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texpatriot2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:19 PM
Original message
Tyson Workers Stand Firm With Striking Canadian Workers
Dakota City (Neb.) Tyson Workers Stand Firm With Striking Canadian Workers; Local Mobilization to Support Tyson Strikers in Brooks, Alberta, Canada

DAKOTA CITY, Neb., Oct. 19 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Tyson Foods is now facing more than just picket lines in Alberta, Canada. Dakota City Tyson workers -- members of United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 222 -- as well as all UFCW members across the United States are rallying to support their striking brothers and sisters in Canada.

"Across this continent, we are one union speaking with one voice," said Marv Harrington, UFCW Local 222 president. "We are going to mobilize to support the strikers in Alberta."


In the first few days of picketing, three strikers were beaten with metal pipes and the local president was run off the road in his car. All were hospitalized for their injuries. Hundreds of African workers have endured racist jeers and verbal assaults. Tyson's violent attacks on workers and supporters have created a groundswell of support in the U.S. and Canada.

"Their fight for a fair contract in Alberta is our fight right here in Dakota City. When Tyson tries to lower wages and benefits and reduce workplace safety protections, we'll have to fight that same battle right here in our plant. It shouldn't be happening in Alberta and we don't want that kind of negative pressure on our community," said Harrington.
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u4ic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:42 PM
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1. A bit more on the strike...
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 01:43 PM by u4ic
Brooks, Alta. Two senior officials with Lakeside Packers have been charged in a car crash that injured the leader of the union on strike at the meat-packing plant.

RCMP issued a news release Saturday night saying that Garnet Altwasser, 65, and Patrick Gummeson, 52, were charged with dangerous driving after the Friday night incident. Mr. Altwasser has been both president and CEO at the plant, while Mr. Gummeson is the manager of farm operations. Kaye Kronebusch, 25, and Derek Lewis, 35, also face the same charges.

Meanwhile, RCMP also announced that the injured union leader, Doug O'Halloran, 53, has been charged with two counts of willful damage and one count of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

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warrens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. One of the most bizarre stories ever
The former owner, the head of security, the head of personnel and three other management types were chasing the union president in three SUVs on a state highway, ramming him repeatedly and finally driving him off the road. To serve a cease and desist order.

The security guy and personnel guy are facing some serious felony charges, the other four are charged with driving to endanger.

The problem is, Tyson will probably win this one. In the rest of the country, the locals would have stood with the strikers. But since this is Alberta (roughly, Alabama), and since the strikers are mostly despised Newfies and Sudanese immmigrants, no one is on their side.
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. what's a 'Newfie'...
and why are they despised?

educate a southern u.s.'er.
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C_eh_N_eh_D_eh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Canadians from the province of Newfoundland.
The place is very isolated, both physically and culturally, from the mainland, and there are many, many jokes about how its inhabitants are, shall we say, a bit slow on the uptake. Not long ago, Newfoundlander jokes were as popular here as Polish jokes were in the US.

Speaking the word "Newfie" in a Canadian pub will likely get you either a round of chuckles or a sharp blow to the head.
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. thanks. (nt)
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CdnObserver Donating Member (81 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
5. I was in Alberta the last 2 weeks on a job
The guy I was working with was talking about "those idiots", when I asked him who he meant he said the strikers!

He got 2 weeks worth of an earful the entire time. I think he even pretended to sleep on the way to the Airport just so I would stop haranguing him.

He was pretty surprised when I told him about segregated bathrooms at the Tyson plant in Alabama.

All in all, a dittohead. From Vancouver, no less. I heard every Conservative and anti-Eastern orthodox talking point come out of his mouth and I shut him down every time.

His comment about the collapse of many Atlantic fishing communities was that they should be "retrained" or move. I guess this is what they can expect if they DO move. How the Canadian economy is going to absorb the workers from such a massive Industry I'm sure never actually entered his mind.

Especially with the pressures on the Softwood and Beef industries already!

Of course, he was in the middle of reading Friedman's "The World is Flat" and I'm sure he considers himself an intellectual.

I gave him a heads-up on the upcoming indictments, but of course he was oblivious.
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