“How will labor come back? In a strike. It’ll start with one plant. One plant. And they strike. And there’ll be guys across the street at a second plant, and they see it, and they think ‘Hmm, maybe we can do that.’ And they win. Then somebody in Idaho does it, the same thing, independently. That’s not romanticism, that’s a fact.” — Ed Sadlowski, United Steelworkers leader
Czar Donaldov has finally done something right by accidentally starting a national strike. Last week, no less than NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd posited that only broader-based political pressure could end the government shutdown — Like expanding it into a national strike.
Strikes work. Starting in impoverished West Virginia coal country, teachers in several states walked out last year. They won. Los Angeles educators remain on picket lines.
Winning involves solidarity and choke points. Mr. Todd recognized the obvious: All remaining TSA airport screeners can join their co-workers’ sick-out.
Cowardly congresscritters can then finally pass a funding bill over any presidential veto. Meanwhile, the air over the country will clear up for a few days, just as it did after 9/11/2001 when all non-military flights were grounded. What’s not to like?
Repentant union destroyer Martin Levitt once told me that of his 105 anti-union campaigns, he lost just five because workers refused to break ranks. (Get his book, “Confessions of a Union Buster.”)
New Nevada Gov. Sisolak proposed a raft of good workplace proposals in his State of the State Address last week but even with a Democratic administration and legislature with female majorities both in the ledge and Nevada Supreme Court, the gambling-industrial complex still rules with an iron fist.
Without congressional action, workers must depend on state-by-state reforms which can take somewhere between forever and never.
Unlike anything else, strikes generate much quicker results.
MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR. The idea of a national strike is more than 2,000 years old. Classic Greek playwright Aristophanes came up with the scenario in 411 BC in “Lysistrata,” a satirical account of how one woman ended the Peloponnesian War by convincing the wives of Athens and Sparta to withhold sex until their men ceased hostilities.
EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN. A real-life version happened in 19th Century Chile and Argentina. They were about to do battle over where to set their mutual border. Two first ladies pulled a Lysistrata. Before their presidential husbands declared war over the rocks, they threatened a general strike of all women in both countries. No cooking. No laundry. No sex.
War was avoided and the boundary was set along the crest of the Andes where it stands today. To celebrate, they agreed to erect the fabled Christ of the Andes statue. And almost went to war over which way it would face.
“Let the statue face Argentina,” the Chileans chuckled, “they need watching.”
Strikes work. That’s one reason the NFL Players Association is so strong.
RAIDERS RAPE AND PILLAGE. AGAIN. Remember all the hints that the Oakland Raiders (“very well might, would seriously consider, it’s almost a lock, trust us, trust us”) would build an off-season training camp in northern Nevada. IF the state legislature granted them the second largest chunk of Nevada corporate welfare after Tesla, which still holds the world record. Said facility is now under construction in Henderson.
GOMORRAH SOUTH FUMBLES. In order to inflate its self importance, the NFL started using Roman numerals for each Super Bowl. This year’s is Super Bowl LIII or 53. “L” equals 50, “i” means one and vees are five. Which means 2021’s Super Bowl 55 will be Super Bowl LV. But there will be no LV in LV.
Robber-baron NFL high priests like to award our national religion’s biggest feast day to cities with shiny new stadiums. Like, uh, LV. DAMMIT!
Alas and alack, 2021’s Super Bowl LV has already gone to Tampa where it will be played in a facility more than two decades old. The overlords moved it from LA because the new Rams/Chargers palace would not be ready in time. Las Vegas would. DAMMIT!
We had only one chance for Super Bowl LV to actually be played in LV but the most promotable idea since “what happens here, stays here” was overlooked because nobody did nuthin’.
Before the advent of Czar Donaldov, the world’s most powerful PR machine belonged to Las Vegas where legendary Mafia dons and their frontmen mainstreamed American sin.
We got old and we got shucked like fat corn.
Perhaps global warming can raise Tampa Bay and flood the game westward. Oh, I forgot, that’s a hoax.
CORREXION from last week: Former Miss Wheelchair Nevada (and America) Donna Leslie Cline died in Texas in 1999 at age 40.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com/ E-mail email@example.com Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.