Thursday, October 25, 2007

On October 19th the owners of Metro Lighting and Crafts filed restraining order papers against a fired IWW member as another attempt at breaking solidarity and picket lines. The restraining order cites an event that took place in May 2007 and requires that Gabe W. not be allowed to meet with fellow workers (even the six workers currently on strike !) and denies him the right to picket the store which fired him for union organizing.
Basically this is another underhanded attempts by the owners to break union solidarity and try to stem lost business from the pickets.
Please show up at the picket lines this Saturday and show your support and solidarity with striking Metro workers. Pickets will continue every Saturday from 12-5 at 2121 San Pablo Ave., just south of the University of Berkeley. If you aren't able to do that please consider calling (1-888-METRO20 or emailing the owners ( ) and demand they stop union-busting actions and reinstate fired union worker, Gabe W.
For more information on this and other IWW organization efforts see
Metro Lighting and Crafts is one of many "green capitalists", promoting their business as "progressive". To say the least this outfits rarely live up to their advertising when it comes to their own workforce. As an aside I've just finished reading a book entitled 'Organic Inc' about the rise of the "natural foods" business in the USA. Guess how many organic farms in the whole USA are covered by an union contract. The answer is a grand total of ONE. Not that some of these outfits don't hire large numbers of farm workers. They do. But their trendy "ideals" don't cover workers' rights. More on 'Organic Inc.' later.


Anonymous said...

It's quite an aside you have there about green businesses. You don't know anything specific about Metro Lighting as a business do you? I think it is pretty unfair to imply anything about them without knowing specifics.

I know a little about what has gone and so far OSHA and part of the California EPA have inspected multiple times and said there is nothing wrong there.

mollymew said...

I didn't when I posted the note on the blog, but I do now. All of this is from memory because I am in another city in Canada as I write this. Good guess that I didn't know "anything specific" about 'Metro-Lighting' as I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba. EXTREMELY BAD GUESS THAT I DON'T KNOW "ANYTHING SPECIFIC" ABOUT HOW "GREEN CAPITALISTS" USE GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION TO COVER THEIR ASSES. You get one piece of bubble gum for noting the obvious, and lose your income for the rest of your life for trying this shyster act on me.That's the way that this carnival game operates. What EXACTLY is YOUR connection to Metro-Lighting ? Hmmm ?
The IWW has been trying to organize Metro-Lighting for some time. In case you never bothered to read other posts on this blog I DON'T GIVE A FLYING FUCK ABOUT YOUR FASHIONABLE "GREENISHNESS". I don't care more than I care about whether ONE of my fingernails grows 1/100th of a millimeter longer than the other.
Your reply merely reinforces my point about "green capitalists". You simply don't care about workers' rights, as little as I care about whether your oh-so-fashionable business can pass an EPA inspection. The complaint that the IWW workers filed may or may not have been justified. I have trouble with the internet quote of "a realease of alkali into the air" myself. BUT,BUT,BUT,BUT, I also know that such a point emmision will NEVER show up in an inspection by the EPA, and that ANY BUSINESS THAT HAS VENTED ANY TOXIC GAS AS A "POINT EMMISION" ie A ONE TIME AFFAIR WILL ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS "PASS AN INSPECTION" WITH MINIMAL EFFORT- OR PERHAPS NO< NO< NO EFFORT.
You probably know this as well which makes me ask why you have tried to lie in this way. Yes...this merely reinforces my opionion about "green capitalists", what they care about and what they don't care about. My own concerns are quite different from those of the fashionable new class that outfits such as Metro-Lighting attempt to sell their products to. I know something "specific" about Metro-Lighting, and I can easily slot them into a class in our society that I have hated for over 30 years. The word "green" is less of a swear word in my vocabulary than "new class" is. This is the class that rules most of us in a REAL sense, unlike the almost mythological "capitalists", and it is the class that outfits like Metro-Lighting cater to.
The complaint by the IWW members about the emissions followed FIVE MONTHS of union organizing, and was taken as a gift-from-God by the owners of Metro Lighting in order to fire the IWW members. I DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THE EXCUSE FOR FIRING THESE WORKERS NOR HOW IT IS JUSTIFIED BY REFERENCE TO A CORRUPT GOVERNMENT AGENCY. The struggles at Metro-Lighting involve work safety that CANNOT be seen by point inspections. They involve issues of wages and working conditions seperate from ONE particular issue.
As an ex-memeber of the IWW I support ALL efforts of the IWW to organize workplaces in the hope that ALL workplaces will eventually be self-managed workers' cooperatives. ONE particular issue in such a fight may or may not be "true", but an "inspection" by a corrupt government is hardly the way to determine whether it is. The OTHER issues that you think don't deserve mention are much more important in my view, even if they may not be so in "green fashion".
Phooey and vomit ! I'll deal with this when I'm back to base under a post entitled 'The Swimming Pigs'. All about "government protection" of the environment.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Molly, you have totally lost your marbles on this one. My relationship with Metro is slim, (I am NOT the owner, as you imply), but I can say that they are a tiny shop who seems to have a huge commitment to the environment and puts their "green-ness" and employee benefits way before their profits. They had no choice but to have OSHA inspect- the workers who walked out demanded that. You IWW people want it both ways- use the government agencies to try to get businesses in trouble, and if they don't side with you, call them useless.
And what about your disdain for those of us who are their customers? Those workers wouldn't have their well-paying jobs and full health insurance at Metro if not for us. Wah wah wah! GET A LIFE!

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