Weekdays are workdays at the Perry Correctional Institution in Pelzer, South Carolina, where Dee, a forty-two-year-old native of Georgia, has spent a decade serving time for a robbery. On typical mornings, he “commutes” from his cell to an on-site furniture factory, where he and other inmates assemble wooden tables and chairs for a private company. But when Dee’s cell door opened on September 9th, the forty-fifth anniversary of the Attica prison uprising, he did not respond as usual to the call to attention. Dee was on strike. “I quit,” he told me a few days ago, speaking via a contraband cell phone. “That was my last day of work.” Dee grew up poor and began committing crimes as a young man, but he had educated himself in prison and joined a group of “jailhouse lawyers” who assist other inmates with legal issues. More recently, Dee had begun to think of himself not just as a prison activist but as a worker. “We’re not compensated for our labor,” he told me. At Perry, inmates earn less than a dollar per hour in the furniture shop. “Slavery is inhumane, no matter its disguise.”
This from IWW member:
As you might have come across, the IWW's Incarcerated Workers Organising Committee has been involved in an an ongoing prisoners' strike since the 9th of September in the United States (https://www.facebook.com/ incarceratedworkers/) . Companies profiting from the forced labor of prisoner include household names such as McDonald's and Victoria's Secret. I think that there is room for some solidarity actions that are not very time consuming or difficult to organise (such as picketing a central McDonalds and handing out leaflets) but which will nevertheless be effective in raising awareness of the strike and thereby actively aiding the struggle of IWOC and the prisoners. Even a small action, even if it has next to no impact, will be important for the morale of the persons involved in the strike and in the general picture of solidarity actions (that being said, obviously we should hope to have as big an impact as possible). A branch of IWOC exists for England and Wales which will I am sure give us lots of support -http://incarceratedworkers. noflag.org.uk/category/news/( leaflets, newsletters etc.).
Additionally, a migrant strike is being organised under the title 'one day without us'- more information here https://www.theguardian. com/uk-news/2016/oct/10/ migrant-workers-plan-labour- boycott-to-protest-racism- highlight-contribution-to- britain
Not much is known about this, but it is scheduled for the 20th of February, which gives lots of time for organising.
Migrant workers picking daffodils in Linconshire. many people are alarmed by xenophobic attitudes to foreigners. Photograph: Alamywww.radicalglasgow.me.uk