Verizon: union win

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at
Wed Aug 23 14:11:42 PDT 2000

On Tue, 22 Aug 2000, John Gulick wrote:

> A good example of this occurred at the Port of Oakland 3 years ago.
> Ironically, it was an example of quite successful collaboration between
> a standard (although very progressive) industrial union and a
> motley bunch of anarcho-syndicalists (many were members of the IWW, such as
> it was, but participated as sympathetic individuals so as to avoid legal
> harrassment).

THe Neptune Jade was one of the examples I was thinking of when talking about non-labor groups being able to do things that unions cannot do legally.

However, the community side of the picket was not run by IWW anarchists, although they walked the line, but was organized primarily by the various Marxist-style orgs in the area. I walked the line and pulled folks out through the local Committees of Coorespondence chapter, although the lion's share of the credit went to a Trot group, I think what was then called Socialist Organizer, who do a lot of work around global privatization issues.

And what made the action really work was that union-community activists in Canada and in Japan also demonstrated and refused to unload the ship, turning its scab cargo into a kind of Flying Dutchman on the high seas.

The point is that it needed hard organization backing up the community side as well as the union side.

Strategy and organization may not always have the PR sizzle of puppets and random mayhem, but they are infinitely more successful in the long-term.

-- Nathan Newman

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