On Sunday, the Industrial Workers of the World issued the following statement about the events in Wisconsin:
In response to this impending crisis for organized labor, the IWW is mobilizing its membership for a protracted fight against this and other hostile state administrations. Additionally, the IWW is coordinating with larger unions to initiate a demonstrative one day General Strike throughout the state of Wisconsin - the date of which is to be determined during the coming week. The IWW is committed to organizing a grassroots, worker-led response to this and other economic problems.
By Tuesday, the South Central Federation of Labor (note the cool red and black poster announcing yesterday's protest ;) ), the umbrella organization for most of labor in the area around Madison, came on board:
The following motions were passed by the SCFL Monday February 21st:
Motion 1: “The SCFL endorses a statewide general strike, possibly for the day Walker signs his ”Budget Repair Bill,” and requests the Education Committee immediately begin educating affiliates and members on the organization and function of a general strike.”
Motion 2: “The SCFL goes on record as opposing all cuts contained in Walkers ”Budget Repair Bill,” including, but not limited to, curtailed bargaining rights and reduced wages, benefits, pensions, funding for public education and Medicare.”
Note also that the SCFL is NOT conceding the bread-and-butter issues that the national labor leaders are ready to give away.
Now with all due respect for post hoc non est propter hoc, it's gratifying to see the SCFL on the same page as the Wobblies for a change. Let's help them make a success of this general strike idea and encourage them to do it BEFORE the state senate acts and to not limit it to a one day symbolic protest.Updated by goinsouth at Thu Feb 24, 2011, 01:39:11 PM
I wrote this little diary to keep the conversation going at Anti-Capitalist Chat, and it's ended up on the Rec List.
So here's some action ideas;
1) Congratulate the SCFL on their bold endorsement of a general strike. As an umbrella organization, they can't technically call a strike, but they've urged their affiliate unions to call one. If you think that it would be better to hold the strike BEFORE the bill is law, you could let them know that too. Finally, you can ask if there are ways you can help in your community. Their contact email is:
And they have a contact page here: http://www.scfl.org/....
2) For there to actually be a general strike, the affiliate unions need to call it. SCFL lists their affiliate unions and contact info here: http://www.scfl.org/...
These are locals who are actually on the ground, but you might also write the Internationals of these unions and let them know you're behind this idea, thus encouraging them to get more militant.
3) You can go to the IWW site and congratulate them for being ahead of the curve on this one (as usual). Their contact page is here: http://www.iww.org/...
Maybe you can ask them how you can participate in the general strike in your area should it take place.