The success at Dakota is due to the fact that the ranks have repeatedly used their collective power and taken control of their own struggle. In June 2000, when the plant was nonunion, workers held a seven-hour sit-down strike to demand the company slow down the dangerously fast line speed and stop forcing employees to work while injured. The company backed off. Workers then launched an organizing drive for representation by the UFCWand won. Then, after a two-year fight, they won a contract.
At the time the contract expired last June, a company-backed petition was circulated to try to decertify the union. The bosses thought their unceasing efforts to undermine workers confidence and solidarity would allow them to get rid of the union. Then they would have a freer hand to push back wages and job conditions even further. But the company didnt count on one thingthat pro-union workers would organize a campaign and fight back.
Now, because of what they accomplished, workers at Dakota are more confident to fight and to use their reinforced union power. At a time when the capitalists will use the threat of a recession to step up their attacks on our jobs, wages, benefits, and working conditions, the Dakota victory sends an important message to all working people: by organizing, its possible to fight the bosses and win.
Minnesota meat packers vote 2-1 to keep union
Defeat company-backed decertification drive
Socialist candidate: union victory at Dakota is example
Calero joins with meat packers in Twin Cities
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