Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Labor Report

23. August 2005 • MarkDilley
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These two union struggles are important right now.

Heathrow Airport

This wildcat strike is pretty important for empowering people.


We are at a decisive moment in the struggle by hundreds of low-paid workers at London’s Heathrow Airport—a struggle we have covered intensively on LabourStart in the last two weeks.

Thousands of you have sent off messages to the employers (with copies to the union). It is the largest online campaign ever waged by LabourStart . And it is having an impact.

Now we need to you do a bit more. To reach into your pockets and make a donation—giving as much as you can—to the union’s ‘hardship fund’ for the Gate Gourmet workers. Please give generously—the workers at Gate Gourmet are counting on you. Even the smallest donations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

CBC locks out workers.

They are doing an amazing job of running a media project.


Locked out workers at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation have been pushing the envelope with their use of the new communications technology, as the dispute enters its second week. A good source of information about the dispute is the union’s new website,

They have also been creating the equivalent of a traditional strike newspaper, but have done so using cutting edge technology—streaming multimedia, MP3 and podcasts.

To make their content easily accessible to trade unionists around the world, we’re stopping all regularly scheduled broadcasts on our online radio station, Radio LabourStart, and switching over to broadcast these alternative radio programs created by the locked-out CBC workers. We will broadcast nothing else until the lockout ends. To tune in, visit

Show your solidarity with the CBC workers by listening to their broadcasts on Radio LabourStart today. Tell your co-workers to tune in as well. Spread the word!

Thanks. Eric Lee

  1. Thanks to ArborUpdate for today’s additional posting, crusading for the human rights of British workers.

    You again urge support for these British workers. Good.

    Thanks to ArborUpdate for its August 17th posting, crusading for the human rights of people in the Sudan.

    You urge support for people in the Sudan. Good again.

    You know my next question…

    Why do you break all your own rules, when it comes to the prison known as Palestine, where the U.S.-funded Israeli Army is king, and where the Palestinian population starves and bleeds to death?

    Why do you still treat Palestine as “foreign”, as “off-topic”, while every other country in the world can step right up to ArborUpdate for a good human rights crusade?

    Will you wait until 6 million Palestinians are dead, before giving them the courtesy you show to England, to Sudan, to Borders strikers, to parking structures?

    Will you forever treat Palestinians, only Palestinians, as untermenschen?

    I will live to see ArborUpdate campaign for divestment from Israel.

    Just let that divestment come before all of Palestine is dead.
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Aug. 23 '05 - 05:46PM    #
  2. don’t feed the troll!
       —peter honeyman    Aug. 23 '05 - 06:57PM    #
  3. Why is it so vital to shut down any discussion of Palestine, and of divestment, that you must warn people to not respond?

    And why is it necessary to call someone who has never caused you any affront by a negative personal epithet?

    You only see this silencing reflex around the issue of Palestine.

       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Aug. 23 '05 - 08:22PM    #
  4. Blaine, my first impulse is to ignore your statement so this doesn’t turn into another tangental debate on this blog, I think we all agree that the occupation of Palestine is tragic. I would be willing to post on local events relating to the Palestinian issue. Mark chooses to post on assorted labor issues around the world that have no real Ann Arbor connection, that’s his decision (we have no “rules,” though each contributor makes his/her own decisions). I’m sure once the usual demonstrations and divestment campaigns on campus arise again this fall it will be posted here. I know you’ll likely make some sweeping statements in response to my comment, but one wonders why you are so concerned about the coverage of a small local news blog in the first place. That is all I am going to say about this topic, so don’t attempt to goad.
       —Brandon    Aug. 23 '05 - 08:32PM    #
  5. You gave an honest response.
    I’m not interested in “goading” you.
    Thank you for your honesty.

    I am interested in all this talk of “empowering” British and Canadian workers, with foaming exhortations to give unstintingly to their struggles.

    Struggling-for-your-rights is apparently OK with ArborUpdate: but in the U.K., or in Canada.

    No one calls the writer any names, like “troll”, for urging support to British and Canadian labor struggles.


    Yet one whiff of Palestine talk, and WHAM!—Out come the insults.

    If you ever say the phrase “the struggle of the Palestinians for their rights”—WHOA—not on ArborUpdate!

    You’ll only their human rights stuggles OK’d, on ArborUpdate, if the Palestinians turn white and British, or Canadian.

    Because the topic of what’s-happening-to-Palestine is so forbidden, it must be pretty darn important.
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Aug. 23 '05 - 08:42PM    #
  6. The Pain Lives! Hey, Man, I missed you this morning at the shelter. They had some fucking awsome pankakes, and food gatherers scored us some real maple syrup that was just a little bit moldy from the Cracker Barrel in Brighton. I ate like twelve of them flap-jacks. Anyway, I was wondering if I could barrow the two sided “Free Palestine” sandwich board you were rockin at the rally last week? It’s getting pretty gnarly under the structure, with the rats and shit, and I was thinking about setting up a camp along the tracks, near Felch, now that it’s not so humid and mildewy outside. Your sign would make a fucking stellar tent support. It would be pretty snug, but I think I could squeeze you in too, if you wanted to, you know, cuddle. I’ve got a line on about a dozen 40’s that are about to expire at the Beer Depot. The food gatherer’s dude tipped me off. I don’t know why they don’t gather beer anyway, but fuck, all the more for us, eh?

    Oh, and your old old-lady has been looking for you too. She says she needs 80 bucks for the abortion or she’s gonna stick you for support (like that’s a clever strategy, right!?). I think she’s using again, so the little shit’ll probably get his ass still born anyway, but you can hide out in tent as long as you need to.

    Later! And please get e-mail.
       —Parking Structure Dude!    Aug. 23 '05 - 08:51PM    #
  7. You may recall the intense insults that anonymous postings for Palestine encountered on ArborUpdate, some months ago.

    A lot of pretty vicious epithets.

    A lot of hoarse indignation that anyone would dare to post anonymously.

    Again, you break your own rules.

    Now, a person who insists on anonymity repeatedly posts highly slanderous comments (for which ArborUpdate shares responsibility) aimed at someone who speaks up for Palestine.

    ..And not a whisper of protest from any ArborUpdate staffer or contributor.

    Suddenly, anonymous posting is OK, as long as it ridicules the notion of a “Free Palestine”?

    Again—look to the power of your bias against Palestine, against all things Palestinian.

    You’ll learn.

    You will end up pushing for divestment from Israel, or claiming that you did.

    And Palestine will be free, believe it or not.
       —-Blaine. (Palestine)    Aug. 23 '05 - 09:06PM    #
  8. But seriously, Blaine, can I borrow the sign?
       —Parking Structure Dude!    Aug. 23 '05 - 09:36PM    #
  9. Blaine:
    Please do not derail posts with off-topic discussions.
    If necessary, your comments will be deleted.

    If you have something on the topic of these labor issues to discuss, please do so. Otherwise, there is a consensus of ArborUpdate posters that your commenting is disruptive and detrimental to the site.
    If you would like to discuss this further, please do so by emailing, the group email list.
       —js    Aug. 23 '05 - 10:08PM    #
  10. Blaine- I refer you again to the email address. If you have anything to say about the policy of the website (or those who have editing abilities), say it there.

    The CBC strike reminds me of the Pacifica folks a couple years back. I realize that these CBC folks are more savvy than most media-wise, but I’d like to see more unions adopt their strategies of full-on content. And, frankly, I’m diggin’ on their radio and hope they keep these “alternative” projects going even after the strike is over.
       —js    Aug. 24 '05 - 01:39PM    #