This past Tuesday evening the I.W.W. (Industrial Workers of the World) Sisters’ Camelot Canvass Union made an offer to the managing collective in an effort to end the strike which has been going on since March 1. The managing collective has been given until the end of Monday, April 8 to decide whether or not to accept. This offer has consolidated the much longer original list of terms for the negotiation of the union’s existence down to a list of eight terms, with the logistical details of how they would work clearly defined.
“This is the easiest deal our bosses will ever get from this union to end this strike, I hope they take it so we can end this and get back to work,” said Alex Forsey, one of the striking union members.
“They have yet refused to ever agree to attempt negotiation with our union. This offer goes around that by offering them a clear package deal. This offer is meant as a compromise and hopefully they will choose to take it,” said Loren Ziemek, another striking union member.
“This deal takes all issues of pay off the table, it’s clearly about basic workplace democracy and more control over the worker’s working conditions. If the collective does not accept this offer I think it’s clear that they are opposed to workplace democracy and recognizing this union at all,” said Tracy Steidl, another striking union member.
The proposal sent to the collective reads as follows:
We have a proposal to end this strike. In this proposal we have already set aside everything that we are willing to concede as negotiable. Everything left is our terms of unionization. This means we are not open to a counter-proposal.
You can choose to agree to this proposal and end the strike at any time starting now. If you choose to reject this proposal or not agree to it by the end of April 8, then not only will the NLRB investigation into an illegal firing continue– but we will file more filings of Unfair Labor Practices for the NLRB to investigate. This means investigation into every time a national labor law was broken since we went public as a union– which includes every time a collective member asked a union member about our demands, any surveillance of us that was conducted, and every time the collective offered us any type of concession instead of sitting down to negotiate with the union.
When you agree to this proposal, then we will retract the NLRB investigation into the illegal firing (unless the NLRB has already made their ruling– which could happen at any time from now on), we will not file any further ULP’s with the NLRB, we will end the strike, we will return to work and we will declare this a victory for all of Sisters’ Camelot. We will also agree to go back, and talk to the community members we contacted during the strike and tell them that the strike is over because negotiations succeeded with good faith effort on both sides.
For this all to happen you must rehire the fired worker and agree to all of the following non-negotiable terms for our unionization.
The terms of our unionization are:
1. Union Representative on the collective.
Rotating, everyone in union will take turns. Can only vote or block on canvass related issues.
2. Co-Canvass Coordinators, Field Managers, & canvassers do not need to join the collective to do their jobs.
The accountability aspect between the canvass operation and collective will shift to the union representative on the collective.
3. Democratic election of 2 Co-Canvass Coordinators.
Terms will last 3 months. All card-carrying members of the IWW Sisters Camelot Canvassers Union in good standing, who have worked 15 shifts or more during the prior 3 month term have voting rights. The collective will be allowed to cast a ballot in this election.
4. Decentralization of office tasks & Canvass Coordination pay.
The Co-Canvass Coordinators are responsible for getting tasks done to run the canvass that do not get done by other members of the canvass. Ultimately anyone who wants to should be trained up to have the ability to complete any and all of the individual takes necessary to run the canvass, if needed to. As a democratically run union of Sisters’ Camelot canvassers we will itemize these tasks and decide how much of the Canvass Coordination pay is alloted for each task. Canvass Coordination budget (all of these tasks including Co-Canvass Coordinator and Field Manager pay) will be the same as previous Canvass Director pay was before unionization.
5. Hiring & Firing Committee & closed union shop.
All new hires must join the union upon meeting criteria for having a vote at our 3-month elections. Hiring and firing committee will consist of 3 elected union members (elected at the same 3-month election). One additional member of this committee will be appointed by the collective. This committee will operate by consensus. This committee will be in charge of all interviews, hiring, firing, and disciplinary actions regarding canvassers. Any firing will not be final until a secret ballot of all Canvasser Union Members upholds it by a majority vote. This committee will also be in charge of actively seeking out and recruiting quality new canvassers.
We will always strive to be open to people who want to canvass less frequent than required for union membership. Ultimately the hiring & firing committee reserves the right to deny such people who abuse our openness.
6. Professional van maintenance.
We will always strive to use an internal mechanic to keep the van in working order, but the Co-Canvass Coordinators will have the final say when the van is needed to be fixed by outside professionals.
7. Co-Canvass Coordinators have final say in who runs individual canvass shifts.
8. Medical bills are paid by Sisters’ Camelot for all on-the-job injuries.