Joaquin Magon: On Strikes, Power, and Unions

Dec. 6, 2012 / By

The Diary of Joaquin Magon Entry 20

About a month ago, I was talking to workers on strike at Nob Hill, a chain of high-end grocery stores, trying to figure out what moved them to take this major step. The majority of the workers picketed outside the store in spite of the big sign on the front doors: “Now Hiring Replacement Workers.”

I went inside the store and saw it was empty; the stock of dairy products was almost depleted and the bread was going stale. And I saw how much work the strikers had done to make this a successful strike. I contemplated some of my favorite moments working with Unions. I think of the strike at Amarral and began to compare the two and the lessons both have taught me.

A strike is effective for two main reasons: (1) it forces the employer to negotiate with the workers as quickly as possible or else risk losing money and (2) it makes the workers realize the power that they hold.

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Coachella Unincorporated

Coachella Unincorporated is a Youth Media Startup in the East Coachella Valley, funded by the Building Healthy Communities Initiative of The California Endowment and operated by New America Media in San Francisco. The purpose of the project is to report on issues in the community that can bring about change. Coachella Unincorporated refers to the region youth journalists cover but also to the unincorporated communities of the Eastern Valley with the idea to “incorporate” the East Valley into the mainstream Coachella Valley mindset.