Monday, October 31, 2011

Unions Oppose Oakland General Strike

No Big Surprise:

Oakland's unions have declared that they won't support the General Strike on November 2, called by the Occupy Oakland movement in response to the police brutality against their movement that occurred last week. In addition to tear gas, concussion grenades and bean bag bullets, an Iraq vet was nearly killed when a police projectile hit him in the head.

According to the Atlantic Wire, the Peralta teachers union and the ILWU have both publicly stated they won't call for a strike on November 2. Few, if any unions will, in fact. It is illegal for unions to join in solidarity strikes under the Taft-Hartley Act, which was enacted after America's last great General Strike, which occurred coincidentally in Oakland, in 1946. Officially supporting the General Strike could result in millions of dollars in fines and legal expenses to the unions. Additionally, both unions have said that to call a strike requires a vote of their general membership, something that they cannot easily pull off under such short notice.

However, if recent history is any indication, ILWU members will walk off the job anyway and join the protestors. The Peralta teachers union said it would do what it can to have its members there. The big question is, will other unions support their members' participation and, if so, will enough participate to result in a General Strike?

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