Remember: in 1968 NYC garbagemen struck and within a week, the city's mayor was on his knees begging for mercy. It lasted all of 8 days.

Then, two years later in Ireland, bankers went on strike for *6 months* and the economy kept on growing and history has largely forgotten it even happened.

Capitalists need you more than you need them.


@Ferretsyndicate one unfortunate downpoint in recent times which we cannot ignore:

in 2009 Toronto garbage workers and all outdoor and indoor city workers went on strike for 35 days, and while they got the city to reach an agreement, the backlash put Rob Ford (yes, that Rob Ford) into the mayor's office the next year and then he privatized all trash collection west of the city's meridian (and almost succeeded doing the same east of the meridian) to a company w/o union members

oh, and Ford also pushed to make the Toronto Transit Commission "an essential service" — thus making it far harder for TTC workers to strike

in other words: make sure the anti-union people are seen as politically unpopular and as snakes against the worker, or else this shit happens

@patience @nev @Ferretsyndicate I mean one thing that might make a difference is that in NYC there is literally no garbage system, trash bags are just left in the streets to rot. In the summer it smells of rotten garbage all day in some parts of the city, and they're taken out every day. I can't even imagine how 8 days must have been like.

@patience @nev @Ferretsyndicate meanwhile I imagine that toronto has what every other civilized city has: a standard garbage collection system, with closed bins etc

@wxcafe @patience @nev

I mean, the times I've spent in NYC staying with friends, they always had closed bins--admittedly, I've never lived there full time for more than a month, however.

With that said, the post isn't really about unionizing, nor am I trying to say the same tactics from 1968 would work today--what I'm saying is that value lies in labor, not in capital.

I think many people expected the bank strike to be catastrophic, and while it made some things difficult, the Irish proved that value isn't created by capital--as the pubs became the new coiners during the strike, and many people simply used checks (essentially tradeable IOU's) as currency, much as David Graeber explains often happens in these scenarios, as described in *Debt.*

@wxcafe @nev @Ferretsyndicate after 35 days in mid-summertime, it didn't matter, as public street furniture receptacles and people's bins at home were wide open from overflow and, often, strewn all over the place (yards, streets, etc.) by raccoons, while the city struggled to cope by putting bags of uncollected trash into, effectively, open pits in city parks (typically, outdoor hockey rinks)

it was not a gentle scene. all pics by me

@wxcafe @nev @Ferretsyndicate i've spent time in NYC the during peak of summertime a few times (and also during wintertime)

aside from the forearm-sized rats everywhere, the trash was definitely not worse than during the worst of the garbage strike in Toronto. it was comparable to what i've seen during a labour slowdown action in Buenos Aires

@patience @Ferretsyndicate @nev @wxcafe sounds like it was not well planned... as happens when you systematically destroy anyone capable of planning like this

@Ferretsyndicate Yes, but the corporate press works for the capitalists and tells 24x7 how the strikes are bad, unions are useless and collective action kills your individual needs 🙁

I remembering arguing with some Marxist English Green party members, that the failing banks, should not have been bailed out, they thought otherwise. I wish I had known about the Irish Bank strike, back then. Why Garbagemen Should Earn More Than Bankers 👍


I think that there would've been paths to a better society regardless of which avenue we took--we could've, and should've, broke the banks up and heavily regulated them, and then threw the worst offenders in jail to send a message. Instead, we sent the opposite message, and the rich's hubris went on unabated, and they astroturfed the shit out of politics with racist groups like the tea party.

But, I'm inclined to agree with you, the economic downturn that would've resulted would've been devastating but it would've also changed politics and the public's opinion of capitalism for a LONG time--likewise, it would've opened space for radically different tactics to address the needs of people outside of the state-capitalist approach; perhaps we would've at least been a social democracy by now.

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