Vets Strike Against "Piece Work" Instead of Overtime
Vets Strike Against “Piece Work” Instead of Overtime
By Richard David Boyle
Bill Kubisty served on the USS Fanning during the First Gulf war, but has now been told by the Anheuser Busch’s Riverside beer distributors InBev “no thanks for your service” and now he and twenty other veterans are walking the picket lines.
The issues are simple, the giant beer corporation wants to lay off more workers and for those they keep stop paying overtime and instead pay for “piece work,” the same profitable system used by companies that have outsourced millions of American jobs to India and China, where piece workers, some as young a eight years old, work l4 hours a day for as little as a few dollars.
Proudly holding his Teamster picket sign, the Navy vet said, “we just want to keep what we have,” so they put it to a vote, which was 109 to 2 to go on strike. The CEO of InBev, Carlos Britos, who makes $1,5 million per year, tried to get the courts to limit the pickets to three, but the courts refused and they then made over seventy calls to Riverside Police, who refused to make arrests since the pickets were obeying the law.
Now the beer magnate has hired security guards at eight dollars an hour and temporary workers to cross the picket lines, but support for the strikers is growing as more restaurants in the Inland Empire have now stop serving Bud and Bud Light beers.
Andy Budai, Teamster Local 166 picket captain, said the company is trying to weaken American industry by outsourcing the U.S. work force and destroying organized labor, but the unions are filing complaints of unfair practices with the National Labor Relations Board.
John Davidson, whose Teamster Apprenticeship Program has led to the hiring of hundreds of veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts is proud of the cooperation he has received from local community college districts in implementing training programs which has led to good paying jobs. Carly Reed, who administers part of that program does not look the part of a tough Teamster, but she is responisble for the job placement of many forermly unemployed vets, both men and women.
“The greed of large corporations, many foreign owned, has led to the loss of several million good paying American jobs,” Davidson said. “During the Second World War we had the most powerful industrial base on earth, now those jobs have been outsourced or replaced by low paying temps.”
Richard David Boyle, author of the book Flower of the Dragon, about the Vietnam War, was twice wounded in combat and won an Oscar nomination for his film Salvador.