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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez

    :: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 ::

    When Labor Leaders Fail to Deliver, What Should Union Members Do? - By Harry Kelber (Fourth in a series of six articles)
    Here is what we propose, and we welcome suggestions from others within the labor movement:

    Whenever a company of 50 or more workers, whether union or not, announces a layoff, a committee of union officials and employees will demand a meeting with management. It will insist on knowing why the layoffs were made and how those figures were arrived at. It will ask whether company executives have been included in the layoffs, and whether any alternatives had been suggested in place of the job cuts. It will try to negotiate the best possible deal under the circumstances.

    Taking the Offensive Against Abusive Treatment

    If the company refuses to meet with the committee or goes ahead with the layoffs, a mass rally would be held in front of its headquarters and an information picket line at the company's entrance would be set up and maintained until company executives agreed to a joint meeting. The issue would be pursued until a just settlement was achieved. If we did that consistently, companies would think twice before instituting layoffs to increase their stock price and bottom line.
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