By ADAM RITSCHER
On Saturday, Nov. 2, the over 220 workers of the Carley Foundry went out on strike. The union and company had been engaged in bitter contract negotiations prior to the strike, largely as a result of the company’s insistence on setting up a two-tier wage system, in which new hires would be paid less and would never reach the wage levels of those who had come before them. The workers rightly rejected this reactionary measure and instead went out on an unfair labor practices strike.
Carley Foundry is located in Blaine, Minn., and makes, among other things, parts for the aerospace industry. The workers are represented by United Steelworkers Local 63B. Workers have been walking the picket lines every day since the strike began, shutting down almost all of the work at the facility.
In an attempt to give a boost to the morale of the strikers, and to show Carley Foundry the breath of support that the workers have, a united-front rally was called on Nov. 8. Almost 300 workers from two-dozen unions attended, along with a number of community activists and supporters of Socialist Resurgence.
Following this dramatic display of solidarity, the union’s Negotiating Committee went back to the table on Nov. 12. However, Carley Foundry refused to withdraw its proposal for a two-tier wage scheme. The following day, the workers voted to again reject the company’s offer, and to instead continue the strike.
We support these brave striking workers, who despite company intransigence and bitter cold temperatures, continue to picket and keep the foundry shut down. We call on all of our readers to support the strike in any way that they can. You can follow the strike, and find ways of supporting it on the union’s facebook page: www.facebook.com/gmp63b/