Streams

Open Phones: Are You Taking Part in the General Strike?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Tomorrow organizers of the Occupy movement are calling for "the first truly nationwide General Strike in U.S. history." Are you planning to participate? What do you think of the efforts? Post your thoughts or give us a call 212-433-9692

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Comments [23]

Reb from Brooklyn

To Fuva- FYI there is an Open University led by professors taking their classes to the streets, and some will address the issues you raise. Also, there are convergences after work, starting at 5.
The main reason there won't be a general strike is that although labor and ows are working together on this, organized labor did not want to strike en masse. It's really up to them, not ows: do they want to lead things to the next level? No? Don't blame ows for that. Blame us instead for continuing to stubbornly use the phrase 'general strike', when that's not really what this will be.
Regardless- you don't like what you see? Stop whining - Organize!

Apr. 30 2012 02:44 PM
BJK from Queens

I regret naming the caller who seems to be tacitly approving here, the type of activity that passes for 'legitimate protest' in Barcelona, but listen again to the audio of this segment, a matter of public record; it's not my interest to engage in anything perceived to be 'ad hominem' attack (it wasn't) or tit-for-tat minutiae.
I wrote nothing that the entire WNYC audience didn't already hear.
However, that seems to be the whole point of 'Occupy': join a 'movement', become 'anonymous'. Flee from all personal responsibility for your educational, financial and employment life.
Blame everyone and everything for your perceived unfortunate state, for the 'opression' you feel, scream victimhood and martyrdom at every turn.
Like another poster observed, this seems to make for the best theater.

Apr. 30 2012 01:11 PM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

@ Roger from New York -

That's the first I've heard of a "magical belief that labor is naturally virtuous and downtrodden, and management is naturally evil." No wonder you believe it "Nonsense" because that's not what general strikes are about. If someone who believes that exercising strong labor rights is important, like me, also believes in such "magical" notions then they would be wrong. But by promoting such an unfounded statement of beliefs, you're wrong.

What is real and not theater, is the fact that capital owners, employers and management hold almost all the power in a employer-employee relationship with often little negotiation of terms to benefit the employee, particularly when in the job. Sometimes work contracts are fair and sometimes it's not, and the employee have no say, input or recourse.

I'm glad you've had good work contracts and experiences in your career, something that I've often, but not always, had in mine. If you're fine with almost total power being held by the employer against the employee, so be it. I'm not. But don't think you can mischaracterize what "labor" is trying to do, particularly for low wage workers who have the least amount of leverage and little time and luxury to post their feelings on message boards, let alone participate in a strike.

Put plainly; quit being so "theatrical."

Apr. 30 2012 12:59 PM
John A.

A lister objection to person-on-person attacks witnessed below.

Apr. 30 2012 12:40 PM
Roger from New York

I plan to get to work early and stay late. Over 18 years of employment I have received something in excess of one million dollars in wages and benefits. This not because I am loved, but because my labor has been worth at least that. The contract between me and my employer has been well honored by both sides. My experience is repeated millions of times over, all around the world.

Supporting a general strike requires holding to the magical belief that labor is naturally virtuous and downtrodden, and management is naturally evil. Nonsense. There is no "attack on workers." There is no "modern-day slave law." What we have in abundance is theater. Theatrical marches. Theatrical arrests. Theatrical despair. Theatrical outrage.

Apr. 30 2012 12:30 PM
BJK from Queens, NYC

It sickens me how skillfully WNYC still dances around support for 'Occupy', an amorphous fundamentally Anarchist movement.
Take the call from Rebekkah, just back from Barcelona, pining wistfully over how 'great' is was to see the full participation there, to see that small businesses, maybe family-run, 'had their windows smashed' if they had the temerity of remaining open in order that families could continue to earn a living.
Or the man who plans on proudly wearing his Karl Marx 'tee' to his job, which would'nt exist if this weren't a free Capitalist society.
Go to YouTube and search for 'Union Square Occupy Donuts' for a quick encapsulation of who these people are and how they think.
Despite the reprehensible obscenity, profanity and endless provocation that the NYPD has been subjected to, the waste of city resources that could more constructively be applied elsewhere, tomorrow I will be grateful for living in a city with the best-trained police force in the world, protecting private property and the rights of working people to go about their business unmolested.
Rebekkah might consider moving to Barcelona, if she finds intact windows too boring.

Apr. 30 2012 12:16 PM

I will be going to work and feeling fortunate to be able to do so. NYC is expensive, I need every dollar of every hour that I work to pay for rent, bills, school, my sick cat, etc. The Occupy movement has done nothing to convince me to support their cause. It just reminds me of San Francisco and what I do not miss about it.

