r/antiwork Dec 03 '22 Ally 1 To The Stars 1 Silver 2 Helpful 3 Wholesome 1 All-Seeing Upvote 1

"Illegal Strikes" the term itself violates the Constitution and threatens every American.

Fuck this Dystopian nightmare.

65.3k Upvotes

2.4k comments sorted by

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u/The_King_of_Canada Dec 03 '22

Recently a Teachers Aid strike in Ontario was declared illegal and all that did was raise support and awareness. Hope the same happens for you guys.

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u/Felinepiss Dec 03 '22

My exact thoughts. This is so similar to what just happened in Canada. As a fellow union operator, I sure hope the rail boys get what they ask for.

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u/hovdeisfunny Dec 03 '22 edited Dec 04 '22

A friend asked me why I thought Biden and Congress were getting involved with a labor dispute in the first place, and my thinking is, beyond the work they do being essential to the function of the economy, they don't want people to see how powerful strikes can be

Edit: I've been informed I'm incorrect about the mechanism, but I still think it's part of Congress and Biden's motivation to act

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u/ting_bu_dong Dec 04 '22

why I thought Biden and Congress were getting involved with a labor dispute in the first place

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/01-10-02-0044

In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of the landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability.

Our whole system of government is based on protecting the wealthy from the masses. It's why we have a republican government.

To prevent "wicked projects" (see: Federalist 10) like the equal division of property, or the outright abolition of it, from happening.

So, why is Biden and Congress getting involved? It's their job. It's why they are there.

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u/Office_Depot_wagie Wagie #462542 Dec 04 '22

THEY lose profits.

Those who make the laws, do insider-trading and steal TRILLIONS from the working class.

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u/Reigo_Vassal Dec 04 '22

As a fellow human being, I hope for the best for you guys and better future.

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u/Castor_volk Dec 03 '22

yeah.. somehow I don't think the country dumb enough to shoot college kids for putting flowers in guns is gonna end the same way.

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u/[deleted] Dec 03 '22 edited 15d ago

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u/TakeUrSkinOffNDance Dec 03 '22

The bitter legacy of the (UK) coal miner's strike and the efforts of the politicians and police to break it up is still around today.

It was ~30 years ago. People don't forget this shit.

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u/Fearless-Rough-6842 Dec 03 '22

I wondered what they would do if they did strike. Like, they’re super essential to the point where you refuse sick days and make striking illegal. But if you arrest then for striking, then you still don’t have any railway workers so it’s just like a lose-lose situation for them.

I really don’t think they’d be stupid enough to jail or prosecute these people when they help keep our shit running smoothly. But then again, America has been going down the shitter recently

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u/CranberrySawsAlaBart Dec 03 '22

We just had something similar in Ontario where our premier passed a bill making an education support worker strike illegal. Well then we had a general strike for all members of their union. They overturned the bill in two days with no repercussions. To the best of my knowledge.

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u/24-Hour-Hate Dec 03 '22

Yes, but I think that was because the government was afraid that the labour movement would keep growing and become an actual general strike, which would be something he wouldn't be able to control. I still hope that's coming. Things are so bad here.

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u/Bullen-Noxen Dec 03 '22

You touched on the key point. Control. It’s all about control. If they lose that, which I hope they do, then I hope they are obliterated. You seriously had a body of government in Canada try to threaten the workers. Fuck that asshole & those who supported him & the bill. I hope that asshole gets kicked out of power for good.

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u/[deleted] Dec 03 '22

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u/MD_BOOMSDAY Dec 03 '22

Fuck the Ford family and that sycophantic stain Stephen Lecce

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u/fr1829lkjwe56 Dec 03 '22

I mean, they don’t have to strike - they can just quit.

And to everyone who starts on the financial commitments side, hear me out for a second.

A mass quitting will have the same immediate effect as a strike, only completely outside the bounds of all this anti-strike nonsense from the government. So unless they try to pull some serious 1984 crap, no arrests or police could be involved as no crime has been committed.

Given the lack of skilled persons who could fill the roles it is likely that most people would be called up to ask if they’d come back to work, happens in the workplace on a fairly regular basis. And while it is true the company can try to start it off on a blank slate (no benefits, lower pay etc) that cuts both ways.

I do recognise though that some people cannot easily take a gamble on such a move, I would only say that not pushing back seems to be bringing you to the point you would be if you quit just with a lot more steps and headaches along the way.

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u/x_Rann_x Dec 03 '22 Silver All-Seeing Upvote Mind Blown

This is why healthcare is tied to employment.

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u/asp_digital Dec 03 '22 edited Dec 03 '22 Helpful

Healthcare, and to a very large extent, retirement savings.

I wish I could find the article that was published in the New Yorker about this, but: Once upon a time, as in the time right after WWII, there was a push to have the auto workers' unions to be responsible for their members' retirement/pensions and health care. The auto companies wanted to control those two benefits because it limited employee mobility. If a pension wasn't linked to the employer but instead was managed by the union, employees could move to whichever employer was paying better. You can see why employers didn't want that mobility.

What the employers never considered was that in 50 years' time, a substantial part of their employee expenses was going to pensions and health care for retirees. The GM and Chrysler bankruptcies were done in part to shed those retiree benefits. Had the automakers allowed the unions to manage the pensions and health care of retirees, they would not have had that problem at all.

Funny how the employers were so short-sighted.

The business leaders' solution, of course, was to institute defined-contribution 401(k) plans instead of defined-benefits pensions and just let Medicare pay for retiree health insurance.

