Saturday, November 25, 2006

Goodyear strikers take struggle to youtube

And the love affair between labor and the new media continues. Some unions have figured it out that the corporate media cannot and will not tell their stories the way they deserve to be told. Call it censorship, call it a flatout disregard for labor's role in American life, call it what you will.

So they're taking it to new places.

The United Steelworkers of America have been on strike against Goodyear Tires for a couple of weeks now. Unlike the Service Employees strike, this is a traditional industrial strike--but with a twist. The USW is trying to alert the public to the fact that the last time there was a tire-maker strike, we ended up with the Firestone Tire fiasco. Replacement workers (or scabs, as we like to refer to them) don't do as good a job as real workers, you see.

So the USW is putting their message for all the world to see on youtube. The video is here. The video itself is nothing special, it looks like a political-season negative hit ad, but I do like the car which flies off the road onto the viewer, while the voice-over asks "Which tires will you buy?"

Here's another radio spot they put together. It ends with bagpipes playing at a funeral. They are not using subtle messaging here, kids. I can't say as I blame them, as their backs are really against the wall here.

I'll leave you with this message from striking steelworkers who are thankful this year:
"A lot of places in the world, you couldn't do this, stand up for what you
think," said Wayne Mart, who has worked at Goodyear for 37 years. "You'd think
maybe with this going on, we don't have a lot to be thankful for, but actually
we have a lot to be thankful for."
"I think I'm just really, really thankful that in a battle like this I have
all these people with me," she said. "Our strength just comes from being
together. Because if you sat at home by yourself and worried about how you're
going to pay the mortgage without a job, you'd go crazy."

Me too. I'm thankful for solidarity. And industrial democracy. And the freedom to type these words. And lots of other things.

Hope you had a great thanksgiving. I'm down in the Old North State, and enjoing the family and the sixty-degree weather.

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