Topic: Scabbing

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martin dufresne
Topic: Scabbing

 

martin dufresne

quote:


Ms. Communicate: Holding the line on scabs
"...I had asked another very close friend who works there about the situation, and to my surprise he told me he was planning on scabbing as he will get paid more during the strike...."
(...)
My initial reaction was to call him a few not very nice things. I am wondering if I should do anything and what I should do to try to talk him out of scabbing, as it is a very immoral act and it will be harming some of my other friends who are doing the right thing and staying out.

union guy

[b]Now what?[/b]


I hate to acknowledge it but sometimes, there is no substitute for a swift kick in the cojones.

Michelle

Why not link to the column? [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

Michelle
kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

[url=http://www.daypoems.net/poems/2459.html]A Scab is Always A Scab[/url]

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I like the classics:

quote:

"After God had finished the rattlesnake, the toad, and the vampire, he had some awful substance left with which he made a scab."

"A scab is a two-legged animal with a corkscrew soul, a water brain, a combination backbone of jelly and glue. Where others have hearts, he carries a tumor of rotten principles."

"When a scab comes down the street, men turn their backs and angels weep in heaven, and the devil shuts the gates of hell to keep him out."

"No man has a right to scab so long as there is a pool of water to drown his carcass in, or a rope long enough to hang his body with. Judas was a gentleman compared with a scab. For betraying his master, he had character enough to hang himself." A scab has not.

"Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. Judas sold his Savior for thirty pieces of silver. Benedict Arnold sold his country for a promise of a commission in the British army." The scab sells his birthright, country, his wife, his children and his fellowmen for an unfulfilled promise from his employer.

Esau was a traitor to himself; Judas was a traitor to his God; Benedict Arnold was a traitor to his country; a scab is a traitor to his God, his country, his family and his class."

Author - Jack London (1876-1916)


lagatta

That said, union guy should try to talk to his friend.

But if that fails, union guy should tell his fiend to kindly fuck himself and make sure his life after the strike is not worth living.

Michelle

Uh, okay.

What will be left for him to do when his friend murders someone?

lagatta

Depends whom. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

al-Qa'bong

I've been deep into Youtube, looking for stuff for other threads, am on a roll, and so thought I'd chip this one in here:

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flqcZmsLgIo][i]Blackleg Miner[/i] by Steeleye Span[/url]

munroe

There was a strike at Anyox in 1932. The company tried to recruit scabs in Prince Rupert. They found only one.

When the scab returned to Rupert, he was "sent to Coventry" and no fellow worker spoke to him for more then a decade. The silence broke while working in the ship yards and only when others needed to tell him to end certain dangerous practices (I doubt the words were particulary kind or uplifting).

Class traitors have no place in civil society.

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by lagatta:
[b]Depends whom. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]

Yeah, I suppose! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

triciamarie

A lot of inexperienced union members may not really understand just how offended and their colleagues will be if they scab, and how long that collective memory will last once the dust settles, and how unlikely it is that a scab will receive good service from the union should that be required in future, and how likely it is that their coworkers will try to ensure that the scab is placed in that situation of requiring union help.

If this friend is not going to actively support the strike, for a grocery store worker he can probably come pretty close to replacing his wages (not benefits or job security) by forgoing his strike pay tied to picketing, and going to work somewhere else for the interim, ie as a temp. Maybe he can swing by the line on his time off and support his colleagues at least that much.

In fact I've known a few guys, strong union supporters, who have read the writing on the wall prior to a long strike, and made their way to Alberta for a couple months rather than destroy their working future for that employer by crossing the line.

Makwa Makwa's picture

quote:


No man has a right to scab so long as there is a pool of water to drown his carcass in, or a rope long enough to hang his body with.

I have always hated this screed, in it's narrow appeal to violence. In any work stoppage, some will feel more desperate than others. What about the single parent facing eviction, or who is out of food? I support union solidarity but I also recognize that there will be some who are unable to maintain solidarity due to extreme circumstances. I have been through strikes myself, and grew up in long striking situations as a child, and would continue to support my union in the future, but I refuse to dehumanize those who may be unable to do so.

