Friday, September 9, 2011

Labor Strike Barrage

There has been a steady barrage of labor strikes since the Minor degree "point of recognition" was reached a month ago. One of the events that occurred in the aftermath of the "point of recognition" was the massive Verizon strike in which 45,000 workers went on strike to fight in defense of a living wage and continued health care benefits.

The Verizon strike has since ended, but as I predicted, the barrage of labor strikes continued. Here's the excerpt from the August 15, 2011 blog entry:

"As Primary wave [3] down continues unfolding, expect more and more standoffs like the Verizon strike that is unfolding now, with some of the standoffs having the potential of crippling corporations and businesses."

Since then, we have seen a barrage of labor strikes. Here is a list of some of the more significant labor strikes that have unfolded since the Verizon strike:

1 -- Teachers Union in the midst of an 8 day strike over drug testing in central Illinois.  A random drug testing proposal angered many teachers, motivating the teachers union to initiate a labor strike. The start of the school year in the affected district has been delayed as a result of the strike.  The state government stepped into the fray as well with State Sen. Dave Koeler (D-Peoria) siding with the teachers and calling the district's drug testing proposal a "power move that avoids the main issues."

2 -- Butte, Montana teachers strike over salary, classes canceled.  A labor strike started to unfold after a failure to reach an agreement on a contract over wages and health benefits. The labor strike has resulted in the cancellation of classes in all of its elementary, junior high, and high schools.

3 -- International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 23 in Tacoma is in the midst of a long standoff with the company EGT after the company reneged on its promise to create well-paying jobs at the new terminal. The standoff has resulted in protests and aggressive behavior by union activists, prompting a US district judge to issue an injunction limiting union activity.

As I write this, a large labor strike just started to unfold involving Hyatt hotel workers in four locations. Thousands of hotel workers in Chicago, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, and Honolulu are currently on strike against Hyatt, protesting against low wages, dangerous workloads, and abusive employers that are destroying living wage jobs. Hyatt workers have also called for boycotts at 17 Hyatt properties. This strike is something to keep an eye on -- if the standoff between the workers and the company persists into early 2012, this could ignite a much larger labor strike in which as many as 250,000 workers are involved.

There is another possible labor strike involving Ford workers that is brewing. United Auto Workers (UAW) members at Ford have overwhelmingly voted to initiate a large labor strike after the current contract ends on September 14, 2011. UAW workers are already contending that they have a right to share in the profits of all three of the automakers. This is a development to keep an eye on. There is a very high probability that a labor strike will unfold.

We are seeing a barrage of labor strikes unfold. The developments are a preview of what will unfold in 2012 when Minor wave 3 of Intermediate wave (1) down starts unfolding. In terms of social mood, third waves are broad, resulting in a much larger cross-section of the populace taking part in a social trend. In terms of labor strikes, this translates into a much larger cross-section of the worker populace taking part in labor strikes in which workers fight for a living wage, better working conditions, and better health benefits, compared to what we are seeing today. 2012 is going to going to be a lot like 1934 -- we will see a labor strike barrage of epic magnitude during the first half of 2012.

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