Houston IWW wins first campaign; a multi-worker fight against a remodeling contractor // Houston IWW gana primera campaña ; una lucha de varios trabajadores contra un contratista de remodelación

For context to this campaign, check out this post.

We won!!

The fight against Felipe Serna has concluded.  Serna wrote a check to Hector, Pancho, and Mauricio which was promptly cashed this morning.

After our letter delivery, folks will recall that we organized a phone blast of The Growing Tree daycare and Felipe’s cell.  It was very effective; his phone didn’t stop ringing and he was in tears begging for mercy.  But when the calls ceased, his verbal commitment to settling turned into indignation as he failed to follow through and after a few days texted us an image of his “lawyer’s” business card, the second attorney he had threatened us with.

So we got indignant too and last night covered the surrounding neighborhood of The Growing Tree with “Wanted for Wage Theft” posters with his image prominently on the front.  We made sure to leave one on the front door of the daycare.  The next morning he wrote a check.

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This is an important first victory for the Houston IWW and we couldn’t have done it without your support.  Thanks to the folks who showed up at the ass crack of dawn for the demand delivery and thanks to the many people who participated in the phone blast.

While we can’t know if Serna will steal wages again, he will certainly consider the costs.  And that is what we want every employer in Houston to do; consider that there are forces that they will have to contend with when they steal from labor-power.

We also know that to seriously challenge wage theft and to build workers power, we need an active and fighting working class, something we cannot create by sheer will.  Instead, we do what we can with the resources we have until that becomes a general condition.  In addition to fighting on the job, we need to fight against Adrian Garcia, the police, and ICE, we need to organize with detainees against incarceration, we need to defend our homes and neighborhoods from landlords and banks, we need to fight the grassroots Right and the fascists among them, we need to fight against racist school boards and curriculum, etc.

The IWW is committed to fighting against all of these forces.  An injury to one is an injury all!!

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¡¡Ganamos!!

La lucha contra Felipe Serna ha concluido. Serna escribió un cheque a Héctor, Pancho, y Mauricio, que se cobró rápidamente esta mañana.

Después de la entrega de la carta, la gente va a recordar que organizamos una explosión de teléfono de la guardería Árbol que crece ( The Growing Tree Daycare ) y la celda de Felipe. Pero cuando las llamadas cesaron, su compromiso verbal para resolver convirtió en indignación, que era incapaz de seguir adelante y después de unos días nos texted una imagen de su tarjeta de visita “del abogado,” el segundo abogado que nos había amenazado con.

Así que nos dieron indignado también y ayer por la noche recorrimos los alrededores del vecindario de El Árbol Creciendo con “Se busca por robo de salarios” carteles con su imagen destacada en el frente. Nos aseguramos de dejar a uno en la puerta principal de la guardería. A la mañana siguiente, escribió un cheque.

Esta es una importante primera victoria para el Houston IWW y no podríamos haberlo hecho sin su apoyo. Gracias a las personas que se presentaron en la raja del culo de la madrugada para el suministro de la demanda y gracias a las muchas personas que han participado en la explosión de teléfono.

Si bien no podemos saber si Serna robará salarios de nuevo, sin duda considerar los costos. Y eso es lo que queremos todos los empleadores en Houston que hacer; consideran que hay fuerzas que tendrán que lidiar con cuando roban a la fuerza de trabajo.

También sabemos que los problemas para el robo de salarios y para construir el poder obrero, necesitamos una clase obrera activa y luchar, algo que no podemos crear por pura voluntad. En lugar de ello, hacemos lo que podemos con los recursos que tenemos, hasta que se convierte en una condición general. Además de luchar en el trabajo, tenemos que luchar contra Adrián García, la policía, y el ICE, tenemos que organizar con los detenidos contra la encarcelación, tenemos que defender nuestros hogares y vecindarios de los terratenientes y de los bancos, tenemos que luchar contra las bases derecho y los fascistas entre ellos, tenemos que luchar contra los consejos escolares racistas y el currículo, etc.

La IWW se compromete a luchar contra todas estas fuerzas. Una daño en uno es un daño de todo!!

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5 thoughts on “Houston IWW wins first campaign; a multi-worker fight against a remodeling contractor // Houston IWW gana primera campaña ; una lucha de varios trabajadores contra un contratista de remodelación

  1. Awesome news! It’s great to have a victory everyone once in a while. Shortly after joining my local IWW chapter I was faced with a note by the bosses that I was told I had to sign or I would be fired. The note was slanderous and denigrating and at certain parts total fabrications of things they had accused me of doing. Not only did I not sign it, I informed them that I was a member in good standing of the Industrial Workers of the World and neither me nor my co-workers will every be talked to in this demeaning way again or I promised to bring down the full weight of the Union on to them and the company. I demanded a hand written apology as well as a verbal one from my manager as well.

    After this I was gearing up for a battle, but I layer out my demands at around 11 pm, and by 10 am I have 2 phone calls, one with a voice message to come to the store, as well as a text. Once I got there I expected to get fired and get ready for the fight. But instead they went to a back room with me and all 3 managers gave me a formal verbal as well as written apology which was then posted on the bulletins board for months, and no other not was written in that way, nor has a worker been talked to that way, ever again.

    I also would like to say that I took part in the phone blast and it was pretty fun to be quite honest with what counterclaims they tried to use of just their devolution in respnose. They stopped picking up my calls around the 15th or so, so I called and waited for the voicemail and filled that with audio clips such as the one I put a link to here, and they saw that coming so they started taking my calls against and at first said that they have my number and are calling the police. I informed them I live in Scranton PA. eventually they began pleading with me to stop which is when I provided the phone number that I was given.

    I completely agree with your statement of purpose being that of taking on any goals that can be deemed part of the class struggle, which many issues are not necessarily in just their job. We are a revolutionary organization and we should behave as such.

    -Soldiarity
    -Sam

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    • What up, Sam.

      Really interesting reading your story. They say in the organizer training to never name drop the IWW to your boss, which I generally agree with, but sometimes shit like that works. You never really know, I guess.

      And thanks for being so diligent during the phone blast! The phone blast really fucked them up, I think. It was amazing how many people were participating. It seems their phone never stopped ringing which caused a major disruption. Felipe still tried to hold out after a few days and while it was the poster that finally made him concede, it wouldn’t have had the same effect without the phone blast. So thanks again.

      On the rev’y org tip, I think I agree. I think it has always been a point of tension since being a rev’y org and a union are not identical and often they run up against the limits of each other. But I do think the syndicalist tradition is deep in the IWW and there’s such a burning need for it today, even if the IWW is so loose that the different revolutionary traditions which make it up are in contradiction with each other. While we’ve given wage theft and workplace struggle a strategic emphasis in our work, we are open to participating in every arena where working people are.

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  2. Pingback: Houston IWW wins first campaign; a multi-worker fight against a remodeling contractor | Chicago Activism

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