Saturday, May 20, 2017

Day Two: Our strike at AT&T Mobility in Salem, and why solidarity is important

Why do we say that it is important to have people with us on picketlines?

One reason is because young people learn from us, and we have lots to learn from them. Our AT&T Mobility picketline in Salem is 99% youth. I hear a lot of progressive people in Salem talking about youth, but I don't see engagement with the working-class young people who are on our picketlines from those people. Back in the day we used to make our picketlines joyful events led by the young people. That won't happen, and resistance won't build, if folks don't turn out.

Another reason is solidarity. Yesterday the cops got called on us in Salem, one of the few places in the U.S. where this happened. Mind you, there are 40,000 people out on strike now. Every strike is an opportunity to stand tall. Shoulder to shoulder. And we need witnesses when the cops show up.

Another reason is strength. By 2:00 PM today we were wiped out on the edge of a busy road in the hot sun, and the customers crossing our lines saw our exhaustion. A few more fresh faces and bodies would have helped.

Another reason is that every picketline is part of a class struggle. Every picketline asks you: which side are you on? And if you're on the right side, you will support the struggle by joining in somehow, even if it's only for a little while.

Another reason is power. We turned a few people away today from crossing our picketline. With more support, we could have done better.

We will be out there tomorrow at 10:00 AM at 200 Hawthorne Ave. SE in Salem.

Never joined a picketline? We'll teach you how.

Never been in a union? It doesn't matter.

Think that this fight isn't yours? My union's fight for good jobs at decent pay in the telecommunications industry and against an industry giant while Trump is President is everyone's fight.

My union backed Sanders, and the industry is still mad at us.

See you tomorrow?

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