Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Support USW Local 1005 in Hamilton!

I lived in Hamilton for ten years, and it was common for me to encounter and work with activists from United Steel Workers Local 1005 in peace and social justice groups in the community. Hard work over decades by activists with a range of different left politics kept 1005 a vibrant political space in ways that simply isn't true of a lot of other industrial locals. Since I've moved away from the city, 1005 -- which represents workers at the former Stelco, now U.S. Steel Canada -- has come under unprecedented attack. The most recent development is that they have been locked out since November 7, 2010, after the union refused to give in on significant changes that would particularly impact pensioners and new hires.

For background and regular updates from the union, see here. And here is a video describing the current state of things:

As is often the case when North American industrial unions respond to neoliberalism, I take issue with the nationalism in which they package their struggle because I think it ultimately does more harm than good. However, the threat to working people is real and we should all inform ourselves and act however we can in support, for much the same reasons as I wrote about an earlier struggle here in Sudbury.

(Thanks to Alex for the video link.)

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