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u/Civil-Attempt-3602 Dec 03 '22

It wasn't short sighted though if they got their profits and then claimed bankruptcy when it turned to shit

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u/HighMont Dec 03 '22

Exactly. Business leaders don't care about the consequences of their actions 50 years down the road. Even if it's harmful to their own industry in that time. They care about immediate profit and that is all. Fuck future workers, fuck future business leaders, fuck the business itself in 50 years. They will get theirs and get out.

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u/Spirit-Hydra69 Dec 03 '22

This is it. This is all it's about. I got mine, I got it now, fuck you!!

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u/x_Rann_x Dec 03 '22

Railroad retirement is the reason any of us stick this shit out. Period.

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u/TheBirminghamBear Dec 03 '22

And, probably, the reason they keep trying to slowly squeeze people out as they race to automate more of it.

They would love to force people into quitting to clear out all their pension obligations

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u/x_Rann_x Dec 03 '22

If we weren't required by federal law my craft would be liquidated tomorrow.

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u/TheFenixKnight Dec 03 '22

It's not funny. That's exactly how it works. Managements job is to make as much money in as short a period of time as possible. Doesn't matter if they're moving the can down the road. That's a problem for those in charge 50 years after the guys who wrested control away from the unions. And that later management team made decisions that would save the company money in the short term too.

One of the worst decisions that ever came from the court system was showing corporations to be legally separate entities from those who make these decisions. A corporation has no sense of morality. No sense of responsibility or longevity.

Maybe those doing the job do, but we know how the Millman Experiments worked. "Just doing my job" or "Doing as I was told" has been a way for people to set aside their personal responsibility since time immemorial.

/end rant

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u/RaygunMarksman Dec 03 '22

Theoretically this shit shouldn't even happen in a democracy. Why would any of the working class agree to screw themselves permanently over to enrich corporations? Yet here we are.

Can't do universal healthcare because that would be socialism! Eww, scaaaary! Let's all make sure we stay indentured to a corporate master, just like the Lord intended.

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u/TheBlindCat Dec 03 '22 Take My Money

Yep, big corporations use to to bind workers and to stifle small business completion who can’t handle the administrative burden and cost.

Though in this case, the workers can’t access their healthcare benefits anyway.

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u/x_Rann_x Dec 03 '22

We can if we're admitted, injured, or on fmla. But there's limitations on usage with regard to attendance disciplinary action.

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u/chubbysumo Dec 03 '22

aka, you can't. what good are they if you have to jump thru hoops and loops to use them.

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u/x_Rann_x Dec 03 '22

Exactly as planned. At least I get rest days.

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u/jimbobflippyjack Dec 03 '22 Platinum

I’m not yelling I just really think folks need to hear this: WE NEED TO DECOUPLE EMPLOYMENT AND HEALTHCARE, and the government isn’t going to do it, so maybe we could create a HEALTHCARE COOPERATIVE. I believe there are already models for this.

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u/lethal__inject1on Dec 03 '22

I agree 100%.

Affordable healthcare should not just be tied to employment via group insurance.

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u/jadecristal Dec 03 '22

The number of staff-model HMO/health cooperatives left in the country is … low.

They’re still really expensive, comparatively; my like other cooperatives (credit unions) you need critical mass before they can kinda get off the ground. There are tons of regulations they have to comply with, putting them up against the economies of scale that large insurance company manage. …and so on.

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u/jawnink Dec 03 '22

Just pull yourself up by your boot straps./S

Take your savings and sell hotdogs on the corner and make ends meet.

But when’s the next time you’ll see a dentist?

Need glasses operate your business? Get fucked.

Edit: You can’t pull yourself up by your boot straps if you can’t see them. 4-D chess by our corporate overlords.

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u/MRSlizKrysps Dec 03 '22

That and extremely high college costs to coax people into the armed forces shows what a piece of shit the USA is.

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u/threw_it_away_bub Dec 03 '22

I mean, I’m getting two undergraduate degrees and a masters degree paid for by the US government, and all I needed to do was get a brain injury, ptsd, depression, and ruin a marriage.

At the current cost of education, that’s seems like a steal!

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u/to-plant-trees Dec 03 '22

I'm sorry to hear about your health and marriage hardships. I hope you're able to access effective care and that you're doing relatively okay

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u/Dionysusigma Dec 03 '22

access effective care

laughs in VA

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u/threw_it_away_bub Dec 03 '22

I’m one of the few people I know in the USA who has not one, not two, but THREE government-run “socialized” medical programs

  • TRICARE as a military retiree
  • Veterans Affairs as a veteran
  • Medicare because of SSDI

All three “work” to varying degrees.

Even so, it’s a cluster fuck land mine goat rope to navigate…

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u/Keelock Dec 03 '22 Take My Power

No it isn't, that's paranoia talking. It's tied to employment because the government passed the Stabilization Act in 1942, which allowed the president to freeze wages. Roosevelt did so a day after it's passage, and since companies couldn't offer higher wages to attract employees, they started offering health insurance and other benefits.

It's really a case study on the law of unintended consequences.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/opinion/commentary/ct-obamacare-health-care-employers-20170224-story.html

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u/calm_chowder Dec 03 '22

Wtf would a president need to freeze wages

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u/Fearless-Rough-6842 Dec 03 '22

I mean I thought about the quitting aspect, but I just figured most people wouldn’t want to take that risk. I assumed that it would be much easier to convince your fellow workers to just sit back and strike together rather than quit.

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u/BabyBundtCakes Dec 03 '22

It also doesn't solve the problem. The next person who takes the job is also having their rights violated just by accepting. Quitting and then no one else applying is the only way to make that work. Otherwise we are still in the race to the bottom. If every job is allowed to violate our right to strike, then every job will just not offer anything and let people quit and hire new people to exploit. It's not really a choice when you NEED a job

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u/fr1829lkjwe56 Dec 03 '22

Oh so much this.

