Monday, September 01, 2008

US Hit By Waves Of Labor Unrest is a phrase that sounds very good to me...

Happy Labor Day: Riot Police Defend the Mall of America from Workers

By Mike GW & James Kautz

Starbucks workers and their supporters, 50 to 70 of them, converge for a rally today at the rail station at Lake and Hiawatha in downtown Minneapolis. The crowd comes to stand in solidarity with Starbucks workers in their fight to organize a union, the Starbucks Workers Union (SWU), with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and to escort Erik Forman back to work at the Mall of America.

This is Forman’s first day back on the job after being fired for exercising his right to organize at his workplace—which recently became the first union shop in the entire Mall of America. He is one of many workers across the country who have been fired for their organizing in recent years—among them Starbucks workers and other Wobblies, as the IWWs are known.

This action is joined by Wobblies from coast to coast, along with rank-and-file members of the AFSCME Clerical Workers, SEIU Security Officers, Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE), and Truckers and Citizens of America. “Solidarity!” the call goes out. “Forever!” comes the response.

“We have the right to organize because people have stood up”—says Erin of Twin Cities IWW...

...“Get back on the train! Anyone exiting the train will be arrested for trespassing.”

This is what greets all passengers as they enter the Mall of America rail station. It is spoken by armed riot police here to protect the Mall from its workers and their friends. Deployed by the Bloomington Police Department and backed up by other agencies, the riot police run to block the exits of the train...


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