September 10, 2006

Reunion of the Union - Over 100 Wobblies and Supporters Rally for Shattuck Workers

by Dean Dempsey - Bay Area IWW GMB

In the largest turnout to date, the Bay Area Industrial Workers of the World rallied outside Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley, CA, in support of the theater’s workers. The rally occurred one day before the IWW General Assembly, allowing the opportunity for fellow workers from all parts of North America to participate, putting our number at about 125 Wobblies and union-supporters.

The rally began as a march, as over 60 Wobblies marched from the Bay Area GMB office, to the Shattuck Cinemas half a mile away. As we approached the theater, everyone began to sing “Solidarity Forever,” and then took a place outside the theater to display banners and picket signs.

Among the people present were several workers from the Starbucks Union in New York City. These fellow workers were quick to show their solidarity with the rallying employees at Shattuck Cinemas, and as Starbucks organizer, Daniel Gross, said, “Starbucks workers were so inspired by the Shattuck victory…so for us, it was such a privilege and honor to take a stand with the Shattuck workers and to be with them in solidarity, and also to pledge to do whatever we can to make sure they succeed, and that we succeed as a class.”

Landmark employees were equally supportive of the New York Baristas. Shattuck Cinema employee, Ilya Gershov, felt “impressed by the rally [and] that our fellow Wobblies…came across the country to show support for our cause.”

The rally served not only as space where demands could be said, nor just a time where worker’s struggles could be publicized, but also as an occasion for fellow workers to meet one another, sharing experience and encouraging each other through ideas and support. Fellow workers from Canada, WA, IL, OR, PA, MA, WI and many other parts of the continent, were able to network, and meet their comrades face to face.

Workers from Bay Area IWW shops, Buyback Recycling (IU670) and Stone Mountain & Daughter Fabrics (IU660), also joined the rally, demonstrating their solidarity not only for their union, but for other fellow workers who demanded more for themselves on and off the job.


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