Testimonial #1 - IWW Organizer Trainings
July 25, 2011:
As a new Trainer and someone who is actively organizing my workplace and attended 2 OT 101 I can without a doubt attest to the effectiveness of the OT. I had no clue what the hell I was doing before I attended an OT and I would be nowhere near I am now.
I don't have much time, but here's the short story of my experience. I work in an office setting with a bunch of college educated and to be blunt, middle class bourgeous, white collar people with no understanding of class consciousness.
I've been organizing for almost 2 years and up until April I was getting absolutely no where. I was frustrated and ready to quit my job and look for somewhere I could possibly organize. And then all of a sudden things started setting off. In 3 months I've got an organizing committee set up with a majority of workers in my Department. One of these workers is a right-wing Republican who is a big Michelle Bachmann fan and will trash unions around the 'water cooler'. What he doesn't realize is that when he attends our Monday Lunch committee meeting he participating in Union. I haven't bothered to tell him this. Not only is he right-winger who with his mouth talks about 'individualism' in the Capitalist sense, he is one of the more militant people on the committee. I find it funny that the biggest 'individual' is one of the most committed to 'collective' action.
We walk off the job, as a Department, every day at 10:00 and 3:00. This may not sound like a lot to many of you reading this, because we are legally allowed 15 minute breaks, but before we started walking off the job together for our legal 'breaks', we were not allowed to go on breaks longer than to use the bathroom. Now the boss says nothing when we all get up and go on our 'solidarity stroll' (as we all call it).
We've also had organized ourselves to where we are now controlling production. We have a quota of what we need to get done; that number is (was) 22. It still is technically 22, but we all decided in our committee meeting that no one does more than 19 because that was the number that the person with the lowest production got. Now no one does more than 19 audits/day with the exception of a few people who we have not been able to convince.
A day after a very intense confrontation at a meeting between us the workers and the management, which the management lost because all of us were on the same page, the manager brought in pizza to try and smooth things over. That same Michelle Bachmann fan sent an email to everyone. In the subject line "PIZZA STRIKE!". The message, "No eat the scab pizza." No one did.
The next morning, the boss brought in donuts. Mr. Bachmann (as I like to refer to him as) sends out an email, "DONUT STRIKE". The message, "No one eat the scab donuts."
NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF IT WASN'T FOR THE OT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Is there need for growth in the OT? Sure. If the OT looked exactly the same 10 years from now that would be a failure on our part. But I do think that there needs to be one OT and that individuals should use the process to make changes and not give trainings on their own and put the IWW label on it. I also think that is irresponsible.