September 29, 1997
SAN FRANCISCO — “We raised the bar for all workers by winning this strike,” Steve Gilbert told the Militant. “The fact that we ended the two-tier system and won the wage gains sends a message to other workers that they can win some gains too, if they fight.” Gilbert has worked for six years as a mechanic at Bay Area Rapid Transit.
Some 2,500 Bay Area transit workers stood up to a carefully orchestrated and high-pitched campaign in the big-business press and broadcast media here to score some solid gains during their week-long strike, which ended on September 13. A ratification vote by the membership of the unions is scheduled for September 19.
“We talked to workers with more seniority about this. We won them over that it wasn’t in our interest to be divided. So we had a solid front on this crucial issue,” Gilbert said.
September 29, 1972
NEW YORK — The U.S. Committee for Justice to Latin American Political Prisoners (USLA) announced a nationwide speaking tour on Argentina in response to the recent shooting of 19 political prisoners there. USLA reports that in Córdoba alone, following this massacre of political prisoners, there were two general strikes and 600 people were arrested.
The purpose of the tour will be to publicize the situation in Argentina and to organize a campaign for the defense of the victims of the military dictatorship. Elena Rodríguez, the speaker for USLA, was a student at the University of La Plata in Argentina when the Juan Carlos Onganía dictatorship seized power in 1966.
She was one of those sentenced to prison for the “crime” of protesting and resisting military intervention on the campus.
September 29, 1947
FLINT, Mich. — General Motors locals of the United Auto Workers here have made plans to establish wholesale grocery stores in their union halls to help relieve the pressure of high food prices. Each local is buying thousands of dollars of canned food weekly and selling them at wholesale prices to their members. This proposal has evoked a very favorable response from the rank and file who really want the unions to do something about the big squeeze on their paychecks.
The short paychecks aggravate the bitter feelings of the workers. None of the fast talk about a steel shortage has made an impression. The auto workers are convinced the corporation is interested in maintaining a scarcity in order to keep prices up. Short paychecks have given rise to the demand for an immediate fight for the six-hour day at eight hours pay.