You may have seen or heard about a viral video taken during a strike, a walkout, or a “labor dispute.”
A UPS hub us being built in Indianapolis, and welder Antoine Dangerfield made a video during and after the walkout. He has been fired for filming the events and posting the video. He explains his ordeal in an interview in Jacobin. Dangerfield doesn’t seem to be condemning management, but was merely elated at the prospect of real worker solidarity. They shut the place down, and he is excited.
It sounds like one safety officer, or “boss,” was a real racist asshole and was always picking on Latino laborers, so the other day they decided to walk out.
All the other workers, employed by different subcontractors, walked out, too. A wildcat strike, as none of this was planned, even if some of the workers were unionized. (It is unclear to me who were union members, but Dangerfield says in the Jacobin interview that the Latino workers were not unionized.)
Workers in every industry, union or not, need to stand up with each other and demand that owners grant them the basic human rights we all know everyone deserves.
These kinds of demonstrations of labor power and solidarity could help rebuild the union and labor movements negotiating power, right? What else could?
No union? Fine. Walk out anyway. It’s going to be a lot cheaper for owners to negotiate with one union instead of one mass of angry, disorganized workers once they learn that workers are no longer afraid of management.
That’s the dynamic that needs to break down: workers are afraid because owners (and the entire “system”) tell them to be. Why don’t workers start telling owners that they’re the ones who really have something to fear?