Seven hundred workers who make adhesives and sealants for Momentive Performance Materials will spend Thanksgiving on the picket lines.
They’ve been on strike since November 2, fighting the company’s efforts to hike health care costs, eliminate retiree health care, undermine vacation time, and reduce 401(k) payments for younger workers, who had their pension frozen in the last contract.
Fired up after a Labor Notes stewards training, workers at the Camden County Board of Social Services organized an impromptu red-shirt day.
Friday is casual day at their office, after all. But management tightened up the rules during Communications Workers Local 1084’s recent contract campaign, telling workers they couldn’t wear T-shirts or any shirts with logos or names on them. The agency also installed security cameras and launched a new computerized swipe system to harass employees about their break time and sick days.
A lot of us probably try to stay off the government’s radar. But this time, we appreciate the attention. In what may be a first, the top prosecutor for National Labor Relations Board cases recently cited a Labor Notes article.
In an October brief, NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin argued that intermittent strikes deserve legal protection—and announced he is seeking test cases to bring before the Board.
The Verizon strike could energize workers to pick new fights and take new risks. Let’s seize the chance.