This is the Insurgent Radio Kiosk for Wednesday, January 8th
January 8, 1980: Oil Workers Striking for Better Wages, Hours, and Conditions
On this day in labor history, the year was 1980.
That was the day Robert Goss, president of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers, called a nationwide strike against the oil industry.
The union sought to renegotiate for higher wages and better medical and dental plans in the second year of a two-year contract.
24-hour pickets were set up immediately.
For a good portion of the strike, workers at many of the refineries stopped strikebreaking scabs from entering.
But some refineries used management and contract workers to maintain production levels effectively.
Strikers confronted scabs daily and in a few instances, faced violence on the picket lines.
At least one manager crossing picket lines was charged with second-degree assault, after having rammed his car into a picketer at a Texaco refinery in Washington State.
In Texas City, the deaths of two contract workers at an Amoco refinery made news when Amoco refused to allow a union representative to accompany an OSHA inspector through the site.
Amoco sought a restraining order against OSHA and accused the agency of interjecting itself into a labor dispute.
At Houston’s Atlantic–Richfield, women mobilized to form picket lines in defiance of an injunction against union pickets.
In Los Angeles, area unions including UAW, UE, ILWU and the Teamsters formed the Los Angeles Harbor Council in solidarity with the strike.
On March 1, the Council conducted a one-day shutdown of the L.A. ports and strike support rally that demanded “Victory to the OCAW Strike!”
Oil workers would stay out fourteen weeks before the strike was finally settled.
They successfully won pay increases, and increases in employer contributions to the medical plan and a dental plan for the first time.
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It’s Today’s Action Calendar!
The Rock County Progressives will present, “Ed Fallone: Supreme Court Candidate”, tonight from 6 to 7:45 p.m. at the Community Room, 1711 Lodge Drive in Janesville. Ed has been a Marquette University Law School Professor for more than 25 years. He would be the first Latino justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The Supreme Court nonpartisan primary will be held on February 18th with general election scheduled for April 7th. The event is free and open to the public. For information contact RockCountyProgressives@gmail.com.
Wisconsin Books to Prisoners is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that fosters a love of reading for those behind bars and encourages the pursuit of knowledge. Volunteers meet weekly on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Social Justice Center, 1202 Williamson Street. If you’d like to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will offer free one -on-one assistance with job searching, resume writing and building strong interview skills on Thursday, January 9th from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Alicia Ashman Library, 733 North High Point Road. Help with applying for unemployment benefits will also be available. Phone 824-1780 today to sign up for either a 30 minute or 1 hour appointment.
The Insurgent Radio Kiosk welcomes your commentaries on subjects of interest to the W.O.R.T. listening community. Commentaries are limited to two minutes. If you’d like to do a Kiosk commentary, visit wortfm.org/kioskcommentary.
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