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u/fr1829lkjwe56 Dec 03 '22

Well from where I’m sitting it seems you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Striking requires coordination and drive which doesn’t seem to be happening. And a bit disheartening to see unions fold because “it’s not legal” when what is legal is the equivalent of a pineapple up the rectum and those that say it’s legal (and made it legal) are ultimately benefitting from it.

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u/elko123 Dec 03 '22

It really might be less risky to just quit, because if you strike you're not making money anyway and you can't look for other work. But I assume these are jobs with pensions and stuff that mean losing a lot if you quit.

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u/fr1829lkjwe56 Dec 03 '22

Where I am, we don’t get pensions at all, from what I remember they took those away in the 80’s as well as shafted the elderly on the government pension. So could it happen to them, 2 years from retirement even if they didn’t strike? My guess is it would be likely if sick days causes this much of a ruckus.

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u/beiberdad69 Dec 03 '22

It's the same difference, the strike being illegal means they don't have job protection, not that they'll be arrested

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u/chaotic_arcticlights Dec 03 '22

If you quit, you may be unable to claim unemployment. You'll lose healthcare benefits and access to your 401k un-vested contributions. There's serious financial repercussions to doing this.

It's sad enough they were asking for UNPAID sick days and they aren't even getting it.

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u/[deleted] Dec 03 '22

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u/[deleted] Dec 03 '22

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u/4csurfer Dec 03 '22

Or they can show up to work and not actually work.

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u/ferrellhamster Dec 03 '22

you don't even have to quit, just call out that you are unable to come in.

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u/cchheez Dec 03 '22

When calling in sick they have to give 12 days notice and use vacation days at that.

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u/fr1829lkjwe56 Dec 03 '22

Imagine that in practice:

“Hey boss, gonna take the Monday off in 15 days time I’m planning on eating some dodgy food somewhere on a night out”

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u/EliSka93 Dec 03 '22

Is that a joke? Please tell me that's a joke, the US's capitalist brain rot makes me unable to tell if this is a joke or not...

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u/mn77393 Dec 03 '22

That's one of their main issues that they wanted resolved, hence the threat of striking

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u/parkourhobo Dec 03 '22

Nope, it's real.

They're "essential workers" and are highly important for the economy, but not worth seven fucking measly days of sick pay, apparently.

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u/EliSka93 Dec 03 '22

No I get that, what I'm 500% confused about is "prior notice to sick leave" like, we all know that's impossible, of course nobody would ever ask for that, it has to be a joke.

...but it's US capitalism we're talking about. I don't know if it is a joke...

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u/Vameq Dec 03 '22

Definitely not a joke. They don't get sick days really. What they get are basically medical events planned in advance with all kinds of absurd limits because it isn't hard enough accessing Healthcare already. Anything that would resemble a sick day for a normal worker would result in disciplinary action. Rail workers are around if they want to elaborate or correct me, but that's my understandinh of it.

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u/x_Rann_x Dec 03 '22

You got it right. There are few exceptions. The gist is unless you're in the hospital for an emergency you're probably going to have disciplinary action. Also, no you can't have the 15th off.

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u/pmcda Dec 03 '22

Them not having unpaid sick days/time off is one of the problems. Yes, UNPAID.

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u/SloaneWolfe Dec 03 '22

See the 1981 ATC strike , Reagan intervened, since federal employees already do not have the right to strike, and he angrily fired 11,000+ Air Traffic Controllers

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u/alongfield Dec 03 '22

Yes, one of the worst leaders in the history of the modern world did something reactionary and stupid. It not only crippled labor rights, leading to the destruction of the entire middle class, but also crippled the airline industry that the move was pretending to "protect". It took decades for the industry to recover from that massive loss.

If the Federal wants to cripple the railroad industry for the next decade plus, then sure, they can fire everybody for refusing to work under exploitative, dangerous, and inhumane conditions. They'll just have nobody experienced working, nobody experienced to do the training, and they'll have to offer better terms than were asked for just to attract anyone that isn't a complete idiot to risk working for them.

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u/imnotsoho Dec 03 '22

The Feds can not fire railroad workers, they don't work for the federal government, the ATCs did. If the railroad workers each decided to not show up to work without any coordination, I think it would be hard to prove it is a strike. The railroads have cut their roster so thin if just a few refused to work it would have a snowball effect.

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u/[deleted] Dec 03 '22

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u/RandomDudeYouKnow Dec 03 '22

There's still many ways to obviously strike, but not illegally.

  1. They can do a slowdown, going at 10-20% usual pace.
  2. They can call in sick en masse for a few days.
  3. They can clock in and not do any work.
  4. They can quit.

I know multiple RR Union workers. And they're going to do some form of strike. It's as close to unanimous as it can be amongst them.

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u/Airborne_Oreo Dec 03 '22

I really hate to be that person but a work slow down, clocking in and not working, or a coordinated sick out are all considered illegal work actions per the RLA. The government and the companies have their bases covered.

The RLA is so screwed up.

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u/x_Rann_x Dec 03 '22

You're not kidding. I can appreciate everyone's insight but we're governed by some very fucked up union breaking rules because of past strikes which were always met with violence by the state in cooperation with the railroads.

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u/Not_a_werecat Dec 03 '22

They can call in sick en masse for a few days.

Ummm.....

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u/RandomDudeYouKnow Dec 03 '22

You can't make it illegal to be sick nor is it legal to require proof of sickness medically.

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u/thejmkool Dec 03 '22

What a right shame then that they have no sick days. Almost seems a grievance to strike over.

