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(en) Portland, Oregon: Media: IWW and Collective Commotion

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 29 Jan 2004 09:38:25 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html

Possible unfair labor practices prompted a demonstration in
front of Mother Kali's Books on Tuesday night - By Caron Alarab
About 30 people demonstrated in front of Mother Kali's
Books on Tuesday night to protest recent termination letters
issued to all four of its current employees.
The employees, who will all be terminated on or by Feb. 13,
contend that the firing method could violate certain union
rights, including the right to collective bargaining.
The employees rallied friends and volunteers to stomp and
shout outside the store for their continued employment and
for restored health care benefits during the first part of a
Mother Kali's executive board meeting.

"(Our goal) is to show the board that we have community
support," said store Co-Manager Cheryl RiversHailey, who
received her termination letter on Jan. 23.

Less than 15 minutes into the meeting, board members
adjourned to a different location after reviewing a copy of a
claim and a requested injunction filed by the workers.

The board members declined to comment.

On Jan. 26, the employees filed an unfair labor practices
claim with the National Labor Relations Board in Portland.
As an independent federal agency established to enforce the
National Labor Relations Act, the NLRB remains neutral in
all labor disputes while ensuring the right to collective
bargaining, which Mother Kali's employees are fighting to

"Their case has been assigned for investigation," Portand
NLRB Officer-In-Charge Cathleen Calahan said. "But we
won't know what happened until we investigate it."

Calahan defined collective bargaining as "a union and
employer obligation to bargain, in good faith, with respect to
terms and conditions of employment." Calahan said she
couldn't tell whether the bookstore employees' case involved
a lack of collective bargaining and that the investigation
should take anywhere from 30 to 45 days to complete.

In the meantime, the two staff employees, Tiffany Haggmark
and Madrone Deicher, and their co-managers, all of whom
are members of IWW Local 660, hope to receive a quick
injunction to allow time for collective bargaining.

RiversHailey and Sandra Pasman became temporary
co-managers at the store in September after working as staff
employees for three years and a year and a half,
respectively. Approximately three weeks ago, board
members notified the co-managers of upcoming newspaper
ads for a single full-time manager. Although she always
knew her management position would be temporary,
RiversHailey said she was shocked to receive the
termination letter.

"They didn't say it, but I was under the impression we were
going to get our staff jobs back," she said. "It was a total
surprise for everyone."

RiversHailey's letter stated that the board needed "to
implement a new management-staff model" in order to keep
the store open. At the demonstration, the employees said the
store has also recently denied them health care benefits,
which they said "adds insult to injury."

At the end of the demonstration, demonstrators with signs --
one reading "Union busting is the patriarchy" -- held them
high while others shouted "Union bust, lose our trust" at the
board members, who walked out the store's back door to
avoid the crowd.

Link: http://www.iww.org

Copied from infoshop.org

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