For the past month, we have been reporting on an effort by Star Tickets workers in Grand Rapids to form a union, as management has engaged in an increasing amount of labor abuses in recent years.
As was expected, the owner of the company responded with threats and business propaganda, which included misinformation and outright lies about the union efforts and the IWW.
Despite these efforts, on Wednesday, workers at the Star Tickets Call Center voted in favor of a union. We received a copy of a Media Release from the Star Tickets Workers Union, which reads in part:
While new Right to Work legislation has forced labor into retreat across Michigan, Grand Rapids workers made a rare advance Wednesday under the banner of the radical Industrial Workers of the World as employees of Star Tickets voted for unionization. The victorious union vote comes on the heels of a relentless anti-union campaign waged by owner Jack Krasula and an outside firm he retained.
Dubbed the IWW Star Tickets Workers Union employees came together over meager demands such as: adequate equipment, an end to understaffing, and a yearly pay evaluation.
“Our demands aim not only to benefit our workplace environment, but to improve our services to our valued clients as well.” said Deirdre Cunningham a Client Services Representative.
Since the petition was filed owner Jack Krasula has responded by spending thousands of dollars to thwart his employees efforts. Workers have had to endure veiled threats, intimidation, and misinformation in a textbook anti-union campaign. Despite Krasula’s best efforts the workers unity has remained solid with flowers, candy, and best wishes sent from IWW branches and members from across the country.
The vote came just two days after a solidarity rally was held outside the Star Tickets building on Monday, where other IWW members and community supporters came out to send a message to the company that the Star Tickets workers had a right to form a union and create a democratic workplace.
Indeed, for weeks people have been showing their support with messages and gifts. People from other IWW chapters across the country and around the globe were sending messages of solidarity to their fellow workers in Grand Rapids.
“What Mr. Krasula and this outside firm fail to realize is that when they disparage our efforts to organize with their barrage of memos they are disparaging their workers that have given years of their lives to make this company successful. We hope this is not how they intend on bargaining but either way we will continue to succeed with our solidarity and our union,” said Evelyn Stone a Call Service Representative.
The Industrial Workers of the World is a rank-and-file labor union open to all workers. Gaining prominence for the Starbucks Workers Union and the Jimmy Johns Workers Union the IWW has become the go-to union for workers not interested in the bureaucracy of traditional unions.