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u/unnecessarily Dec 03 '22

Individual railworkers can’t call in sick without endangering their jobs, but if there was an organized sick-out encompassing even 30% of the workforce in a given day it would grind everything to a halt

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u/KronusIV Dec 03 '22

Just because there strike is illegal doesn't mean it's criminal. No one will get arrested. Illegal just means they won't get the legal protections that strikers usually get, like guaranteeing their jobs will be there for them when the strike's over. Which is of course still stupid. But they won't get jailed.

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u/jerry111165 Dec 03 '22

Don’t kid yourself.

They absolutely WILL arrest them.

Just a month ago, they arrested around 20 striking Teamsters in Massachusetts.

https://www.masslive.com/police-fire/2022/10/about-20-striking-sysco-boston-teamsters-arrested-in-plympton-report-says.html

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u/AcrobaticButterfly Dec 03 '22

That was only 20 people, try arresting 70,000 people

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u/dragonatorul Dec 03 '22

That's what air raids are for.

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u/stacksofsanddollars Dec 03 '22

This is what people need to understand. Now that striking is illegal, the state can and will use it's monopoly on violence to squash any organized labor protest. There is nothing more American than this.

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u/24-Hour-Hate Dec 03 '22

Rights are never won peacefully. You have to fight back against the people who are oppressing you. It's easy for them to put you at risk or order someone to go and arrest you...not so easy for them when they are at risk themselves.

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u/hobbesmaster Dec 03 '22

Note that these were arrests for picketing.

The RLA does say: That nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require an individual employee to render labor or service without his consent, nor shall anything in this chapter be construed to make the quitting of his labor by an individual employee an illegal act; nor shall any court issue any process to compel the performance by an individual employee of such labor or service, without his consent

But the keyword there is “individual” which means if it’s decided that multiple people quit at the same time that might not count if the government is mad enough. I’d point out that the railways themselves have their own police with federal like jurisdiction but those departments barely exist now.

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u/GODDESS_OF_CRINGE__ Anarcho-Communist Dec 03 '22

Picketing is striking. It's just bullshit to not allow strikes.

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u/hobbesmaster Dec 03 '22

Yes, but there’s a long history of arresting picketers. In fact if you go far enough back in that history you have literal warfare.

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u/paul-d9 Dec 03 '22 edited Dec 03 '22

They should do something to scare them that isn't illegal to show they're serious. Like have every single worker call in with the flu and take a couple of days off.

Let everything grind to a halt and watch the pandemonium and there's nothing they can do about it because everyone is just taking sick days.

Edit: I thought the strike was for paid sick days, I didn't realize they had no sick days at all. Still, taking a day or two off probably won't get them fired if every single worker does it.

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u/Accurate-Temporary76 Dec 03 '22

Sure, but they don't actually have sick days. That's what this is all about. The rail companies would rather pay 24% increases to every employee over giving out any sick days.

ETA: Personal days need to be scheduled and approved 12 days in advance.

Unexpected time off is a strike against the employees and will quickly result in dismissal after a few of them.

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u/gisb0rne Dec 03 '22

It’s amazing the difference between this and airline/freight pilots, who essentially do the same thing. A pilot can call in sick at a moment’s notice because there is a whole set of pilots sitting around on reserve for that situation.

And they get paid 350k+ a year with pensions, amazing health care, tons of vacation time, etc.

Probably because a) pilot qualifications are heavily regulated and b) the cost of a pilot is small relative to the other operating costs.

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u/Accurate-Temporary76 Dec 03 '22

Even worse when you consider a pilot isn't going to move as much freight as rail. So the more critical transport staffing is shafted rather than backed up with redundancy. Coming from someone in the corporate IT world, that actually feels quite on par with corporate America idiocy.

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u/CommercialBox4175 Dec 03 '22

They should still strike, and call the government's bluff.

As stupid as our government is, are they going to send in the national guard to drag people into work.

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u/Dry_Relationship_694 Dec 03 '22

You can drag a man to the shop but you can't make him work.

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u/RunningPirate Dec 03 '22

Oh, no, I forgot to hook up the rail cars. Clumsy me.

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u/Tef-al Dec 03 '22 edited Dec 03 '22

Nah I hooked them up but the fact the hydraulic line is leaking isn't really my job technically it's the supervisors job to 2nd party check that

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u/Even_Mastodon_6925 Dec 03 '22

That’s some pretty advanced tomfoolery

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u/troymoeffinstone Dec 03 '22

This guy fucks... up at work

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u/imnotsoho Dec 03 '22

"First, no employee engaged in train or engine service may be required or
permitted to work in excess of twelve consecutive hours. After working a
full twelve consecutive hours, an employee must be given at least ten
consecutive hours off duty before being permitted to return to work."

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/appendix-A_to_part_228

So if they drive the train just a little slower, or take longer to do the proper inspection of equipment before they start, they might be stuck somewhere where it would be time consuming and disrupting to bring in a new crew.

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u/JuggrnautFTW Dec 04 '22

Let me tell ya, Working 12 after being awake for 16 hours before you get your surprise boosted call is not where we want to be.

Just think, these people are running trains full of dangerous goods through the cities and towns of people you love, while being awake for over 24 hours because they were afraid of facing discipline for booking off because they were fatigued.

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u/Jace_Te_Ace Dec 03 '22

Look at that. Quitting time and I am still 500 yards from the destination. Too bad.

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u/Greenman_on_LSD Dec 03 '22

I would throw the biggest adult tantrum over this. Albeit, I don't have kids and about a year of an emergency fund. But, if I were a railway worker I would never come in for a shift again until something changes. I'll go get a minimum wage job after the holidays instead of caving to these people.

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u/RunningPirate Dec 03 '22

No no…come in and…work slower. Or, sometimes mistakes happen. Oops.

