We had an amazing turnout on the picket lines, with nearly 100% participation. That is, close to 100 of us stopped traffic (or, rather, we got a few honks). Note that when a group of strikers is comprised of 90% women, including some rather attractive ladies in tank tops, spirited truckers will support the cause –whatever said cause may be.
This soiree occurred during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. I was quite proud of one of the strike signs that I created: “Keep Clinton! Impeach [Insert Name of Evil Director here]!” I figured I’d try to take some heat off of the poor guy, who had experienced plenty of – well, uh – heat. Anyway, we danced and sang along the picket lines. We also took delight in mocking the supervisors, who took delight in mocking us from their office windows. Clinton fared none the worse for our efforts. In fact, he was not impeached.
We were flying high, until the chapter abruptly sold out following 2 days of picketing. All was not lost, as it was truly a unifying, empowering experience. Plus, I wrote the warmhearted song to follow. It almost made the top 10 list (in my home), but lost the competition to a silly version of Row, Row, Row Your Boat. But that’s not important right now. We didn’t sing my song on the picket lines (I was too shy to distribute it then), though one of my colleagues anonymously emailed it to the Director. I’m guessing the boss didn’t appreciate it, but I could be wrong. To fully enjoy it yourself, you must know that (1) the evil Director had an unusual frame, involving big hips and a tiny waist, and (2) she was impeached by her own peers a year or so later. I’d already moved onto another job, exhausted by the entire experience.
Before I skip to this infamous song, though, I want to give a shout out to my (former) brothers and sisters of Local 535 and to laborers everywhere. Though I am now on the dark side (management), I remain committed to workers’ rights. Thus, managers who don’t have a high regard for ethical practices, and it’s shocking how many there are in social services, don’t like me much. I’m proud of this. I remain grateful to the laborers of the past who gave their lives for the cause of an 8 hour day and 40 hour week. Whenever I drive past folks on strike, they get my honking support.
We Will Survive
aka Ode to a Big-Hipped Woman
Sung to the Tune of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive
When first we saw her hips, we were mystified.
Kept wonderin,’ “How could anyone with legs so small have hips so wide?”
We spent oh so many months just as polite as we could be.
That her ego, we’ll stand no more! She’s power tripping, and her tactics we abhor!
XXXX is the one who deceives us with her lies.
Does she think we’re stupid? Does she think we’ll give up all our rights?
VERSION 1, BEFORE FINAL VOTE
No, no, we won’t! We’ve too much pride.
Oh, as long as we put up a fight, we’ve justice on our side.
We’ll show that big-hipped woman that we’re not afraid to strike, and we will fight
Until she does us right.
We’re unified. We are 535! Hey, Hey!
VERSION 2, AFTER FINAL VOTE:
Look what we did; we changed our minds.
We voted for the money and set principles aside.
We showed that big-hipped woman that she can buy us out.
We broke our stride, and we got fried
By someone who’s really wide. Hey, Hey!
Happy Labor Day, to those who get the day off. Happy Monday, to you all! xo