The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.63/No.4           February 1, 1999 
Kaiser Aluminum strikers build solidarity, bosses declare lockout  

SPOKANE, Washington - Some 400 strikers and their supporters took part in Steelworker Family Day here January 10. They caravaned from Kaiser Aluminum's Mead plant to the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) local union hall at the Trentwood plant, where they lined the street for two hours. The rally included members of the Teamsters, United Food and Commercial Workers, and Communication Workers of America (CWA).

Marcia Beck, a member of the CWA Mobilization Committee, said she first learned about solidarity last summer during her participation in the several week strike against U.S. West. "I was really impressed by the Teamsters from UPS who came to our picket line after they worked all day," Beck said.

The January 10 action was organized by the Steelworkers to show that their strike was still strong after 102 days on the picket line. The Trentwood and Mead plants account for more than two-thirds of the 3,100 strikers. USWA members are also on strike at Kaiser Aluminum's three smaller plants in Tacoma, Washington; Newark, Ohio; and Gramercy, Louisiana.

Kaiser Aluminum bosses announced January 14 that they were locking out the strikers at all five plants. This followed an offer by USWA officials the day before that strikers return to work under the previous contract while talks continued.

Jeff Powers is a member of United Transportation Union Local 845.

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