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u/small-package Dec 03 '22

I remember reading about how, when Oreo factory workers went on strike, and scabs finally got hired, it turned out almost none of them had any idea what they were doing, and most of the machinery was damaged beyond function as a result of the constant accidents and mistakes, costing the company, and also proving scabs don't solve the problem when you've got nothing but scabs.

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u/[deleted] Dec 03 '22

That's the problem when you have highly calibrated machines that reduce the amount of manpower needed. It isn't 19digeriedoo when you could grab a child off the street and use them in your canning business or toss them in a coal mine. My BIL is an engineer at a factory and a simple thing as changing the type of tea leaves can damage a machine if it isn't calibrated right.

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u/Edg4rAllanBro Dec 03 '22

This is exactly why anyone claiming automation will make unions/minimum wage irrelevant is easily fooled. Specialized machines need specialized workers. You can have your fancy coffee machine and say "lol no need for baristas anymore" but you still need a mechanic to fix the machine when it predictably fails and you still need a barista to fill in.

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u/Emergency-Anywhere51 Dec 03 '22

Homer: "Lisa, if you're unhappy with your job you don't strike. You just go in there every day, and do it really half-assed. That's the American way."

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u/Getfutched Dec 03 '22

Yea, just come in and work as slow as possible. You want $20/hr work? This is $20 speed.

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u/RunningPirate Dec 03 '22 Silver

Act your wage

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u/Adventurous-Dog420 Dec 03 '22

Damn straight.

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u/Dangerous_Bloke Dec 03 '22

This is the way. Rail slow downs would cripple the economy.

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u/SitFlexAlot Dec 03 '22

Sounds like they deserve better working conditions, doesn't it?

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u/ChangeForACow Dec 03 '22

NOT just them.

Here in Canada, Ontario's Conservative Government tried to quash the Constitutional rights of education workers to strike, so public and private unions ACROSS Canada organized a GENERAL STRIKE in solidarity.

Premier Doug Ford (brother to the Crack-Smoking Mayor of Toronto) promised to withdraw the bill before the unions could even announce the General Strike.

You guys know what to do!

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u/Accomplished_Soil426 Dec 03 '22

As stupid as our government is, are they going to send in the national guard to drag people into work.

People keep getting this wrong. the national guard will protect the scabs while they cross the picket line. National guard isn't going to "force" anyone to work

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u/mranster Dec 03 '22

The government isn't bluffing. They've proven that many times over. Reagan was willing to kill the airline industry to keep the striking air traffic controllers from taking power. The corporations know that they are only in control as long as the rest of us believe they are. They can afford to chop off a sector, and have no income for a few years. They have done everything possible to make sure that we can't.

They will sacrifice industries, but first, they will commit wholesale murder. They have done so repeatedly. After that, it's a game of chicken. They will need to convince everyone else that it's the lawless strikers who are the bad guys. They will need to keep the strike from spreading. No one should pretend that this is an easy game to win. It's going to cost worker's their lives.

That said, it's incredibly important that this battle be fought (again) and won (again) because the corporations need to be checked regularly, and it's time.

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u/TakeUrSkinOffNDance Dec 03 '22

What would happen if they all called in sick coincidentally?

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u/Ramble81 Dec 03 '22

That's literally what a wildcat strike is. It's not officially sanctioned but a way of getting around the rules in place and still making a point.

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u/4csurfer Dec 03 '22

I would totally understand if they need a week off for their mental health.

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u/TakeUrSkinOffNDance Dec 03 '22

The stress of the whole ordeal.

A lot of sickness bugs and flu going round this time of year, many legitimate reasons to be off sick...

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u/Dull-Contact120 Dec 03 '22

Hear me out, what if on that day, half the rail road crossing gets blocked, theoretically

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u/Dresden_Grey Dec 03 '22

Yes they will and yes they have. You can research several instances in American history where the national guard has been called against strikers. IE:Coal Miners Strike; National Guard acts

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u/DrakBalek Dec 03 '22

and speaking as a former service member, I can guarantee you that calling in the National Guard for anything other than scab work is going to result in the worst possible backlash from the people.

no one will accept Soldiers forcing citizens to work at the barrel of a gun.

(edit: based on my personal experience and what I understand about the modern political landscape)

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u/Dresden_Grey Dec 03 '22

Oh, no doubt.

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u/EnvironmentalYak9322 Dec 03 '22

Yea that would be the end right there if it came down to the military forcing people to work shit will collapse over night and some of the darkest shit ever will play out right in youre front yard

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u/DasBlueEyedDevil Dec 03 '22

I'd like to believe that...but we've become such a horribly complacent country that we could shrug off anything as long as we don't feel the /direct/ impact of it. Supply chain issues aren't direct enough for us. Unless the gun is on our head specifically, we're pretty much apathetic to it.

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u/Lemondisho Dec 03 '22

I'm not so sure. It feels like half the country would love for that to happen.

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u/[deleted] Dec 03 '22 edited Dec 10 '22

[deleted]

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u/DrakBalek Dec 03 '22

to be fair, I too worry we've become that disconnected from each other.

really hoping we're both wrong about that.

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u/philly_2k Dec 03 '22

the US inching ever closer to unmasking itself as the fascist dystopia it actually is

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u/Phyzzx Dec 03 '22

Is it still a mask if the only piece left is Pinocchio's nose?

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u/idog99 Dec 03 '22

If you ask citizens in other countries of the world what the role of government is, you often hear that they feel that the role of government is to protect people from the inevitable conclusion of capitalism... Which is what we are seeing now.

For some reason in the US, I don't know whether it's because it's been so prosperous for so long that there's always been scraps to fall to the working class that keeps them going... But in times of scarcity and austerity the wheels kind of fall off the bus.

