UE Workers Strike In Northern Vermont!


ST.Johnsbury, Vermont - Workers at the St. Johnsbury Fairbanks Scale factory have now been on strike for several days. Organized by the UE, a strong and militant picket line has been in effect for the last 48 hours. Today, November 12th more then 75 workers, supported by other trade unionists, people from the Vermont Workers Center, and a representative from the Green Mountain Anarchist Collective (NEFAC Supporters), attempted to block all traffic moving in and out of the factory.

The present strike is a result of management's refusal to grant a reasonable labor contract. The main issues appear to be the company's refusal to provide adequate healthcare, and pension plans.

The confrontations heated up when a UPS truck, driven by a person from within management, attempted to cross the picket line. At that time the union's leadership called for workers and supporters to link arms and block the path of the vehicle. This action was met by brutality on the part of the local sheriffs who began to physically push the workers out of the way. Here, picketers refused to budge and, some, began to push back. Soon the police were throwing punches (one woman was punched in the face), and exchanged headbutts with at least one militant worker. At that point the police pepper sprayed a number of union members. Still, the line stood significantly longer.

Eventually, the line was broken, and the truck got through. One person, from the Vermont Workers Center, was arrested on "disorderly conduct" charges (He has since been freed). However, at least one picketer, targeted for arrest, avoided incarceration due to the intervention of a number of UE members who put themselves between the individual and the police.

Soon after, reinforcements, from the State Troopers were called to the scean, and the unions blockading abilities were weakened. Even so, as scabs and management left the facility, they had to contend with a constant barrage of union signs, profanity and spit.

The picket line will continue 24/7 until a fair contract is attained. However, it is not so clear as to weather or not the situation will esculate. Only time, and struggle will tell.

!Power To The Working Class!