Bronx Militant March In Support Of Stella D'Oro Workers
|THE BRONX MADE HISTORY ON JANUARY 31, 2009
THIS WAS AN historic event in our generation. Strike support is usually initiated by the union, not by the community. This rally and the related events have been organized by our community support committee in conjunction with a few rank and file workers-soon-to-be-leaders. Such community labor solidarity was common in the 1930's--not very common in this time period. I suspect it will re-emerge as the only way we will win against the bankers and the greed-mongers.
The union's leadership, both locally and in the international, has not been able to galvanize support for the boycott or the workers. As well, organized labor's leadership has not effectively assisted these workers.
The work of this committee, rank and file structures in the labor movement and a small group of workers themselves, prompted organized labor and politicians to appear at our event. Ed Ott (director of the NYC Central Labor Council) came out in the cold along with us, asking to speak as did several local politicians and mayoral hopefuls. Congressman Elliot Engels approached as the rally ended. Unfortunately, it appeared that he simply wanted a photo op.
Two highlights: a student from George Washington HS with a monetary donation from fellow students spoke in eloquent support of the strikers, bringing a few of us to tears; a special appearance by the Chicago UE members who occupied the Doors and Windows factory in December gave a national flavor to the march and rally. They invited the Stella workers to speak at an event they were holding at Judson Church that afternoon. Stella D'Oro strikers received a standing ovation from the audience at that event and spread the word:
BOYCOTT STELLA D'ORO COOKIES!
LEAVE THEM ON THE SHELF!
TELL YOUR GROCER NOT TO SELL THEM!
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