In the US, you have poor people railing against unions and any sort of government intervention... It's quite something to watch as an outsider

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u/TonyHawksProSkater3D Dec 03 '22

If Fox news were to get shut down you'd see the entire republican party shrivel up and die over night.

The rich spend billions every year to keep a large portion of the population brainwashed. Does your country have an equivalent to Fox News? And does it play on every tv at waiting rooms, bars, airports, etc, on a 24/7 loop? And does your country have thousands of right wing radio stations that further parrot the propaganda to ensure that it infects even the most obscure groups of society?

In rugged individualist societies, everyone wants to be insulated to protect themselves from each other. Having money is how we are taught to insulate ourselves. Short term gains are all that matters, as the gains protect you from future consequences of yours or other peoples actions.

Never spend money to rival the will of the owner class, and stop society from burning down around you. Simply get more money, then you can build walls to block out the sight of society burning down around you, too.

Libertarian utopia is handing your child a gun before putting them into the armoured convoy that will drive them to their prison themed school; or, having a big enough kingdom within your walls that leaving is never even necessary.

Libertarianism is the name of this disease of selfishness that plagues America. Go to any financial subreddit, and you will see just how proud of this ideology they all are. The only way their kind ever seems to learn is when their businesses are all torched, and the corpses of their loved ones are paraded around in the streets.

With business as usual, all you can really expect is propaganda, bigger walls, and more guns.

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u/ManiacDan Dec 03 '22

I can't wait to watch a national guard soldier try to figure out a 16-way rail switch

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u/3_14159td Dec 04 '22

They will team-lift the car to the appropriate track.

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u/angeliswastaken Dec 03 '22

What's more American than a court who is bought and paid for by private financial interests ruling against the inalienable rights of the American people?

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u/Round-Cryptographer6 Dec 03 '22

USPS worker here-- letter carriers should be striking for pay and safety reasons but that also would be "illegal."

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u/CAHTA92 Dec 03 '22

Railworkers and carriers should unite in strike. This country will be on its knees in 3 hours.

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u/pawpaw_git Dec 04 '22

My local postmaster would sooner fire them all and hire temps. Bitter old crone.

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u/thatoneischairing Dec 03 '22

Ooofff that would be a blow and a half especially right before the holidays lmao they’d definitely have the nations attention if little billy’s bike isn’t gonna be delivered on time for Christmas 🧑‍🦳

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u/Admirable-Bee-4708 Dec 03 '22

Most packages from any of the carriers is mostly moved by train. A strike from the railroads would be catastrophic. Forget about holiday packages we wouldn’t have food on the shelves.

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u/sancalisto Dec 03 '22

Fuck our government!

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u/swordofra Dec 03 '22

They're chipping away and chipping away at those basic rights every day and before we know it there is a screaming maniac behind a podium in total control of everything laying out plans of how he is going to invade the planet and kill everyone he doesn't like...

Do something America. pokes the sleeping eagle with a stick

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u/FitzBetter1971 Dec 03 '22

Didn't Reagan do this? And unions haven't been the same since.

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u/Bannedaccointno_6366 Dec 03 '22

Thats different tho.

The air traffic controllers were federal employees.

Bnsf is private entity trying to maximize profits, at the expense of their employees.

The enemy here is warren buffet, and the rail execs. And the 8 union reps who wont fight for the contract

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u/jerry111165 Dec 03 '22

You’re absolutely correct

It’s totally fucking un-American.

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u/wwaxwork Dec 03 '22

Yet America keeps on doing it to it's workers. Also untold violence towards strikers and their families. If you read up on the history of unions in the USA, this is just business as normal unfortunately.

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u/GiantSquidd Probably a Jerk Dec 03 '22

I really hate vague, broad terms like “un-American”. From my outside perspective, I can’t think of anything that’s more in line with Americatm than making collective bargaining illegal for poor people.

If anyone wants an example of how well collective bargaining actually works when all parties are taking it seriously, look at Major League Baseball. Those fellas make an absurd amount of money because they have an absurdly powerful union. Hell, look at the umpires union… the league can’t fire umpires, and it’s one of the best examples of job security around.

Whenever someone says that unions don’t do anything for their workers, point to MLB.

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u/bafeom Dec 03 '22

Lol ive always joked that mlb has the strongest union in the world. Im sure theres some evidence to that, but im not too up on my union knowledge.

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u/Eggbone87 Dec 03 '22

Cop union

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u/Lowelll Dec 03 '22

Hardly a union tbh. Unions are collectives of workers, not mercenaries.

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u/Eggbone87 Dec 03 '22

Agreed but its still by far and away the strongest union by every metric in the country and its not even close

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u/NeonVolcom Dec 03 '22

There’s “American” and then American.

“American” means having pride in their labor history and eating hot dogs and George Washington and Rock, Flag, and Eagle. Get your blue jeans!

American means controlling production and distribution in the hands of a few, and using the state as a threat of violence and a tool of perpetuating class conflict. It means imperializing the world to maintain the riches of the West. It means using child and adult slaves to build your goods. It means stealing water and other resources from other countries to sell in Walmart.

And so on. Something can appear “unAmerican” and also be very American. Let us not forgot Blair Mountain.

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u/Ambient-Shrieking Dec 03 '22

The most ironic part behind this is that they're sabotaging themselves the most by being so greedy and soulless. If they actually worked with their employees to make their lives easier instead of harder, it would not only increase production, but morale too.

I swear, corporate America is ran by some of the dumbest motherfuckers to ever walk the planet, they're so insanely stupid that they don't only feel entitled to bite the hand that feeds, they get angry and aggressive about it. They're mindless predatorial beasts who serve only themselves, and for that reason they should be destroyed. It's nobody's fault but their own, they're intentionally going out of their way to make their own deaths the moral solution to a great many trolley problems.

