As most of you know, the Parry Center for Children has been on strike since November 29. |
Things are going as one would expect: lots of hours on the picket line and very little movement on the managment's part. Despite union-related support from the head of DHS, the AFL-CIO, multiple unions, the County Commissioners, and the Governor, Trillium continues to be obstinate. One might wonder why they are biting the hand that feeds them (the Commissioners will have more control of funding for places like Parry come January); the union has no answer for this. The only thing we know for sure is that they've spent more money on busting the union than it would have cost to give us our wage increases ... this is according to the UNION'S figures, not the CEO's grossly bloated $1.1m estimate.
Community support has been tremendous. We've received a couple of thousand dollars in donations, mostly from other locals and unions, which we are going to put towards paying for our workers' COBRA (public health insurance) payments. We've also received lots of Fred Meyer gift cards, hand warmers, plastic ponchos, and canned food. People have been randomly coming up and marching with us on the line. The community/union/activist support is wonderful, and we're extremely grateful for all their efforts!
People have been staying safe on the line, aside from the first couple of days when management and scabs were trying to run us over. It's cold and wet, though, and sometimes morale dips a little. But then we have moments like tonight, at the Kids' Festival of Lights for Rights, and we get pumped again because we see how important solidarity, children, and the labor movement is to so many people.
Our guess is that this is Trillium's one last hurrah at getting rid of the union, which is why they're fighting us so hard and ignoring what some pretty importannt people are asking them to do. But I can assure you we're ALL committed to fighting for the rights of the kids we care about, and to fighting for labor rights. We WILL be out there one day longer than they are!
They will never bust our union.