I passed out a leaflet entitled UNIONIZE BERING SEA STEVEDORING at the union hall one morning. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Less than a week later, the union set up its first picket line. I joined the picket line and held up a sign.
It was one of the worst picket lines I have ever seen.
We stood there with our signs and we watched the non-union company load up lots and lots of pallets of fish unto the cargo boat. We didn't interfere with their work at all. We didn't try and stop workers from crossing the picket line. We didn't try and stop the cargo from being loaded unto the ship. It was an "educational picket" the union leadership said.
"What's an educational picket?" Clinton asked.
"It means we don't do anything," Scotty responded.
Standing next to me was Chipmonk McWilson. Chipmonk's father had been president of a big union down south. Chipmonk had a child and another on the way. He looked like he was about to cry.
So we stood there for about an hour or two, and then the union business agent at that time, Mr. Jackoff, said "Let's all meet at the union hall." (Now that he was the business agent we called him Mr. Jackoff.) So we all went to the union hall expecting to hear something important.
Mr. Jackoff addressed us and said, "Today we had a beautiful moment together. It was so wonderful with all of us pulling together as one. We were a great force of solidarity. Any questions?"
I raised my hand. Mr. Jackoff called on me. "We need more than just blah blah blah about a beautiful moment together," I said. "We need to stop Bering Sea Stevedore in its tracks. That's the only way we'll make them union is to stop them. In order to stop them we need picket lines that mean DON'T CROSS!"
Mr. Jackoff replied, "We can't stop them, because there are laws against that. If we break the laws they'll impose fines on the union."
I raised my hand. Mr. Jackoff reluctantly called on me.
"Does that mean we're just going to stand there and do nothing?" I asked. "We need to make Bering Sea Stevedore union! As for fines the N.L.W.U. is powerful enough to bring the shipping companies to their knees, and make the courts back off on the fines issue."
Then one of the union officials said, "How many of you guys are registered to vote?! What we need to do is elect representatives to the city council that are more friendly to labor."
A born-again Christian pothead raised his hand and said, "What… uh… we need to do…. guys…. is… uh… register to vote guys. We need to elect representatives to the city council that will work for us… uh…"
I raised my hand, "What we need to do is set up picket lines that mean don't cross. We have to stop Bering Sea Stevedore cold in their tracks. We need to bring Bering Sea Stevedore to its knees, and then they'll sign union."
I attended more picket lines. But they just got more and more pathetic and sad. We stood there at the "educational" picket watching the non-union company loading lots and lots of pallets unto the cargo ship.
Copyright © 2004 by Wolf Larsen. All Rights Reserved.
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