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Would you cross a picket line?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Frank_Ridgeway, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Was discussing strikes with someone and he made me wonder: Have the rules changed? Crossing a picket line would have been unthinkable for my generation, but now with unions weakened and the industry floundering, will the taboo still exist if we see another newspaper strike?
     
  2. Dickens Cider

    Dickens Cider New Member

    If I did, I think my plumber grandfather would come back to life and strangle me.
     
  3. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    I hope I wouldn't. I hope.

    To me, it's like "could you shoot a human being if your life were in danger?" Very hard to answer until you're in that situation yourself.
     
  4. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    If it got me in the door of a daily, I'd give strong thought to it.

    Having said that, I'd also consider the resentment I'd probably experience from striking journos in the event they came back to work and I was expected to work alongside them before I made a final decision.

    I don't like the implications that weak unions present our industry. We've seen how bad things are when there isn't a union powerful enough to force the bean counters' hands. But from a purely selfish point of view, if I have a chance to put food on my table and move to a daily from a weekly, I'd have to at least think about it, scab or no.
     
  5. kleeda

    kleeda Active Member

    What's it pay?
     
  6. No. It's a no-win situation. Find a new job.
     
  7. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    Depends where I crossed it. If I was trying to make an opening in the line where some of the asswipe union officers were strutting -- weaklings who collect fat dues for years, rarely push legit grievances, mostly defend the slackingest slackers when they do and would sell out their mothers for a maybe-sorta promise about the future from management -- I'd probably cross. If I saw some co-workers who are good people and were in no better shape to go without a paycheck than me, I wouldn't have the heart.

    Similarly, if I got off the elevator and the first people I saw where the scumbag executives who have gotten us to this point -- as a paper on strike, presumably, and an industry in crisis -- I'd probably turn around and walk out again.

    In other words, I'm with Buck: Hard to answer until you're in that situation yourself.
     
  8. pseudo

    pseudo Active Member

    As someone whose union (not in the newspaper industry) was half an hour from striking when our contract expired March 31?

    No. I was scheduled for a shift on the picket line the next morning, and I still believe we should have walked out instead of caving in to the company's version of a "fair" deal.

    That said, I don't have kids to feed or a mortgage to pay, so feel free to adjust your answers accordingly.
     
  9. I've never been with a union paper, but I would imagine I would weigh all these questions in my mind before I did. In fact, I would include questions about the union in my normal research of a prospective paper: Does it protect/encourage the lazy, is there a strikeable issue on the horizon?

    I feel pretty safe saying no, I wouldn't cross. If you commit, you commit.

    Plus, strikes are serious shit that bring out the true cretins. You may put your family's finances in jeopardy if you don't cross, but you could put your family in serious jeopardy if you do.

    Like I said, it's best just to avoid if you can.
     
  10. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    This is one of those hypotheticals, of course, because there aren't going to be any striking newspaper employees anymore. Zero leverage when a handful of managers can put out an online version. Don't even have to get the trucks out nowadays. It would be bad for the joint overall, but really, how much worse than the status quo already?
     
  11. Overrated

    Overrated Guest

    I actually think a picket line of journalists would be less than intimidating.

    Sure, some of us are badasses, ;D but not like a trucking company or shit like that.
     
  12. Bad assumption.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CE7DD133CF935A3575AC0A963958260
     
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