Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:32 PM
Benton D Struckcheon (1,576 posts)
Wal-Mart, the UAW, and the Sit-Down Strike
Was thinking about this thread and had the idea that maybe a good tactic to use against Wal-Mart and the other big box stores might be something very similar to the sit-down strike that started the UAW? Maybe accompanied by an organized boycott to help it along?
Since I graduated college I've always been a highly paid technical worker, so unions have never even been thought about anyplace I've ever worked. Because of that, I've never tried to give advice to folks who are in such work situations.
But I've been working for 30+ years now, and the deterioration in everything - benefits, working conditions, yearly raises - for most workers over that time period is pretty striking. So while I understand how tough it would be for individual workers to try something like this because of the threat of being fired or jailed, the problem is at this point I don't see how the American worker is going to stop the constant erosion of his/her quality of life without engaging in some serious confrontation, which in the case of Wal-Mart would, in my opinion, need to include a sit-down strike that prevents management from just replacing any workers who strike. As in Flint, you'd have to target multiple locations, but strike them by surprise at different times to keep management off balance until they are finally forced to bargain.
Easy for me to say, I know. But really, is there any other alternative? I don't see it. Wal-Mart is the US's largest employer, nothing is going to really move until they're unionized, and you have to use a strong tactic like this to do it. It won't be easy at all, but at some point someone is going to need to do it.
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Replies to this discussion thread
Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Original post)
Thu Jan 31, 2013, 01:01 AM
OutNow (722 posts)
2. Sit Down Strike - how it works
One of the reasons the UAW sit down strike worked was that there was lots of valuable machinery in the auto factory. If the cops stormed the factory the equipment would be destroyed. The equipment was deemed to be more valuable than the workers. If there was a sit down strike in a Walmart today all the low value imported shit in the Walmart could be destroyed and replaced in a couple of hours.
I support the union and the Walmart workers but I don't believe a sit down strike would be effective.