Tag Archives: Industrial action

The largest prisoner strike in U.S. history

Since September 9, prisoners in the U.S. have been on strike in more than 30 correctional facilities to protest their exploitation as workers and the ridiculously low wages they receive in prison, under conditions characteristic of insitutionalized slavery. They demand real wages, adequate health care, education programs, and the shortening of life sentences. On September 24, even the guards in various prisons did not come to work (although without officially expressing their solidarity).

Fillmclip: “Stop being a slave: the largest prisoner strike in U.S. history”
USA 2016, 2 min, english with dt. UT (http://de.labournet.tv/aufhoeren-ein-sklave-zu-sein-der-groesste-gefangegenstreik-der-geschichte-der-usa)

This nationwide strike was organized in part by the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), a project of the IWW union. Since IWOC began the project in 2014, 900 prisoners have become union members. But the strike has involved many more prisoners: according to estimates, over 50,000 have participated. Smuggled-in cell phones and social media were critical to organizing.

There is almost no coverage of this strike in mainstream media and prisoners are punished for their participation in the protests.

IWOC is asking for donations to support the prisoners’ strike. They also participate in the publication of the Incarcerated Worker, a small magazine written and edited by prisoners (more information on the website [1]).

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Hunger strike in the Butzbach correctional facility

Since yesterday, prisoners in the Butzbach (Hesse) correctional facility have been on a hunger or go-slow strike, demanding, among other things, the right to unionize, the minimum wage and payment into the pension fund for their work in prison. These demands are joined by more than 140 signatories of a statement of support, 45 of them from Hesse as well as trade unionists and academics from India, South Africa and Brazil. Continue reading

Industrial action in the education sector: current & past events

After the [edmc id=”1727″]dismissal of a total of 17 seminar leaders at the Konradshöhe youth training center, which is affiliated with the trade unions[/edmc], those dismissed are fighting back. We would like to take the [edmc id=”1721″]call for solidarity[/edmc] as well as the online petition of the (former) seminar leaders as an opportunity to remind of other similar labor struggles, which often only find their space on mailing lists and thus reach a very limited public.

Firstly, an [edmc id=”1725″]e-mail[/edmc] sent by autsch3000 in January 2011, which referred to a [edmc id=”1733″]job advertisement from ASA[/edmc] and in which explicit [edmc id=”1732″]rejections[/edmc] were requested to be sent to ASA. Furthermore, an email sent in January 2012 from [edmc id=”1723″]abersonstgehtsnoch[/edmc], which referred to a [edmc id=”1726″]job advertisement from ICJA[/edmc].

In the meantime, resistance has been mounting, especially in academia. On the Facebook page of the Academic Spring Initiative, more and more examples are being collected around the topic of appropriate working conditions and living wages, especially in academia and the non-profit sector, and a networking of those affected is being promoted.

The daily newspaper die taz reported at the end of August on other incidents (e.g. at the DGB Bildungswerk) and on the contradiction between denouncing precarious working conditions and excluding oneself from them. Researcher, author and trainer Urmila Goel takes up the article and explains why higher daily rates are necessary. However, the power to decide about them is usually not in the hands of the precarious education workers.