Submitted on Thu, 12/15/2005 - 11:04pm
By Matt Wilson, Portland - From the Stumptown Wobbly, reprinted in the Industrial Worker, December 2005
This is a story about a situation that happened at my workplace. Ideally, this will add to a conception of what Direct Unionism is, how it exists in everyday situations, and where we can go with it as an organization. This event happened around a year ago. While some of its impacts were immediate, it took me some time to develop an analysis, and to see clearly how this tied in with the development of class-consciousness. At this point I feel that I can look back, analyze the situation and draw out some lessons.
I worked on the sunrise shift at a parcel moving company represented by the Teamsters. At this company, and in this industry in general, every package is timed out to the last minute. Every day lost in not delivering a package costs this company money. The precision of the timing and the workers' role in maintaining the schedule furthers the opportunity for strategic opposition. This was especially true on my shift where the large majority of the packages being unloaded were on the last leg of their journey. These packages are going directly from us to the trucks that deliver things to your home.