A Credible Strike Threat

Posted on June 10, 2011 by

Most Americans think of strikes as a thing of the past. 

In fact, there have been so few in recent years that the image of picketing workers has become quaint. 

Unions began to abandon the practice decades ago as employers took advantage of weak labor laws to “permanently replace” strikers.  Which of course contributed to the overall decline of the labor movement. 

But even during this awful time for unions, there were hard-fought, well-executed and winning campaigns. 

A key to the outcome is the political environment.  Success in electing candidates is certainly one reason the Los Angeles labor movement has made this city “union-friendly.”  Where taking on unions involves much greater risk for employers than in most other regions. 

Watch how the L.A. Labor Federation and its affiliates are posturing and preparing for the possible supermarket strike by the United Food and Commercial Workers [UFCW].  Not only by showcasing stories of beleaguered workers but by pledging to support – on the street and financially – striking retail clerks. 

As in all labor disputes, negotiations involve complicated contract details. 

But one of the missing ingredients in most union-employer battles these days is the advantage to labor by what used to be called a “credible strike threat.” 

Thanks to the groundwork by L.A. unions, that threat by UFCW is not an idle one.

Comments (2)

 

  1. Salvador Sanchez says:

    I don’t know Lou these are very difficult time. These are middle class jobs that must be saved in LA. It is also important to understand that to decision to strike must be a well-thought-out one. We are living in an anti-union times and UFCW must be well prepared and do whatever it takes to win the minds and souls of our communities. Community support is vital to win these strikes– I still remember the entire page ads published in LA Times paid by the CEOs last time we had a strike arguing how greedy this union was and how much its president made. These claims were rejected by our communities then, I don’t know about now. In any event, I will stand in solidarity with these brothers and sisters and will do whatever I can to support them.

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