Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Teamsters supporting Occupy Oakland in tomorrow's action

OK, first of all it isn't really a general strike in the technical sense of the word (but we really like the poster). Here's how Occupy Oakland characterizes it:

...we invite all students to walk out of school. Instead of workers going to work and students going to school, the people will converge on downtown Oakland to shut down the city.

All banks and corporations should close down for the day or we will march on them.

While we are calling for a general strike, we are also calling for much more. People who organize out of their neighborhoods, schools, community organizations, affinity groups, workplaces and families are encouraged to self organize in a way that allows them to participate in shutting down the city in whatever manner they are comfortable with and capable of.

Teamsters from all area locals will be at a 4:30 pm rally. At 5 pm, Teamsters are supplying food for a giant barbecue. Thousands are expected to attend. Afterward, there will be a march to the docks, which the Teamsters aren't sanctioning. Joint Council 7's truck will be there.

The mayor has told all city workers except the police to take the day off.

The Oakland Police, criticized for the way they handled a raid on the Occupy camp last week, responded with a letter today:

We represent the 645 police officers who work hard every day to protect the citizens of Oakland. We, too, are the 99% fighting for better working conditions, fair treatment and the ability to provide a living for our children and families. We are severely understaffed with many City beats remaining unprotected by police during the day and evening hours.

Doug Bloch, political director for Joint Council 7, serves on the executive committee of the Alameda Labor Council. Today he proposed a motion that the Labor Council reach out to the employee associations representing law enforcement to show its support. The motion passed.

Teamsters were also the first union to support Occupy Oakland -- and San Francisco, and Fresno, and San Jose. We hear there wasn't even any discussion about passing the resolutions supporting each Occupation. Said Joint Council 7 Rome Aloise:

We're on the offensive. It's all about fighting back against the war on workers. The Occupy movement has helped focus the issue on something our members have known all along. The problem isn't the unions, it's the corporations that hate us and would love to get rid of us.

Stay tuned. We'll keep you posted about what happens in Oakland tomorrow.

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