Apr. 30 2012 12:08 PM
Sophie

Join workers on May 1st, 12 noon at 26 Federal Plaza to demand President Obama stop the attack on workers; ensure the right of all workers to file a complaint with the government; and repeal the modern-day slave law, employer sanctions! equalrights4workers@wordpress.com

Apr. 30 2012 12:06 PM

May Day, Schmay Day!

Protest...Schmotest!!

Everything is absolutely perfeKt®!!!

Keep movin'... nuthin' ta see here...

...where's my sand hole???

eh, CheezleWhizzle??

Apr. 30 2012 12:03 PM
fuva from Harlemworld

A coordinated, effective general strike would be great, but it almost certainly won't happen. Because the Occupy Movement, etc. -- however well-intentioned -- has had limited mass reach. Because it does not communicate/ interact effectively with their purported constituents. How to strike in a way that limits risk of job loss? What to do if your boss comes after you for not showing up, in this economic depression? Etc...It would be great if there were a forum scheduled -- in the EVENING or at different times to accommodate work schedules -- outlining (1) current socioeconomic, employment issues, (2) practical methods of protest and contingencies for poor working folk with families, etc...But this is not sexy work and probably won't get done.

Apr. 30 2012 12:01 PM
Rachel

I'm going to be marching with the Immigrant Workers Justice Tour, leaving from Bryant Park at 11 am and visiting a series of locations in Midtown where companies are committing egregious labor violations. This is part of the "99 pickets"- a broader series of actions throughout Midtown beginning at 8 am in Bryant Park. Join us!

Apr. 30 2012 12:01 PM

How many of these "Occupy" franchise shills does this show need to service?

Don't you think that your tax subsidy will be in jeopardy if you conduct this type of organizing?

Apr. 30 2012 12:00 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

join the meditation flash mob downtown tomorrow! be part of the peace in the center of it all: https://www.facebook.com/events/362429367147571/

Apr. 30 2012 11:59 AM

I am unemployed and would be happy to take one of the striker's jobs.

Apr. 30 2012 11:58 AM
Jeff Park Slope

May Day? Occupy Movement? You have got to be kidding. And you and your listeners think that Fox News is extreme? I will be working. I stopped being a child and a socialist a long time ago.

Apr. 30 2012 11:57 AM
Arun Luthra from New York City

I'll be performing as part of the Local 802, A.F. of M. (New York's musician's union local) "Justice for Jazz Artists" marching band. Marching from Union Sq. to Foley Sq., then from The Village Vanguard to The Blue Note.

Apr. 30 2012 11:57 AM
Therese

To carolita - great idea - the last one was so effective - and, by the way, my employer (and many others) DID expect their employees to show up for work. Remember everyone walking across the bridge in freezing temperatures? Yeah, that really created a lot of sympathy for the strikers.

Apr. 30 2012 11:56 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I cannot BELIEVE that the residue of this bolshevik nonsense is still around, after the demise of the Soviet Union, the demise of the Kibbutz system in Israel, the abject failure of North Korea and Cuba, et al. I cannot believe that this bolshevik baloney is still being nostalgically remembered by these juvenile mentalities that refuse to accept reality. It's just unbelievable. How about marches by brown shirts and black shirts to commemorate the failure of Fascism? I just don't get it!!!

Apr. 30 2012 11:56 AM
Therese

This segment really makes me want to bang all of these people's heads together.

Apr. 30 2012 11:55 AM
Jay F.

Give me a break...

Apr. 30 2012 11:54 AM
Marcia

I'm going to do what I do every Tuesday (an Wednesday and Thursday) which is work with NYCares to tutor 17-21 year olds who are studying to get their GED.

Apr. 30 2012 11:53 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

@Carolita

The average MTA worker now makes $110,000 per year including benefits. (Nicole Gelinas – Manhattan Institute)

The NY Post reported last year that there are 140 retired LIRR workers with PENSIONS of $100, 000 a year.

And they are going to strike because………?

Apr. 30 2012 11:44 AM
carolita from nyc

I hope we'll get a history of May Day today, so people will know what they're really fighting for (ie, not just themselves, today, but also for past workers who actually died for what today's workers actually have, or have left). I hope the MTA, LIRR, and taxi workers will all go on strike, to make it easier for other employees to strike (if nobody can get to work, nobody can blame their employees for not showing up -- this would be what's known as a general strike).

Apr. 30 2012 10:50 AM

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