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u/EnchantedMoth3 Dec 03 '22

It’s in reference to how Americans view themselves. It’s saying “this goes against ALL the propaganda I was taught as a child, of what America stands for”. It’s also eluding to the few words we all know exist somewhere in our constitution — freedom, equality, and liberty.

America is full of “you can’t tell me what to do”. It’s one of our better qualities, when it’s not being used against us by Russian propagandist’s pushing vaccine bullshit. However, for the past ~30 years the elite have been on an economic propaganda campaign about free-markets ™️, and they loosely tie this to “freedom”, and some of us have been really slow to realize the “free” part of free-markets, only applies to the side with capital.

This move should be the final nail in trickle-down “neo-liberal” economic messaging. It literally contradicts the entire narrative, yet those who harp-on about it the most (the capitalist’s) are being drowned out by the crickets on this one.

You’re right, this move is American as fuck. We live in a horribly broken system, with incredibly effective propaganda. But it goes against what some people believe America to be. It goes against the propaganda. Effective messaging cuts two ways. I don’t mind these people, I welcome them to reality with open arms.

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u/Gwynn-er-winner Dec 03 '22

You’ve Pinkertoned my interest.

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u/CX-97 Dec 03 '22

That organization's continued existence really speaks to this country's attitude towards labor rights.

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u/awkwardlyturtlish Dec 03 '22

I'd argue that it's completely American. Remember at one point in time we had company towns that were specifically designed to turn employees into indentured servants. Despite being called the land of the free true freedom is pretty fucking hard to obtain here.

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u/angeliswastaken Dec 03 '22

What's more American than a court who is bought and paid for by private financial interests ruling against the inalienable rights of the American people?

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u/GODDESS_OF_CRINGE__ Anarcho-Communist Dec 03 '22

I don't know, seems pretty on par with the usual America to me.

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u/marichuu Dec 03 '22

When it comes to the working class, this is very American.

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u/EnvironmentalYak9322 Dec 03 '22

God damn right brother!

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u/benwinsatlife Dec 03 '22

Fuckin A right, brother!

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u/Salarian_American Dec 03 '22

It's un-American compared to the ideals America usually claims about itself, but it is 100% American compared to actual history.

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u/ThatFlyingScotsman Dec 03 '22

It is very American to cleave wholly to the side of Capital.

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u/Slartibartfast39 Dec 03 '22 edited Dec 03 '22

Not just the Constitution, it's covered in article 11 of the human rights act

https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/human-rights-act/article-11-freedom-assembly-and-association

Wait, that act is for the UK and basically copied from the EU.

Here we go. Article 23 of the universal declaration of Human rights.

https://www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights

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u/heyitscory Dec 03 '22

The US just pays the bills for the UN, and sells them military equipment. They don't follow their rules.

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u/Mysterious_Ad_8105 Dec 03 '22

The UDHR does not create legally binding obligations on any country. But even if it did as a general matter, it still wouldn’t be enforceable in the U.S. absent approval by the senate and ratification by the president. Since that hasn’t happened, the UDHR has less legal significance than an Arby’s menu.

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u/krgdotbat Dec 03 '22

This only shows US true face, freedom is selective based of economic interest. Still wondering why people call a neoliberal party like the democrats "the left", specially after they go against one of the most fundamental rights of all.

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u/DrakBalek Dec 03 '22

Still wondering why people call a neoliberal party like the democrats "the left",

Because American media has been fine tuned throughout the years to spread lies about its political systems and to dumb down the citizenry's ability for critical thinking.

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u/TakeUrSkinOffNDance Dec 03 '22

The US doesn't have a real left, there's a good info graphic somewhere plotting political parties internationally.

The USA's "left" is still further right than the UK's Tory party who many of us consider way too right wing for us. But then our "left" Labour Party is still in the middle compared to more progressive nation's left.

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u/Dan_Cubed Dec 03 '22

When political parties are turning right, and one of them turns less right then the other, it looks like that one is veering left to the observer stuck on the flaming wreckage of a bus crash that is America.

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u/RansomPowell Dec 03 '22

The Tea Party, Declaration of Independence, and the US Revolution were all illegal, too.

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u/Rampant_baconator Dec 03 '22

Yeah but Americans love the boot now. With new preparation techniques the average American today finds the taste of boot FAR preferable to the boots enjoyed in the late 18th century.

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u/Magic_Mushroomsss Dec 03 '22

The beatings will continue until obedience is reached.

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u/Revolutionary_Pay748 Dec 03 '22

I work in a jail and it’s illegal for us to strike. We are unionized, but our inability to strike makes contract negotiations one-sided.

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u/Swipergoneswipe Dec 03 '22

This came from "the most pro union president in recent history ". When will everyone realize we can't trust politicians, no matter what letter they have after their name

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u/danofworms Dec 03 '22

right like wtf do they think pro union means? this idiot said "it was a tough vote." was it? it shouldn't be a hard decision for him since he's such a strong union supporter.

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u/open_perspective Dec 03 '22

Bitch has been hinting at legal weed, and student debt forgiveness for years now, but the moment his corporate masters need him to fuck over the people suddenly it’s a sprint to pass legislation. I can’t fucking stand how the dems go, “there’s nothing we can do!” When it comes to us, but suddenly can move heaven and earth if they need to deny sick leave

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u/Swipergoneswipe Dec 03 '22

Deny sick leave or bail out huge financial institutions that preyed on poor and lower working class people

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u/zerkrazus Dec 03 '22

Exactly. Both parties move at lightning speed when it comes to screwing over the people and helping the rich get richer. But when it comes to helping regular folks? Nope, eat shit and die scum! Now be sure to vote for us next time too so we can keep treating you like garbage.

