Ironworkers in San Francisco have gone on a wildcat strike against a contractor-friendly contract. The ironworkers will be getting the grand total of a wage increase of some 60 cents spread out over several years. This at a time when prices for housing, etc. are rising.
It brings back memories of the Bay Area carpenters wildcat strike of 1999. In both cases, what stood behind the strike was a situation of full employment and a union leadership that is trying to keep the contractors happy. In the case of the carpenters, we didn’t have the right to vote at all on the contract. In the case of the ironworkers, there was a rigged vote, whereby their votes were weighted the same as the votes of ironworkers in other areas whose numbers were a quarter or less of those in San Francisco. The ironworkers contract covers all of California and Arizona, but instead of using this to bring the wages of the weaker areas up to those of San Francisco, it’s being used to drag down the San Francisco wages to the weaker areas. Here is a video of the contract. Towards the end, there is an interview where the link is made with the carpenters strike of 1999.
Here is a video of the strike: