Yesterday was absolutely amazing in DC. My eyes are still watery and I don't know if that's emotions or just the cold still seeping out.
I got into the office this morning to no one. There's seriously no one here. It's eerily quiet. So, I decided to read the web a little and get my head back into the game after weeks of inaugural planning and events. So, I headed over to CUPE and noticed this piece on a lock out that happened yesterday in British Columbia:
January 20, 2009 07:44 PM
GRAND FORKS, BC — CUPE 2254 members were locked out of their workplace this morning by the Grand Forks & District Library Board.
The five library workers were locked out at 9 a.m., then “invited to return to work” if they accepted a long list of management proposals that would gut their collective agreement. The contract at the public library expired on June 30 and the two sides started bargaining on October 5, 2008.
The members rejected the Board’s “offer” and spent the morning picketing the public library. They were joined on the line by several community members including Grand Forks Mayor Brian Taylor.
You see, there was one major reason why I decided on Obama back in January of last year, the Congress Hotel Strike. He walked a picket line when it didn't amke a difference on a political level for him, he did it because it was the right thing to do. That simple act said a lot to me, still does.
In the states, a lot of Dems won't cross a picket line. Yeah, there's that at least, but I can pobably count on one hand how many have walked a picked line. I've heard that our new Labor Secretary, Hilda Solis has walked a picket line and I believe that Sherrod Brown has as well and I know Dennis Kucinich's dad had been out on strike when he was growing up in Cleveland, ain't no way he didn't walk a picket a line. But outside of these folks, I'm hard pressed to find a local mayor or councilmember or State representative or senator...basically, I'm hard pressed to find this kind of thing happening in the States.
I'm not sure it's as much about the issue as it is about our laziness in showing support for anything outside of sending an e-mail, writing a blog post (I've walked a picket line, so it's not me of which I speak) or maybe dashing off a letter or a phone call. This mayor in BC walked a picket line with 5 locked out workers. In Van Wert Ohio this past April, Kongsberg Automotive locked out the United Steelworker employees that they inherited from Telefles in their buy out of Teleflex. But in all my coverage and reading of the issue, I don't ever recall the mayor walking the picket line with the workers. I hope he did, but it sure didn't get reported.
So, here's a tip of my hat to Grand Forks Mayor Brian Taylor. You're definately, one of the good guys.