. As the world’s largest contract manufacturer, it works for Apple and many other electronics brands. Foxconn workers are the iSlaves who face horrendous conditions while producing communication tools like iPhones and iPads.

In 2010, a series of worker suicides shook the Chinese Foxconn factories and drew world-wide attention. Management promised to improve conditions and increase wages, but the situation has not changed much since: Foxconn accelerated the relocation of factories to the Chinese hinterland, employs student interns as “cheap” labor, covers up work accidents, and still relies on its militaristic management regime.

However, Foxconn workers are far from being passive victims. They have used everyday forms of resistance against the rhythm of the assembly line and have been able to stage strikes in various Foxconn factories around China.

This talk is based on gongchao.org‘s collective research and activity around the struggles of Chinese migrant workers and will use words, photos, and films to present the situation at Foxconn. The discussion will focus on ways to support the iSlaves of Foxconn and relate their struggles to our own.

Sponsored by IWW International Solidarity Commission

Facebook Event

May 4th Picket and BBQ (DETAILS UPDATED)

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Back in our parents’ and grandparents’ day, the unions of the Twin Cities organized picnics and events that brought out the family, friends, coworkers and neighbors of the union members. This concept of unionism as being in the community, as well as the workforce, is something we believe in.

So join the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) on May 4th for a picket of Chicago-Lake Liquors, followed by a BBQ in the park. Musical acts, exact location of BBQ and more details to be announced, as we get closer to the date.

Picket at Chicago-Lake Liquors 3PM (Meet at NW corner of Powderhorn Park at 2:35)

BBQ at 3525 10th Ave S 5PM

Background of picket:

On the week of April 1st, five workers at Chicago-Lake Liquors were fired for respectfully asking management for raises. This is wrong and illegal. All workers have the right to come together to improve their job conditions, and these firings are a clear attack on their rights and dignity.

On April 6th, the five fired workers announced their membership with
Food and Retail Workers United (FRWU), an organizing committee of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) labor union.

We are demanding that management:
-Rehire the 5 fired workers
-Pay a living wage to all employees
-Stop union busting

IWW Picket of Chicago-Lake Liquors 4/13/13

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MEET AT NW CORNER OF POWEDERHORN PARK (32nd Ave & 10th St) at 7:45PM

On the week of April 1st, five workers at Chicago-Lake Liquors were fired for respectfully asking management for raises. This is wrong and illegal. All workers have a right to come together to improve their job conditions, and these firings are a clear attack on their rights and dignity.

On April 6th, the five fired workers announced their membership with Food and Retail Workers United (FRWU), an organizing committee of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) labor union.

Join us for the second picket of Chicago-Lake, demanding that management

-Rehire the 5 fired workers
-Pay a living wage to all employees
-Stop union busting

Short video of last week’s picket and interview with one of the fired organizers
http://youtu.be/37N73QAcQr8

City Pages article on the situation
http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2013/04/chicago_lake_liquors_employees_petition_for_raises_five_fired_two_days_later.php

Press release from last week
http://tcorganizer.com/2013/04/06/iww-liquor-store-workers-fired-for-union-activity/

 

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/events/219183161539506/

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