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Don't Mourn Organize

Striking While the Summer is Hot

​​The old saying goes, strike while the iron is hot, meaning when the conditions are right, it’s important to act with the proper momentum, and not let your opportunities pass. It appears this Summer, may be just one of these moments. Currently we are seeing a mass labor mobilization effort sweeping across the nation, growing in ferocity and momentum. This explosion of organizing activity has mirrored, perhaps not coincidentally, the exponential growth observed in catastrophic weather. While it might, at first, seem a stretch to link the two, doing so is quite appropriate, because the conditions for striking and mass mobilization are not divorced from the material, physical reality experienced by people. A properly functioning and representative government would respond to the increased pressures faced by Americans during this apocalyptic heat with strong legislation and regulations aimed at protecting it’s citizenry. Instead, government responses have ranged from platitudes without action, to outright hostility against vulnerable workers. When combined with the growing cost of living, the low unemployment rate, and the raised consciousness of essential work in the aftermath of the pandemic broad swathes of workers feel a sense of shared struggle and an urgency to act for themselves. This has manifested in the massive strikes across multiple industries: the ongoing writers’ strike, was recently joined by the SAG-AFTA members, creating a combined front against Hollywood for the first time in 60 years; there is the looming threat of thousands of UPS drivers and transportation workers striking at the end of July if a better contract can’t be reached; fast food labor workers in California are striking; United Electrical Workers are striking; Starbucks stores are beginning to strike. The list of organizations attempting to form unions and create solidarity among people with shared struggle is spreading rapidly. People are demanding more, and they are finally realizing their power when it’s combined not just politically, but economically. The ruling class is extremely nervous about these developments. There have been multiple mask-off moments, with executives claiming that their goals are to try and starve out workers who are unionizing or to hire scabs in order to break potential strikes. They know that wins by organized labor and mass action have the potential to change the dynamics of power in this country. It’s no coincidence that these capitalists are suddenly paying attention to their workers’ demands and worried when their bottom lines are truly threatened. Unfortunately, rather than acquiesce to the unions’ demands, we can see capital getting into gear trying to divide, distract, and diffuse this organized power. A century ago, this might have meant sending in the national guard, but today businesses undermine labor through meeting with Democratic lawmakers, and large Union Leader bosses trying to separate them from the struggle of their constituents. As frustrating as this backdoor maneuvering is, however, it shows the threat of striking indeed works to bring the donor class to the negotiating table, but it's important for labor to not give up and concede too early in the game. After decades of losses by unions and organized labor legally and economically, it is important to not take the proverbial iron out of the fire yet, and to continue to strike blow after blow against a capitalist and donor class. This “hot labor Summer” has demonstrated that organizing economically as a powerful block, is one of the few ways to get the attention of, and concessions from, powerful Elites. Not everyone can join as part of the Union at their workplace, nor help with the specific labor struggles of a particular industry, however, Americans can demonstrate their deep support for unions by joining our voices in growing economic solidarity to fight alongside the unionization drive as consumers. So, join us each Tuesday in that growing solidarity as we build the economic cudgel for organized labor to wield against capital, as we strike during this blazing hot Summer towards a fairer and more representative government. ​​ #DSOT #UPM

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