U.S.W.A. Kaiser Alum Strike Against MAXXAM
BACKGROUND:Corporate Government Attempts to Destroy Headwaters Forest and the Greater Coastal Redwood Ecosystem:
The State of California conspires with MAXXAM/Pacific Lumber Co. to evade state and federal forest-protection laws. The California Department of Fish and Game refuses to charge Pacific Lumber when it violates the law. (December 8, 1998)
- MAXXAM-criminalized Pacific Lumber Co. was so relentless and operating on such a massive scale of criminality that the state pulled PALCO's 1998 timber operator's permit after hundreds of violations every year since Maxxam took over Pacific Lumber in 1985. EPIC President Paul Mason explains the decision by the California Department of Forestry to make this unprecedented move. (November 10, 1998)
So MAXXAM/PALCO then laid-off its crew of 180 company loggers, the men who handle half of the company's logging operations. The company will now continue its onslaught of Liquidation Logging by merely hiring more non-union contract-logging operators who have their own, independant, timber operator's permits. When Julia Butterfly's mom wrote to Andy Caffrey asking if PALCO's license revocation would kill the Headwaters "Deal," this is what he came up with off the top of his head, with a couple of revisions and additions. We welcome any corrections or omissions on our part. Thanks. (November 10, 1998)
Concurrently, since September 30, MAXXAM is battling over 3,100 striking members of the United Steelworkers of America (U.S.W.A.) union at all five U.S. Kaiser Aluminum factories, owned by Charles Hurwitz's investment group, MAXXAM of Houston, Texas. Hurwitz is trying to break the union by hiring more nonunion replacements for currently unionized positions. Even though the Kaiser workers accepted pay and benefit cuts for years to support the company, Hurwitz now encourages the laid-off Pacific Lumber loggers with opportunities to become scab workers at these union-struck Kaiser factories. (September 30-present)
The Earth First! Media Center began organizing with the striking U.S.W.A. locals to support the strikers and turn up the heat on MAXXAM! One pioneering Earth First! activist went undercover for weeks to get information for the U.S.W.A., working as an informant-scab for the stiking workers. With incredible organizing from Olympia Earth First! and Olympia International Workers of the World (I.W.W.), the Earth First! Media Center organized the first ever Earth First!-union/worker direct action in the United States, with a Puget Sound flotilla blockade of MAXXAM/Kaiser's aluminum ore ship from Australia. (December 7, 1998)
This EF! Media Center action was also unique because it was largely organized over the Internet by people in different states who've never seen each other. Here is the original organizing press release. There is still much you can do! This campaign is not over! It's only just begun! (November 18, 1998-present)
Please support the striking U.S.W.A. Kaiser Aluminum workers! Check out the United Steelworkers of America web site for the latest on how you can support this crucial, break-through union strike.
- U.S.W.A. Kaiser Council Bulletins: U.S.W.A. updates on strike developments.
Forest Workers Union, Local #1, I.W.W.--Outside Agitators have invaded Northern California! These invaders are multinational timber corporations like Georgia Pacific, Louisiana Pacific, and MAXXAM. Aided by the Federal Government, these unaccountable corporate criminals are taking jobs, hurting the environment, and literally destroying rural communities. This site has been established to offer resources for these communities in hopes that they can organize and defend themselves. This site also has a specific web page on The Crimes of MAXXAM and Charles Hurwitz.
I.W.W.--Industrial Workers of the World
Marine Transport Workers Local 9--I.W.W.
Last updated August 12, 1999