Tuesday, January 02, 2007
SPEAKING TOO SOON:
The latest edition of the Industrial Worker, the published organ of the IWW, has a rather self congratulatory article entitled 'NY foodstuffs workers win contract at EZ supply'. It reports how the IWW had won a contract with the NYC based EZ Supply company that supplied food to various restaurants in that city (see http://www.iww.org/en/node/3052 for details of the contract negotiated by the IWW, a contract that included wage raises of $1.70 to $2.45 an hour over the next two years, a grievance procedure, paid vacation and sick time and extra pay for certain types of work. The management and union had also agreed that all company files would be purged of mention of union organizing and that back wages for unpaid work (ie theft of time- Molly) would be paid). Looked pretty good at the time of the agreement on November 27th, but over the Christmas time a little idea dawned on the bosses of EZ Supply, just as it dawned on bosses at five other warehouses in New York City where the IWW has organized in the last year and a half. If you can't beat the union in a normal way, then try and threaten the workers with threats regarding their "immigration status". On December 26th, Boxing day, the boss at EZ Supply reneged on his agreement and issued threats to his workers about their "status". On the evening of December 28th EZ Supply fired all its union workers.
The IWW Food Industry and Allied Workers' Union is calling on EZ Supply and other warehouse owners in the NYC area such as Amersino, Handyfat and Top City produce to cease their anti-union activities, reinstate fired workers and to negotiate in good faith with the union. It should be noted that any penalties that may be applied to the bosses for KNOWINGLY hiring undocumented workers will be VERY minor compared to the penalties applied to the workers. What famous French writer once opined that "the law in all its majesty equally forbids both a rich man and a poor man from sleeping under a bridge" ? A Molly prize for the answer.
In any case, if you want to see how you can help these workers follow the cases on the IWW website , phone "Tomer" at 646-753-1167 or phone the bosses at EZ Supply directly at 718-386-3600.
One more example of counting your chickens before they are hatched, but in this case the IWW can be forgiven for missing the idea that an egg-sucking dog can steal the eggs even as the chicks are pecking out of the shell.