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(en) Canada, Toronto, MayDay on a picket line

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 18 May 2004 13:18:34 +0200 (CEST)

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Two members of Punching Out* spent part of a cold and rainy
Mayday walking the lines down by the Detroit river. Casino
Windsor, represented by CAW Local 444, has been on strike for
over a month now. Last week, in a surprise upset, the rank and
file rejected a tentative agreement which the union leadership and
the management of the Casino (as well as the Mayor of Windsor)
had all hoped was a done deal.
The spirited picketers called it a 'strike for respect' and explained
some of their main grievances were not about money, but rather,
they want decent language in the contract which puts an end to
the arrogance and centralization of Casino management's control.
They want a fairer deal for part-time workers, instead of a two tier
employment structure; they want to retain the rights to take
unpaid days off (currently 20/year, the new contract reduces
personal days to 6/year) and to switch shifts amongst full-timers
and part-timers in a more equitable, self-managed fashion. They
also pointed out that there are big lineups to eat in the Casino's
restaurants, but management is introducing more frozen food,
and cutting cook staff. When they did talk money, (which the
Casino says they're losing, while closed, at the rate of
$1,000,000/day), it seemed the offer of a $1.25 wage increase was
only 10cents away from where they started the strike.

In general, this rank-and-file was disgruntled with the way Local
444 "leaders" assumed the deal would be accepted and people
back to work, and instead, they seemed ready to dig in their
picket lines for as long as it takes to get respect. Windsor Star
newspaper notwithstanding.

When we visited the strikers, we went along with two other
rank-n-file members of Local 444, from Daimler-Chrysler's
massive plant 3, which, of course, is still churning out minivans
while the Casino is struck. There was some discussion about
practical solidarity between the different units of the local, and a
collection may soon be taken up in the auto plant for the hardest
hit families on the casino lines. Hopefully, these steps toward
direct solidarity between the members of Local 444 will grow in
strides as the strike continues.
* Submitted by Punching Out (Toronto local of Nefac -
North East Federation of Anarcho-Communists)
on Thursday, May 6, 2004 at:

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