Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Meanwhile, In a Parallel Universe, Somewhere in the Midwest....

John Ashcroft and his Washington acolytes may be winning their war against unions terrorism inside the Beltway (See below), but somewhere in the heartland live a whole bunch of union terrorist sympathizers.

In Jefferson, Wisconsin, UFCW Local 538 is on strike against Tysons Foods. But in these allegedly anti-union times, the people of Jefferson are sticking with the union.

  • A gas station owner "gave strikers and their families 328 gallons of milk from the Shell station and convenience store he co-owns on the south side"

  • The Citgo station near the factory gate keeps its bathrooms open for the pickets.

  • Many merchants, including d.b. Puffins restaurant, offer discounts for the strikers.

  • Oak Ridge Golf Course in Milton charges no green fees for the union members on Tuesdays.

  • The Jefferson Jaycees and Capn's Corner catering recently raised $3,500 for the strikers, serving 600 chicken and fish dinners in the rain at the park next to the factory.

  • Local eateries, including Subway, promote that their food is "Tyson-free."

  • Ken's Towne Inn gives pickets leftovers from catering jobs

  • Because of the strike, the credit union is letting its members defer loan payments.
It's like a bygone era, back when "compassion" still meant something:
"These workers have supported me for 21 years in this community," Dave Lorbecki, owner of Dave's Piggly Wiggly says. Sticking up for the workers has brought him more customers, he says, but like at other businesses, his sales are down because those shoppers have less money to spend.

Lorbecki is part of a campaign to keep a Wal-Mart SuperCenter from coming to Jefferson, and he hopes boosterism for the strikers spills over to that cause.

"This really woke people up to what community spirit is all about," Lorbecki says.
What explains all of the support? According to the article,
the strike has provided citizens here with a rallying point through which they can rail against the inevitable encroachment of global capitalism.
"Railing against the encroachment of global capitalism? Solidarity? If there's any more of that out there, can we bottle it and use it in the next presidential election?