Oakland Rubber Stamp Workers Strike

figgins@dnai.com
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 13:16:52 -0800


lyn,

you asked recently about more details surrounding the oakland rubber stamp
workers who went out on strike without union representation. well, here's
what i was given by my local iww branch:

<< start of forwarded material >>

<snip>

Support Striking Workers at Rubber Stampede! In an unusual labor
action, about 140 factory workers spontaneously walked off their jobs
November 13, without warning and without union representation or
contract protection.
Employees at Rubber Stampede, an Emeryville-Oakland company that
makes ornamenmtal rubber stamps sold in stores around the world, are
fighting for their lives against a union-busting employer.
Mostly Latinas, the workers saw their hopes of unionization dashed
last April, when Warehouse Union Local 6, ILWU, lost a National Labor
Relations Board representation election after the company hired about 15
new management employees and threatened and harassed many workers into
not voting. The union election was lost by 13 votes.
Since the April election, the union has charged the employer before
the NLRB with various violations of federal labor law, including
threats, intimidation, and discrimination against employees. After an
investigation, the Board issued a complaint against the company for
coercing workers during the organizing drive prior to the election. A
hearing is scheduled before an administrative law judge on January 27.
Workers were already outraged that their bosses were stalling on
settling the unfair labor practice charges that the union had filed on
their behalf. But when Rubber Stampede recently retaliated against
workers by cutting back their wages from an hourly rate to
piecework--the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back--the workers
walked out... and then contacted the Union for support.
Since the strike began, pickets have complained of threats (including
one death threat) and verbal harassment from management officials out
outside the plant. Some women strikers have received obsecene phone
calls from management personnel during the wee hours of the morning.
And windows of four strikers' cars were smashed during a single night
recently, near their homes in the East Bay.
Owen Marron and the Alameda County Central Labor Council have been
very energetic in organizing support for Rubber Stampede workers, and
ILWU Local 6 is throwing all possible resources into winning this
strike. But support from other trade unionists and the community at
large is essential to defeat this brutal employer and force a new union
recognition election. THIS CRUCIAL STRUGGLE CAN AND *MUST* BE WON!

YOU CAN HELP! RUBBER STAMPEDE WORKERS ARE IN NEED OF...

+ PICKET LINE REINFORCEMENTS: The picket line is being maintained 14
hours a day [although it is hoped that we can expand that to 24 hours a
day]. Greater numbers are needed to cover the plant's four different
warehouses located over several blocks. Supporters are urged to join
the picket line at any time. Volunteer pickets who can commit to a
regular shift would be greatly appreciated.
+ DONATIONS OF FOOD & COFFEE FOR THE PICKETS: Let's keep our sisters
and brothers alert and fed on the picket line. Please, donate coffee,
cream, sugar, bagels & cream cheese, etc.
+ CHRISTMAS TOYS FOR KIDS: Many of the strikers are Latina single
mothers, making gift giving this holiday season a difficult or even
impossible task. Donated toys will brighten the hearts of strikers'
children, keeping the magic of Santa and the warm glow of the holidays
alive during this trying time.
+ AND, OF COURSE, FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS: Please help with a
donation of whatever amount you can afford. Every little bit will help
ease the hardships of these fighting workers' families this winter.

TO MAKE FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS, CONTACT THE ALAMEDA COUNTY CENTRAL
LABOR COUNCIL. IF YOU CAN HELP IN ANY OTHER WAY, PLEASE CALL THE RUBBER
STAMPEDE STRIKE SUPPORT HOTLINE, LEAVE A MESSAGE, AND A MEMBER OF THE
RANK-AND-FILE SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE WILL CONTACT YOU.

WAREHOUSE UNION LOCAL 6
INTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMAN'S AND WAREHOUSEMAN'S UNION
99 HEGENBERGER ROAD, OAKLAND, CA 94621

Rubber Stampede Strike Support Hotline -- (510) 819-3339
Alameda County Central Labor Council -- (510) 569-1426

(Re-posted by a Wobbly in Solidarity)

<snip>

<< end of forwarded material >>

love, rage and solidarity,

scott figgins
oakland, ca, usa