What’s Wrong with the Labor Movement?

This is really about just one thing that I noted in one place. Despite that, I expect it is common enough to matter. There are of course several (one being it’s already largely been dismantled by the Federal and state governments), but what is one reason that it might have trouble recovering?

Sexism.

As I write this, I can’t recall any other behind-the-scenes instance of gangstalking that I ran across. Unconscious seems to be saying that’s wrong, but it hasn’t reminded me of the others.

At one plant I worked at, a female union member was concerned about her vehicle. She made this comment a few times during my shift, so I eventually made her stop and explain it. I also note that my supervisor thought that she was paranoid, crazy, didn’t believe her.

Anyway, the pecking order kind of works like this. Seniority (time with the union) means you get top preference when a job opens up. Someone else retires, they create a new position, or there’s a temporary opening due to a long term illness of some sort with the expectation that the sick worker will eventually return to work.

This is fine as long as it’s a man. When it’s a woman, though they abide by the rules usually (there is a time limit if she believes she’s been treated unfairly to file a grievance) there is a disrespect that sometimes accompanies that seniority that I didn’t see when it was a man. It’s as if they think it’s a bit of a joke.

She said that after she got a position that someone with less seniority wanted, they did things like follow her home, let air out of her tires, etc.

Additionally, at this plant, they work 24-hours, three 8-hour shifts. The least favorite for most people is the midnight shift, but it’s typically two weeks until everyone shifts to the next slot anyway.

In that case, they wanted her to trade with someone else, a man. She refused. She complained to the union rep who listened intently, told her not to worry about it, and then started asking her if it would be possible to switch shifts.

(Note that many of these people are related. Nephews, cousins, all work together. There is often also a strong old-school military mindset wjth many having served).

The pranks pulled on her were, given my experience, rather tame in comparison. But it does show the process, the good ol’ boy network in action, and how, when it comes to dealing with the bigger, more important issues of being essentially neutered, the union mentality may actually be hurting its own cause.

(It’s like actually usually allowing me to say whatever I want but wreaking havoc on my life for having done so. It’s still illegal and still a violation of the 1st amendment.)

Additionally, I’m not certain that, despite some very public disputes between labor and management, that some labor leaders might actually be siding with management over those they are charged to protect when it really matters.

A commitment to the workers and the side-issues like women’s rights, would make the movement stronger, more effective. Without unity, it’s all subject to divide-and-conquer.

That’s pretty much it. She generally handled it pretty well, actually. They once laid a razor blade on her work chair but panicked once they realized she had collected it as evidence. These are misguided, often sweet, but none too bright, men.

I suggested if they followed her home again to pull over and get out of the car and walk towards them. There is nothing quite like a p.o.’ed woman to snap some men into obedience. (I’ve answered the phone when their wives call. They tend to snap to.)

Except maybe–maybethe goddam Batman.

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