BERKELEY CA:CURBSIDE RECYCLERS USE DIRECT ACTION TO WIN DEMANDS,RESTORE ESTABLISHED WORKING CONDITIONS:
Workers at the Berkeley CA 'Ecology Center's Curbside Recycling Program' have been represented by the IWW, Industrial Workers of the World, since 1989. On September 10th the recyclers held a work stoppage and demanded that recent changes that management had made to their work routes be rescinded. The changes basically involved putting all of the collection work on "solo routes" which meant that collectors would be without help in lifting heavy objects on their routes. Despite management attempts to break the solidarity of the employees they stood firm, occupying the company's office during the course of the dispute. They were supported by the workers next door at the Community Conservation Center ("Buyback") recycling drop off yard. These workers have been represented by the IWW since 2001. In the end management had to accede to the workers' demands, and they were also made to back down from a demand that the workers work into the night to make up for the time lost in the strike. The IWW cites this as an example of how direct action is the most useful technique for upholding the interests of working people.
READ MORE about this action at the IWW website's story on it.