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North Texans who have been pouring their solidarity efforts into the Steelworkers' Goodyear strike at Tyler may shift their emphasis to the Teamsters in the Ft Worth area, where 130 sanitation workers were forced on strike by the Allied Waste Company. The Steelworkers are likely to settle in the next few days with a big victory over Goodyear company plans to destroy retiree benefits, but only a partial victory on keeping the Tyler plant open.
Wesley Jenkins and John Short, President and Vice President of IBT 767, appeared on KNON's "Workers Beat" program on December 27 to explain the situation and ask for a united effort to beat one of the clearest cases of union busting of recent times. They told the radio audience, which includes 10 Metroplex counties, that Allied Waste management had shown little intention of negotiating work conditions with their employees. Instead, they took advantage of today's laxity in enforcement of labor laws to delay the process of contract renewal. Meanwhile, management contracted with a Phoenix law firm and lined up scabs from their nationwide cadres of management flunkies.
The result, according to President Jenkins, is that scabs from all over the country are attempting to drive Metroplex streets and carry out the jobs normally done by hard-working sanitation workers who care about their customers. One truck has already been rolled, Jenkins said.
Local 767 members pick up trash in 25 towns surrounding Ft Worth. The union officials said that residents should call their City Managers to demand fair treatment for the Allied Waste Sanitation officers. They might also drop by the picket center to encourage the strikers. It is located at 6100 Elliott Reeder Rd, Haltom City, TX 76117. People get there from Highway 121 by taking the Carson exit and going south to Elliott Reader. It's an educational experience to talk with people who are on the front lines of class struggle, and it's an advancement in solidarity that benefits us all.
Vice President Short told the KNON audience that the union had asked the strikers to stay home with their families on Christmas Day. The strikers, instead, chose to continue picket duty. They decorated the tent they are using for shelter and brought their family members to the picket line!
A number of concerned progressives called the "Workers' Beat" program, including internationally known peace activist Cindy Sheehan. Sheehan urged people to attend a 9 AM peace action in Crawford on December 28, while GW Bush meets with some of his accomplices at the Presidential Ranch. She made the point that the war is costing $10 billion per month! IBT 767 Vice President John Short talked about the necessity of shifting the nation's priorities away from foreign concerns and toward taking care of our people here at home.
Check out the Teamsters 767 Site