Kieran Knutson, President of CWA Local 7250, sent the following solidarity message to the carpenters Peter J. McGuire Group and to all the carpenters in struggle in Western Washington:
Fellow workers –
My name is Kieran, I’m local president of CWA 7250, organizing telecom and satellite TV workers mostly in Minnesota.
I wanted to tell you how inspiring and exciting your struggle is – I’ve been following it on-line as best I can – and I wanted to respectfully set-out some points for your consideration. I do this because I believe your struggle is not just important for your union, families, and community – but important for the whole country (and maybe the whole world!)
1. When you strike, you’ve gotta hit em, and hit em hard. Theres no time to mess around. Don’t fall for the tired and false slogan “One Day longer . . . ” – thats the slogan of defeat. The Bosses have the resources, we don’t. So we can’t just passively wait them out, we need to grab them by the balls and squeeze as hard as we can. Rasie the costs on them high and fast!
2. The workers should be in charge of the strike. This is your struggle – you all made it happen, its your butts on the line, YOU should be the ones to call the shots. If theres not a mechanism to make democratic decisions, set one up. If you don’t, then other people will be making decisions for you – and we all know how that goes.
3. Don’t just accept the “logic” of this system. I hear some so-called union leaders are saying that they don’t want to fight for too much because that risks hurting the union’s “market share”(!) – To me that sounds like the language of a commodity trader, not a union leader. Fight for what you need and deserve – not for what they say they can offer or the market can bear.
4. Strikes are either building or shrinking . . . keep expanding the strike and its impact. Make it an issue that the mayor and the governor have to deal with, make it an issue that Boeing and Microsoft and Amazon and Starbucks have to deal with. Welcome people to the strike lines – even if they are from a different scene or world than you. Talk to your partners and kids about the struggle. Invite them in. Tell them to bring their friends. Let this strike become a movement that all working people feel they have a stake in.
I hope this doesnt come across as arrogant. I’ve been parts of lots of struggles, but not one exactly like yours. keep a critical mind, a sharp focus, and a big heart for your co-workers and other working-class people. You are already making history.