Caissa

The union should support those who find themselves in such dire straits that they consider scabbing.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Makwa:
[QB What about the single parent facing eviction, or who is out of food? I support union solidarity but I also recognize that there will be some who are unable to maintain solidarity due to extreme circumstances.[/QB]

This is exactly the point of why union people hate scabs. If you have a job and you are facing eviction or are out of food then it is obvious that your employer is exploiting you to the nth degree. Helping that employer is a stab in the back to your co-workers and a kidnapping of their attempts to right the wrongs being inflicted on the workers that are on the verge of evictions or need food banks. If you give in to the boss man then you deserve what crumbs they spill of their table.

Unionist

I also don't believe that workers who cross picket lines while their comrades are on strike should be dehumanized. I do, however, believe that they should be stopped.

If they're starving or facing eviction, and can't survive on strike pay until the strike is over, they should picket until they find another job. Preferably a non-union job. That way, they'll only starve and freeze when the boss kicks them out.

Here in Quйbec, we've solved the problem by banning scabs from working during a legal strike or lockout.

Funny... haven't heard about workers starving or freezing in the past 30 years...

[ 02 October 2008: Message edited by: unionist ]

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]Here in Quйbec, we've solved the problem by banning scabs from working during a legal strike or lockout.

Funny... haven't heard about workers starving or freezing in the past 30 years...

[ 02 October 2008: Message edited by: unionist ][/b]


And the NDP has tried to get anti-scab legislation through the House and it was blocked by the Liberals and Conservatives. Dion said no to anti-scab legislation.

blackhand9

The problem with scabs is that they remain scabs forever and you are forced to work with them. Silent scabs are worse - those that secretly worked or failed to report lost wages and were never caught. Well in the end they end up with management jobs and a very bad conscience which essentially makes their relations with employees irrational since they are forever trying to justify their stupid behaviors...

They ruin workplace relations for a few hundred dollars - and some are rewarded for it with fat management jobs which they really don't deserve and have no aptitude for.

If you want to have better management and better relations in the workplace then scabbing must be banned.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]And the NDP has tried to get anti-scab legislation through the House and it was blocked by the Liberals and Conservatives. Dion said no to anti-scab legislation.[/b]

Correct. Although, in fact, it is the Bloc which has been introducing the measure for over a decade in the House.

The NDP would be far more credible on this issue if they had actually enacted anti-scab legislation at any time during their decades in power in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. By doing so only in B.C. and (briefly) Ontario, it leaves the impression that this is an optional policy for the NDP, doesn't it?

Polunatic2

quote:


In any work stoppage, some will feel more desperate than others. What about the single parent facing eviction, or who is out of food?

Having been on strike twice, I can say that for every scab who claims hardship, there is a striker in even more desperate straights.

In our situation, our employer (Mike Harris), encouraged our own members to cross the picket line and come to work (as opposed to outside replacement workers). It was the nastiest thing I have experienced in my work life. More than 10 years later, there's still poisoned work environments.

Having said that, beginning bargaining with a divided workplace is not optimal. We have made efforts to "rehabilitate" former scabs by offering them "amnesty" if they actively picketed in the next strike. That was effective for a number of former members (we kicked most of them out of the union after the first strike).

So I would agree that in some circumstances, it doesn't help to totally demonize people.

saga saga's picture

We had this issue in my bargaining unit when it was brand new, during the 1997 ('illegal') walkout. Because the new unit was so new, and the action not for collective bargaining, at my insistence, we cut some slack for the single Moms with low incomes, but hassled those we knew were not hurting financially (ie, with employed spouses). It turned into a learning experience for the other bargaining units too, since they had no idea how low those women's wages were, and it helped with support and respect among units, over time.

In your situation, though, I think I'd be tempted to say: "So ... you're not planning to come back here to work after the strike, eh?"

There may still be people who don't quite understand the seriousness of what they're doing, and maybe they need some education, but if that's not the case and he's just a spit-in-your-face kinda guy ... well, I wouldn't do anything 'illegal' that the cops might feel they had to attend to but ... something creative maybe? Leave a 'surprise' for him at his work station before you go out maybe? Spray paint a big S on his workcoat?

Hell, people who choose to be scabs are social morons with no sense of community values. Karma will get them!