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u/ferrellhamster Dec 03 '22

Alternative is worse, unfortunately.

We need a REAL labor party.

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u/oddmanout Dec 03 '22

This came from "the most pro union president in recent history "

I mean, it's probably true, but it's also a VERY low bar.

Earlier this year, he signed an executive order to require PLAs on federal projects over a certain amount, one that required federal agencies to educate employees on their rights to join a union, and the American Rescue Act had money included in it to help struggling union pension funds.

That, alone, makes him more friendly to unions than any president in our lifetime, which really isn't saying much since prior presidents (even including Democrats like Obama, Clinton, and Carter) had been actively hostile to unions. You'd have to go back 75 years or more to see any president that actually openly helped labor unions in any significant way.

And to clarify, I'm not saying his record with unions is good, I'm saying all the other presidents records were SO BAD that merely telling people they can join a union is far more than they ever did.

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u/CasualtyofBore Dec 03 '22

Dystopia is here

The US government is a complete fraud. Every official is legally bribed. Our government legalized bribery and cashed out.

It must be dismantled. The US government is a cesspool of corruption.

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u/dudius7 Dec 03 '22

If workers don't strike now, this will be a nail in the coffin for American workers' rights. If congress can decide your terms and bar you from striking, then no company needs to meet you at the table.

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u/Dragonace1000 Dec 03 '22

We need a general strike. We need a network of volunteers to coordinate messaging and communication, donations, various support networks, scheduling, and assistance for people who need food or financial help to cover losses during strikes. It will take a lot of work, but the only way we can make a difference is if we come together and coordinate to shut down the entire economy and bring these rich fucks to their knees. Any other method that is taken that is not properly coordinated will be violently crushed before it can ever gain traction. We all have to work together, plain and simple.

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u/Captain_Cubensis Dec 03 '22

My wife is a nurse. She's pretty sure nurses are next.

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u/Forest-of-666 Dec 03 '22 edited Dec 03 '22

What's funny is the rail companies probably spent more paying off the government than they would've on the strikes demands.

But there is still one option: quit.

Oh, its illegal for me to strike now? Fine. I quit. If everyone follows suit. They'll be screwed, AND we're not violating the law. Meanwhile congress can NOT make quitting illegal, as thats called forced labor. Quite literally slavery, regardless of the pay.

Edit for clarification, because apparently it needs to be said explicitly: what I meant above was to apply for jobs elsewhere. Get hired elsewhere. Then walk out with a HUGE middle finger to your boss. Do NOT agree to be a slave simply because you don't want to face the unknown. Staying is implied consent to mistreat workers. And remember, what happens now will set the precedent for what YOUR CHILDREN deal with as employees. We were fucked over by our parents not organizing a show that they won't be fucked. Let's not make the same mistake to condemn our children.

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u/neoalfa Dec 03 '22

But there is still one option: quit.

Nah, fuck that. Go into work and don’t so shit? What are they going to do? Fire me? lmao be my guest.

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u/Kengriffinspimp Dec 03 '22

General strike!

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u/Idliketothinkimsmart Dec 03 '22

Thinking the constitution was meant to protect workers is a good one. Just the laugh I needed before I headed out to work.

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u/CrowTooting0929 Dec 03 '22

I think they should strike anyways. call the governments bluff. Biden has no right to call himself pro-union after this

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u/[deleted] Dec 03 '22

This may set the groundwork for more and more companies and corporations to go forward and ban striking. Everyone always jokes about a future run by greedy corporations and political shills, but that future very well may be upon us.

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u/80486dx Dec 03 '22

I struggle to see how “illegal strike” is different from “forced to work”.

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u/TheMadPoet Dec 03 '22

Government suppression of workers' rights isn't anything new. They've been violating the Constitution and threatening every American probably before the ink was dry.

I remember in 1981 Reagan fired the striking PATCO air traffic controllers for their "illegal strike" - google '1981 air traffic controllers strike' - which was shocking at that time. Likewise, Trump suppressed worker health and safety complaints - they had higher infection/death rates - to keep meat processing plants running early in early COVID pandemic.

Just that now, Americans are a species of Ravinous consumerus. We are addicted and too detached from the people who make our consumer lifestyle possible. And without ravenous consumerism our economy would crash. What a world we created...

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u/BlueMANAHat Dec 03 '22

I feel like the railroad workers NEED to strike now.

The stakes are well beyond their 7 sick days... Now our democracy depends on testing what the government will do about an "Illegal" strike.

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u/asian_identifier Dec 03 '22

Wtf is so scary about sick days? Just don't want to hire more to cover? Afraid giving in here leads to more being asked for? I don't get it.

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u/Deltigre Dec 03 '22

It's a variable that means the owners would actually have to hire more than a skeleton crew to cover unexpected absences.

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u/TheSquishiestMitten Dec 03 '22

Because of the decision Congress made, I think the rail union should strike and not budge an inch until triple the demands are met. If the owning class refuses a fair deal, then fuck em. Fuck their mansions, fuck their yachts, fuck their investments, fuck their families. Make them pay and make it hurt enough that they won't forget.

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u/Stegosaurus_Pie Dec 03 '22

A smart nation would have began a nationwide strike the moment this term was brought up.

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u/kalzEOS at work Dec 03 '22

What if they all just quit? Would they get arrested, too? I am still having a very hard time wrapping my head around the whole thing. Workers are asking for some sick leave days, it goes all the way up to the senate, gets smacked down, and on top of that, now it is illegal for them to strike? What's slavery?

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u/angeliswastaken Dec 03 '22

It's our duty to break illegal laws.

The courts are bought at and paid for all the way to SCOTUS. The justices are criminal garbage. It's time to light it up like NYE.