Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Somerville (Massachusetts) library spared

The West Branch Library in Somerville, Massachusetts has been saved from closure.  The closure was a possibility due to on-going negotiations with the city's firefighter's union that might have led to the city plundering other departments for funds.  However, the city and the firefighters were able to come to an agreement that spared closures in other city departments.

This is a very good time to bring up the concept of industrial unionism, wherein workers in the same industry organize into the same union instead of craft-based unions.  With this model (which is practiced by the Industrial Workers of the World, among other syndicalist organizations), workers are not set to compete against each other in divide-and-conquer strategies by management and are better prepared to support each other in times of struggle.  For instance, every city employee in Somerville could be in the same union, would be much stronger as one organization, and would prevent conflict between firefighters, librarians, and other city employees.  United we stand, divided we fall.

While this blog is devoted to union and labor issues amongst information workers, it is important to remember that we are workers first, librarians (or archivists or library technicians, etc.) second.  There are no borders in the working class!

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