(en) Aftermath of BART victory

Platformist Anarchism (platform@geocities.com)
Tue, 14 Oct 1997 11:16:38 +0000

A AA AAAA The A-Infos News Service AA AA AA AA INFOSINFOSINFOS http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/ AAAA AAAA AAAAA AAAAA

Background: Striking Bay Area Rapid Transit workers recently returned to work after defeating management

Newsletter published by and for union members at BART

ODE TO A BART SCAB by anonymous

You snake, you rat, you festering scab Your spine is weak, your personality drab Your morality is nil, your ethics none We stood for all, you crossed for one.

You don't believe in the strike you say ' But smugly accept your new found pay Plus the check you made, the one we lack Your blood money for stabbing us in the back.

Now in the halls, we hear you whine Hoping all will be forgiven soon in time But our resentment likely will last for years You profited from our blood, sweat and tears.

You sat on your butts, ate like swine Have no qualms about crossing the line There will be no forgiving, we're pals no more You crossed the line, now we've shut the door.

And if you think management is your friend Judas, I advise you to think again You'll struggle, you plead until you're dead But not in this job will you get ahead.

Because bosses are dense, but they're not blind And they don't want the odor of your kind ] Lingering on in their one-way cabs
That malodorous stench of the BART strike scabs.

Note: Very few BART workers crossed the picket lines. Upon returning to work, the first thing that got posted to the union bulletin board was a list of scabs.

Management sent the union a demand that it be removed on the grounds that it was "inappropriate" and "not in keeping with the intent of the contract language," and "not pertinent to SEIU" (one of three BART unions that struck). The head of BART labor relations accused the union of having no purpose "other to (sic) inflame members...."

SEIU Local 790 Chief Steward Steve Gilbert responded: "It is hard for me to believe that you wrote your letter with a straight face. Are you seriously contending that a list of SCABSs, who crossed our picket lines with the intent to weaken our efforts to secure a better contract for all and undercut our Union, is some how not pertinent and appropriate information for our members?" He went on to remind management that it was their effort to encourage, entice, and cajole weak willed or greedy employees to go against the interests of their fellow workers and to put themselves in harm's way that prompted them to scab.

The newsletter also observes that the right to post Jack London's definition of a scab and a list of the names of scabs has been found to be protected free speech by the U.S. Supreme Court (1974).

Shortly after issuing the management memo, a manager sneaked into the Oakland Shop, broke into the union bulletin board (which is secured with locks), and removed the lists. Lists rapidly appeared throughout the workplace. The next day another manager broke into union bulletin boards and removed the lists. When confronted, both managers said they were acting on orders from upper management. Union members can be disciplined for failing to exercise care in the use of BART property and are expected to make every effort to prevent damage or misue of that property.

Management, however, apparantly did not feel bound by those rules.

When the guerrilla war of the lists started to escalate, management finally conceded. It paid for repair of the union bulletin boards. The lists remain posted.

       International Anarchist Web Page

International Class Struggle anarchist discussion list, contact platform@geocities.com for details

****** A-Infos News Service ***** News about and of interest to anarchists

Subscribe -> email MAJORDOMO@TAO.CA with the message SUBSCRIBE A-INFOS Info -> http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/ Reproduce -> please include this section