(fwd from Michael Yates) powell's bookstore strike

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Mon Nov 10 17:15:23 MST 2003

Here is a note from the workers at Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon.
This is a huge and decent bookstore with a unionized workforce. as usual
these days, the main issue is healthcare.

Michael Yates

From: ILWUOrganize at aol.com
To: ILWUOrganize at aol.com
Subject: Support Powell's bookstore workers
Date: Sat, 8 Nov 2003 18:22:15 EST

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

     Workers at Powell's book store, in Portland, have been working
     without a contract for a little over a month.  You probably recall
     that the more than 400 workers at Powell's organized into ILWU
     Local 5 several years ago, and through a long, militant and often
     bitter struggle won a first contract.

    Now, management is demanding heavy cuts in health benefits, combined
    with a wage freeze.  At the same time that Powell's refuses to put
    forward any reasonable contract proposals, however, management has
    engaged in a sustained campaign of harassment of and discrimination
    against Union leaders and activists.

    The Union has concluded that it needs to take some action to stop
    this illegal harassment of its leaders.  Local 5 has advised me that
    their membership will be voting to authorize a one-day unfair labor
    practices strike, to take place this coming week.  Although the vote
    will not take place until Tuesday evening, the Union is confident
    that the members will authorize this action.  They ask that everyone
    who can join them on the picket line:

Wednesday, November 12th
11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Powell's City of Books
1005 West Burnside
Portland, OR

     Whether or not you're not able to get to Portland to join them on
     the picket line, please pass this information on to others -
     particularly friends or Union members who live in the Portland
     area.  If you are able to come to the picket line, please bring
     signs showing support from your Union, Local or other organization.
     Please remember that this is an unfair labor practices strike.  Any
     mention of issues should be limited to "unfair labor practices" (or
     simply stating support for Powell's workers or Local 5), and should
     not make any reference to any contract issues.

     For further information, please feel free to get in touch with me,
     or to contact Local 5: local 5 at ilwulocal5.com; 503-228-5047; or
     check their web page for updates, ilwulocal5.com.

     Thanks in advance for your support.

In solidarity,

Paul Bigman

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