Meanwhile, the Twin Cities dailies describe P-9 as “rigid” and “inflexible.”. Region 13 director Joe Hansen made it clear in his announcement that this was the best deal P-9 woudl get and that the UFCW would conduct a mail ballot. Rogers’ strategy towards the strike has been to push non-violent “civil disobedience,” rather like Martin Luther King in the civil rights movement or the anti-nuclear protesters who sit down in front of nuclear plants with the intention of getting arrested. 46 0 obj Discontented workers in the hog kill department got together with with an experienced Wobbly (IWW) organizer, named Frank Ellis, who was working as a foreman in another department. Most of the actual strike support and fund-raising has been done under the auspices of the United Support Group, which is formally independent of the union. Hormel Foods Corporation Type Public (NYSE: HRL) By MIKE ALEWITZ Thirty-five years ago, 1500 members of Local P-9, United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), struck the Hormel meat-packing plant in Austin, Minnesota. Liberating Thought: Toward an Independent Mass Media, Lessons from the Air Traffic Controllers’ Strike of 1981, Rojava: An Anarcho-Syndicalist Perspective. Domination of UFCW by a top down, paid apparatus is a reason workers need to build a new self-managed union in the retail and food processing industries. endobj Management was talking about getting a 20% increase in productivity out of the new facility. When the airline unions and the AFL-CIO let the air controllers go down to defeat, the message to the employing class was, “You can do what you want; we won’t organize a fighting solidarity.”. Hormel had already announced that a defeat of this proposal would trigger the opening of the plan with scabs and as many P-9 members as were willing to cross picket lines. 53 0 obj endobj Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL) is a food company based in southeastern Minnesota (Mower County), perhaps best known as the producer of Spam luncheon meat. The day the plant opened there was no mass civil disobedience or publicity campaigns. <>37 0 R]/P 6 0 R/S/Link>> What was achieved, through several decades of struggle, were improved conditions and a national wage standard adhered to by all producers. But instead of asking retail clerks to refuse to handle Hormel products, the International demanded unconditional surrender by P-9. When you’re talking about meatpacking strikes in Minnesota, the Hormel strike just comes up. Prince 12.5 (www.princexml.com) But the Communist Party registered the leftist retreat the earliest and clearest: “The local leadership’s attacks on the leadership of the UFCW has played into the hands of the corporations’ union busting strategy and will be used to split and divide other locals and be used as ammunition against the union in organizing drives…” (Daily World, 2/6). As one commentator has described it: Everyone’s work was changed, sped up, pressured, and tied to external pacing and new standards. %PDF-1.7 %���� P-9’s roving pickets against First Bank were being monitored and photographed for future legal action against the local. Everyone wants to believe it. endobj 2019-12-31T09:44:58-08:00 ideas & action was created in July, 1981 as an independent anarcho-syndicalist magazine. But when P-9 members rejected this contract in January, Wynn reneged on his pledge and refused to sanction roving pickets. Only about 65 workers stayed out when pickets showed up at the Fremont, Nebraska plant. Later, William Wynn and Lane Kirkland stood cheek to jowl for the press while Wynn dencounces the “fascist tactics” of P-9. Several hundred strikers amassed at the main gate, chanting, hurling insults at the cops. Affiliation of workers in different workplaces with the same AFL-CIO-type “international union” only guarantees subordination to a common central bureaucracy. Though material had been published on the safety problems in Hormel’s new plant, Corporate Campaign’s overwhelming emphasis had been on the money issue — a profitable company cutting wages. But when workers’ efforts to mount an effective fight against employer power and to control their own struggle come into conflict with the top-down hierarchies in the unions, as at Hormel, the need and opportunity for new organization is clearly demonstrated. This last step was the most significant in that it would prevent Hormel from shortages of product should the Austin plnat be shut down. But in 1984 the International proposed a $1.69 per hour wage cut for Hormel workers outside Austin (from $10.69 to $9 per hour). Hormel Foods Corporation is a food company based in Austin, Minnesota that produces Spam luncheon meat. Nonetheless, they’re still making money and hundreds of P-9 defectors and new hires continue to labor in the Austin plant on the company’s terms. Kirkland lets it be known that from now on the AFL will try to intervene in disputes between Internationals and insurgent locals. The shut down came on August 7th and stretched through the fall and into winter. ������������������������������������������¿�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������\ Supporters of the new independent estimate that there are between 12,000 and 30,000 meatpackers in 30 locals across the midwest who may be willing to leave the UFCW for an independent union. They have often had to fight against the union hierarchy as well as the employer. 71 0 obj When Hormel began production in January, it would have been possible to break into the plant and carry out a sit-down strike. On the company side, active preparations were underway for a strike. 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