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Anyone up for breaking a strike?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by da man, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    I wouldn't. Still, I feel compelled to present some of the counter-arguments.

    What I have found over the years is that union sympathizers are often in the minority where they are. But they scream louder and sound more threatening.

    See, venom like that doesn't cross your path in day-to-day life.

    So what you often have is a silent majority of people who don't want to deal with the union politics. But they also don't want a fight on their hands. So they keep quiet.

    Also have heard this quite a bit, and I feel for Bruhman and those in his situation. But think about it ... should this decision be made on what your mom or dad did?
  2. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    He had to, though.
    He wrote he would cross the line two days before.
    He has a penchant for the future, you know.
  3. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    It is fairly venomous to refer to a group of people as “scum.” And since I wouldn’t hate another person based solely on the fact that they were a strikebreaker, I should probably be more careful with my epithets. That, I’ll grant.

    However, regarding the type of venom that crosses one’s path in day-to-day life, I’ll say that there are plenty of people whose daily lives involve conditions far more “poisonous” than insulting words. They work their ass off and get precious little of the wealth that they create. Their benefits, if they have any, are a joke. The sad state of the lives of working people in this country results from a viciousness at the top that’s far more destructive than any name-calling.

    Some folks up in unionized parts of the country don’t sound like they understand what labor-management relations are like here in the heartland. I was involved in one attempt to unionize a workplace. This was back before I was a journalist…I was the manager of a group home for handicapped adults. I couldn’t sign a union card myself because I was “management” (even though I had precious little say about anything significant and made $9/hour). In that case, the anti-union workers were the blowhards and the organizers were the ones who went about their business sheepishly. Mind you, these anti-union workers were making the same $7/hour as their peers. But they fought so hard against the effort that management hardly had to lift a finger. The union drive got its ass kicked and the organizers got fired.
  4. Jones

    Jones Active Member

    Bubbler's right: Crossing isn't career suicide. You will still find work; it might even turn out in your favor, because management would appreciate your weasal-like behavior. But every shop will have its daemons in it (and I should say that I, too, would be a hellacious daemon if I knew you'd crossed), and for the rest of your life, you will bump into cold shoulders and worse. That's the choice you're making.

    I feel for people who are desperate enough to make it. But I'd still find it tough to forgive. Union families are union families. My dad would like it better if I shit in his oatmeal than turned scab.
  5. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    That's what I'm talking about. And I don't mean to target you, but you said it. "Worse?" What are you saying? Is some union official going to fire-bomb your car in the parking lot? Will some Teamsters bust your knees?

    Louder and more threatening.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I know a guy who went to be a scab. Great opportunity for him to be a full time writer at a bigger paper.

    When the strike was over he was out on his keister and couldn't get his old job back.

    That cold shoulders came naturally, though.
  7. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    Yeah, unless your current paper sends you (a la the Vindicator strike), isn't that a highly-likely scenario? Unless you've got a load of vacation to burn, that is.
    And I can't really see the current co-workers taking kindly, either. Not only are you a scab, but you're leaving behind more work for them to be one. I'd envision some sharp elbows at my union shop if anyone tried it.
    Really, unless you're out of work, this doesn't seem to make any sense. And even then, it's still a shitty thing to do.
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    The workers said they were on strike. The paper tried to spin it as they were being permanently replaced.

    Yet when the strike was over, the replacement workers were out scratching their heads.
  9. Because, if you scab, the workers hate you and management doesn't respect you. And both of them are correct in doing that.
  10. busuncle

    busuncle Member

    One of my best friends scabbed in Youngstown and made off quite well in the deal. I probably wouldn't have done it, but I certainly haven't disowned my friend or anything.

    The Youngstown strike was a sad joke that advanced the interests of a few non-newsroom people who made more money while striking than they did while working. Eventually most of the newsroom people realized the joke was on them and they crossed the line.

    To the extent a union protects me and advances the interests of my colleagues and myself, great. But I'll be darned if I'm going to strike to protect some feather-bedding jobs for the shlubs in the mailroom. If that makes me an awful person, so be it.

    EDIT: I should add that my friend's career has not been negatively impacted. If anything, it's been advanced by the contacts he made with visiting editor scabs. He does get one or two cold shoulders at work, but he's not losing any sleep over it.
  11. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    To piggyback on busuncle's great observation.

    I'm not anti-union. Unions have righted a lot of wrongs in our history. And to this day, there are many places where a union is good and necessary.

    But one of the bad things about unions is this -- in their quest to protect their members, they often protect members who don't deserve it.

    That's why you can't, or at least shouldn't, look at this as an absolute. Or let your mother or father's experiences form your opinion on your particular union. Or be shamed into following your particular union.

    If you look around and see the union helping feather-bedding practices, or if you see people who abuse the system and underachieve because they know they have union protection, the members should begin to wonder if that particular union is serving good or bad.
  12. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Mitch knows just . . . what . . . he . . . can . . . do.

    With his current writing style, he should write for McCall's.
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