Phone and Email Zap to Support Prisoner Resistance in Missouri

Prisoners at CRCC in Missouri are already engaging in collective resistance leading up to the National Prisoner Strike which will occur August 21st through September 9th and they need our support.

There are also numerous IWW members in this facility. The details of this situation are below the call in script.

Please call The following offices in this order:

1. Warden of CRCC Rhonda Pash
816-632-2727

2. Director Anne L. Precythe OR Deputy Director Matt Sturm (ask for either//both)
573-526-6607

(If they aren’t available, ask to leave a message!)

Also, email rhonda.pash@doc.mo.gov, anne.precythe@doc.mo.gov, matt.strum@doc.mo.gov, alana.boyles@doc.mo.gov

Script:

“I would like to know why prisoners at CRCC are being denied medical attention, showers, law library access for court deadlines, visitation, feeding on time, and hot meals. I’ve heard they are being fed bags of green baloney and hard biscuits. Why is that baloney green? Staff is telling prisoners they may be facing these restrictions for 2 months. Why is this happening and when is this situation going to be corrected?”

Background Info:

On Saturday, May 12th, prisoners at Crossroads Correctional Center attempted to peacefully negotiate improved conditions however the situation escalated and they ended up hot wiring forklifts, tearing down gates, and destroying parts of the prison.

We received this report from inside, “My homies call me Tiny G. from Crossroads C. Missouri. A place known in here as the ‘only destination for hell’. We send G love to all the homies standing up. We had no demands here at Crossroads. Inmates of every race and none Gs participated. We only wanted them to allow rehabilitation programs and back recreation time. Anne L. Precythe has not heard our words to be treated right in years. Staff acted like we were kids to be punished. The admin want all the Gs to kill each other like in south carolina. This allows staff to justify locking inmates down for money raises. Inmates did not hurt the staff intentionally. Staff know how badly inmates here are being treated. All the Gs here will be joining, with other inmates, the strike August 21 throughout the state. Staff already know. August 21 was wrote on walls. We are calling on all Gs to join us as one around the Nation on August 21. Stage more sit ins. Make peace for this. The Gs here are contacting our lines in others states.”

Media Quotes:

“The riot began as what inmates call a sit-down, where they ignore officer commands and do not get up.

“We are going to start peaceful and we are going to let you guys know something is wrong,” the officer said about a conversation he had with an inmate. “And he said, ‘well, from there we don’t know where it is going to turn.’”

Among other areas, the inmates destroyed the food area, kitchen, and a manufacturing facility after hot-wiring forklifts to break down the gates to get in.

“It shut down a third of our institution and a building the size of two football fields was completely trashed on the inside,” said the corrections officer.

Employees who were inside the prison during the riot said one of the most alarming things is that four gangs inside the prison — who usually hate and fight each other — actually banded together to organize and pull it off.

Officers from the Western Missouri Correctional Facility next door, as well as law enforcement officers from city and county agencies, were called in to help gain control, which took about 6 hours.

Monday, a spokesperson with the Dept. of Corrections acknowledged the damage is more extensive than they first thought and said the incident is still under investigation.

No one was injured, but a prison employee who was there told FOX4 that after the riot, the inmates warned, “it was property this time. It will be staff next time.”

Phone Zap to Support IWW Workers in Seattle

Take action to support Wobblies in Seattle, Washington fighting on the job.

In support of our fellow workers in IU650 at Grassroots Campaigns, Inc., we are calling on all Wobblies and friends to participate in a phone zap of GCI’s headquarters! We’re asking people to call between 9am and 5pm East Coast time, 6am-2pm West Coast.

GCI canvassers fundraise on the street for a variety of “progressive” organizations. The company itself, though, is the very model of exploitation under capitalism, with brutal turnover, low wages and benefits, and blatant union busting.

In March of this year, GCI’s Seattle Director and members of IWW IU650 at GCI signed and ratified a union contract. In the contract, the workers were guaranteed a number of paid holidays, including May 1 (International Workers Day). GCI has since violated the contract, and the workers were not paid for that holiday.

We are asking all Wobblies and allies to call GCI’s headquarters to remind them of their financial and legal obligation to honor the contract signed with their workers. We want to pressure them to uphold this specific part of the contract as well as remind them that there will be pushback if they violate other parts of the contract as well.

Info:

(617) 830-7986 and (979) 448-8882 Legal Department and chief union buster (Laurie Owen) lowen@grassrootscampaigns.com
(617) 423-0431 National Admin
(617) 542-0830 GCI Payroll payroll@grassrootscampaigns.com
(617) 338-7882 Central Field Office
(860) 575-0941 Steve King (Assistant National Director) sking@grassrootscampaigns.com
(617) 338-7883
(269) 599-4398  Accounting Department (David Hackman)

Sample Script:

Hello. My name is __________. (first name is fine)

I am calling about the unionized workers at the Seattle branch of GCI. I understand that they signed a contract with the Seattle Director and in that contract, they were guaranteed some paid holidays. It has come to my attention that the workers were not paid for May 1st or “May Day,” which was specified in their contract. I demand that they be paid according to the contract that was signed between the union and your company.

I also want to remind you that GCI has a financial and legal obligation to honor the contract that was signed by your company and the workers.

There is no good reason why you should not honor the contract. Your company’s representative engaged in contract negotiations, this contract is the result, and now your company has to live up to it.

Pay the workers now. Thank you for your time.

