Article 43


Thursday, November 18, 2021

NWO - Union Lockouts During Covid

image: union lockout

Q. How does the PRO ACT fit in with the two issues below going on now?

A. It may do something to STOP employers from LOCKING OUT or replacing striking workers.

“Kellogg’s turn toward using scabs to break strike. This will test whether a resurgent labor movement will win or be repressed. Will labor’s allies help? Deep stresses are rising to challenge and change US capitalism.”
- Richard Wolff 11/18/2021


Kelloggs reportedly hiring to replace workers on strike after a failed negotiation

November 15, 2021

Kellogg’s, the American food manufacturing company headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan, is allegedly hiring new workers that will replace those who are on strike. They are still protesting after the negotiations between the union and the management failed.

At this point, no additional negotiation meeting has been set between Kellogg’s and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. While the strike is ongoing, the company is said to be actively hiring so it can immediately replace at least 1,400 plant workers who have not returned to work yet and still protesting.

ACCORDING TO FOX BUSINESS, because of the ongoing protest over contract deals, the company said late last week that it has resorted to “tapping our global manufacturing network and expertise” and currently hiring to fill in roles at Kellogg’s four factories located in Battle Creek, Michigan; Memphis, Tennessee; Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Omaha, Nebraska.

While the new hiring begins, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union workers are still on the picket lines. Some of the employees receiving hourly pay and salaried ones have also begun to work and restarted the productions at the affected plants.

The union members have been on strike since early October and Kellogg’s was forced to continue operations at its facilities by depending on “other sources” to avoid any disruptions with the supply.

At any rate, Kellogg’s has sued the striking workers at its cereal plant in Omaha. In the lawsuit that was filed last week against the union, the company accused the striking union members of intimidating workers at the Omaha, Nebraska facility who are not part of the union. The company added that the workers also blocked vehicles from coming in and out of the factory.

With the actions, Kellogg’s said in the suit that the company is suffering and will continue to suffer irreparable damages. Moreover, the cereal maker is asking the court for an immediate order of prohibiting the conduct described.

“We sought a temporary restraining order to help ensure the safety of all individuals in the vicinity of the plant, including the picketers themselves,” Kris Bahner, Kellogg’s spokeswoman, told Business insider. “As Kellogg continues to conduct business at the plant, we are concerned about dangerous and unlawful behavior, such as blocking plant access, threatening violence against individuals entering the plant, and damaging property, to name a few.”



Massachusetts nurses strike faces collapse due to unions isolation of their struggle

By Ben Oliver
World Socialist Web Site
Novermber 15, 2021

Roughly 600 nurses are still on strike in Worcester, Massachusetts, as they fight to defend their working conditions and the safety of their patients at Saint Vincent Hospital. A full year into the pandemic, on March 8, 2021, they forced the hand of their union, the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), to call an open-ended strike. It is now the longest nurses strike in Massachusetts history. Despite nurses’ commitment and sacrifice, their struggle is in danger of collapse due to the role of the unions and their subservience to Democratic Party politicians.

With the fiduciary duty to maximize returns of its private stakeholders, executives expect this move to render double-digit returns within three years, as Tenet seeks to derive more profit from less capital intensive, lower cost-of-care settings. Offsetting these purchases is Tenet’s divestiture from inpatient care. In June 2021, four months into the nurses’ strike, it announced the $1.1 billion sale of five hospitals in Florida to Steward Healthcare.

According to a December 2020 article in the Dallas Morning News, while then CEO Ron Rittenmeyer claimed that CARES Act money was not used in Tenets December purchase, the $2.5 billion Tenet received protected investors from pandemic losses, as did deep spending cuts and furloughs of 10 percent of Tenet’s workforce.

With Tenet making fundamental changes to its business model and Saint Vincent management weighing the possibility of making service cuts permanent, even the MNAs Marlena Pellegrino cannot maintain the same hollow confidence that once inspired the insipid slogan “one day longer, one day stronger” pathetically echoed by union bureaucrats and Democratic politicians at a June rally marking the strike’s 100th day.

In response to CEO Jackson’s calls for a poll of striking nurses to determine their willingness to return to work, Pellegrino refused, saying, “They just need to offer us our jobs back, and then they will see whos coming back. I think they will see that many Saint Vincent nurses are coming back.”

In reply to a Reddit post by a nursing student concerned about conditions in their hospital and the prospect of a union-led strike, one worker responded:

Google “St. Vincents nurses strike, Worcester Massachusetts.” Those nurses have been striking for over 8 months. They have had nothing good come out of it. They are all taking travel contracts to work at local hospitals in the area, while the hospital is offering well below par care with the newly hired travelers ...

A recent headline on of Boston, quoting Pelligrino, read: “‘There actually is no shame in this corporation’” says St. Vincent’s nurse on strike.” When the Democratic congressional delegation from Massachusetts recently penned a letter to Tenets CEO Saum Sutaria, decrying its ғviolation of the ԓlong accepted standards of doing business between capitalists and the labor bureaucracy, Sutaria was able to respond in similar style, replying that ԓbringing in permanent replacement nurses, while certainly not our first choice, was a necessary step to ensure continuity of care and to preserve access to the most critical services for our community.

In the Saint Vincent strike, there is no end to empty rhetoric because it is in the interest of the Democratic Party and the MNA apparatus to conceal the objective dimensions of the class struggle and derail the mass opposition of nurses. They are rewarded with salaries that secure them membership in the upper middle class.

Stifled by the MNA, and isolated from other health care workersԒ struggles, the Saint Vincent nurses strike is headed for what one academic commentator called a natural death,Ӕ with enough nurses being forced to cross or abandon the picket for jobs elsewhere.

The agreement reached between the MNA and Tenet in August, which was scuttled due to Tenets refusal to give nurses their jobs back, included concessions on nursesҒ central demand: a staffing ratio of four nurses to every patient on medical-surgical floors. That agreement was reached five months into the strike. Since then, Tenet has continued to hire permanent replacements, offering thousands of dollars in bonuses. Meanwhile, the striking nurses have run out of unemployment insurance and receive nothing from the coffers of their union.

Under siege and abandoned, save for fake shows of solidarity, charity, appeals to the capitalist state in the form of pending Unfair Labor Practices complaints, and the odd scolding letter from labor bureaucrats and politicians to Tenet, the nurses of Saint Vincent Hospital have been left with nowhere to turn, except to their allies in the working class, both national and international.

The first step to building this movement is for nurses and health care workers - along with teachers, autoworkers, meatpackers, Amazon workers and others - to form RANK-AND-FILE COMMITTEES to take direct control of their struggles and to join the INTERNATIONAL WORKERS ALLIANCE OF RANK-AND-FILE COMMITTEES.


Posted by Elvis on 11/18/21 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Dying America • Section Workplace
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