Recession: Time to Organize

In celebrating the spiffy, new look, Machete408 brings you this agitational piece writen by a leader in the national messenger industry organizing campaign of the IWW…. “Todo el poder al pueblo” -AW

Poderalpueblo.jpg picture by adam_freedom

Recession: Time to Organize


by Mykke Holcomb, IWW


We started this year in the middle of the hardest economic times we’ve seen in decades. The real estate bubble popped, followed by the dissolution of longstanding financial institutions, the subsequent doling-out of taxpayer money to bail them out, and THEN the gouging of a weakened U.S. workforce. Tens of thousands of workers are now jobless, and thousands more lining up behind them every week. All industries are feeling the pinch with this crisis.

In our precarious workforce, we now find ourselves on even shakier ground than before. With no net to fall back on, many are laying low to hold on to what they’ve got. Many workers who’ve been laid off have justified their bosses cutting them loose, naively assuming that their employers simply couldn’t afford to keep paying them. Most truckers know better. We know better than most how much money we generate for our bosses and the coporations, and how little we see of it. For example, as Citigroup sacked 30,000 of its workers, it would come as no surprise to us that just the year before, its CEO raked in $15,105,376 (1). As Sotheby’s so desperately sought to save $7 million to stay afloat by cutting a quarter of its U.S. workforce, we might have guessed that its CEO pocketed $10,341,357 in that same year (2). And of course we’re not shocked to find that Richard K. McClelland, Director and Chairman of the Board of courier industry giant Dynamex, took home $1,222,513 (3).

There is no good reason these lay-offs should be occurring. There is no good reason we should catch the brunt of a recession we did not create. We created the profits the bosses and companies are protecting when they fire us. Or when they cut our pay and benefits. Or when they give us less work. And then of course we’re expected to understand. The figures above should suffice to explain why usually our hardship is not necessary. But nonetheless, you may wonder what we can do about it. Working people have an inspiring history of struggle and victories, even in times of recession. In fact, in these tougher times it is all the more vital for us to be organized. To accept defeat now will only hurt us more later. In this historic time, we may find history has valuable lessons for us.

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