Burgerville Workers Union Wins Second Victory

The following statement was released yesterday from the Burgerville Workers Union, after another store successfully won union recognition. The BVWU is the first officially recognized fast food union in the United States and is a part of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

Today Burgerville workers once again voted overwhelmingly in favor of the BVWU, this time at the Gladstone location. This is the second NLRB election the BVWU has won in a month. The first, at 92nd and Powell, made us the only fast food union in the country, and this one demonstrates the momentum the BVWU has going into contract negotiations.

Gladstone workers in particular deserve extra celebration for their win today. Despite the friendly attitude Burgerville has taken in the press about being willing to work with the union, Gladstone workers didn’t see anything close to friendliness on the shop floor. During the election, despite all their words of openness and cooperation, Burgerville was up to its old tricks: retaliation, intimidation, even straight up lying. Gladstone workers faced down all of that and STILL won a major victory for the union. Standing up to your boss like that takes bravery and every one of them deserves applause.

The win at 92nd wasn’t the end of the fight, and neither is this win at Gladstone. The fight won’t be over until Burgerville stops paying us poverty wages, stops threatening undocumented immigrants through their use of e-verify, and stops treating us like we’re disposable. We demand respect, and we won’t stop until we get it. Gladstone is an important step in that journey.

Remember too that the boycott is on until the company signs a fair contract. They’re not off the hook yet.

NC IWOC Prisoner Petition Against Mailroom Censorship

Radical prisoner and Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) member Stanley Corbett, Jr., recently set up a petition to protest mailroom censorship at Maury Correctional.

The petition can be signed here. It reads:

Hey everyone. My name is Stanley Corbett Jr. I’m currently housed in solitary confinement at Maury Correctional Institution in Maury, NC. I’m seeking for the Secretary of Corrections, Erik Hook, here in North Carolina, to create a policy and procedure stating that only mailroom staff be allowed to touch prisoners’ incoming and outgoing mail, unless there’s a security interest involved, and that all incoming and outgoing mail is logged, not just legal mail.

Each facility (prison) has mailroom staff that scans our incoming and outgoing mail, but mailroom staff do not pick up mail directly from us, nor do mailroom staff deliver mail directly to us. Instead, mailroom staff picks up mail from each unit’s mailbox, and delivers mail to each unit’s supervisor’s office, then the unit officers deliver the personal mail to us. They are the same officers that I, and thousands of other prisoners, have filed grievances, petitions, and civil complaints against. They are also the same officers who I, and thousands of other prisoners, have had verbal or physical altercations with. Due to these facts a lot of these correctional officers censor my/our incoming and outgoing mail, or they trash it! And sometimes the officers deliver my/our mail to other prisoners, intentionally. There are thousands of prisoners within the NC department of Public Safety’s Division of Adult Corrections who are experiencing the same issues.

Anytime I, and thousands of other prisoners, address the problem to the mailroom supervisor(s), they tell me/us to address the problem to unit management, but when I/we address the problem to unit management, they tell me/us to address the problem to the mailroom staff. The problem never gets resolved because the mailroom staff shifts the burden on the unit staff and vice versa. At most facilities the mailroom staff delivers legal mail to our cell doors, in which we have to sign for it to receive it, but they do not deliver our personal mail to our cell doors, nor do they pick up our personal/legal mail from our cell doors.

If I lose this campaign, my freedom of speech rights (and other federal laws) will continue to be violated along with thousands of other prisoners’ rights, including your rights! If I win this campaign, it will stop corrupt correctional offers from retaliating against me and thousands of other prisoners; it will stop corrupt correctional officers from violating federal laws; it will help me and thousands of other prisoners maintain communication with society (family, friends, and associates); it will help protect your (the public’s) freedom of speech rights; and it will help stop a lot of prisoners from harming or killing themselves–due to being cut off from society by corrupt correctional officers. They put us in solitary confinement for long periods (5, 10, and 20 years), then stop our communication with society. Isn’t that mental torture?!

Burgerville Workers Union Becomes First Formally Recognized Fast Food Union in the US

Burgerville Workers Union has won a union election in one location, meaning that the company will be forced to negotiate a contract with the workers. Other stores are expected to soon come on board. BVWU, a part of the IWW, also becomes the first fast food chain in the US to be unionized.

We won the election. We did it. We made history.

Today workers at 92nd and Powell overwhelmingly voted yes, making the Burgerville Workers Union the only formally recognized fast food union in the country. For a long time people have dismissed fast food as unorganizable, saying that turnover is too high, or the workers are too spread out. Today Burgerville workers proved them wrong.

The fight isn’t over, of course. We still need to bargain a fair contract with Burgerville, and until then the boycott still stands. And we need to remember what got us to this point: workers taking action for themselves, standing up against poverty wages and horrible conditions. We got here because of the strike, union benefits, pickets, and marches on the boss. We got here through direct action, and that won’t change now that we’ve won an election. If anything it’s even more important.

In this moment of victory we want to celebrate, yes, but we also want to turn our attention to the 4.5 million other fast food workers in the United States. We want to speak to everyone else who works for poverty wages, who are constantly disrespected on the job, who are told they aren’t educated enough, aren’t experienced enough, aren’t good enough for a decent life. To all of those workers, to everyone like us who works rough jobs for terrible pay, we say this:

Don’t listen to that bullshit. Burgerville workers didn’t, and look at us now.

Because our win today isn’t just about Burgerville. It’s about history. It’s about a movement of workers who know that a better world is possible, and that together they can make that world real.

Today we became the only recognized fast food union in the country. But we won’t be the only one for long.