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The Strike (standard:drama, 1156 words)
Author: Jennifer GreenAdded: May 17 2001Views/Reads: 2216/1335Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Massive labor strike spreads from San Francisco across the United States. How will the country survive?


Copyright 2001 by Jennifer Green 

Barbara and her husband Jeff were watching the news on CNN when they
first heard about it.  There was a labor strike starting in San 
Francisco, workers of all types were walking out, protesting unfair 
labor practices.   The BART trains were all messed up, traffic was 
stalled, hospitals in chaos, planes were grounded. 

Barbara and Jeff just turned off the news and went to bed, it didn't
much affect them.  Jeff was an attorney in Philadelphia, and Barbara 
did volunteer work at the hospital. 

The next night they watched the news again.  There was an interview with
one of the leaders of the strike movement, George Brand.  He was very 
charismatic and brash.  The interviewer gave a brief biography of him 
first.   Apparently he was quite a controversial figure.  He had been 
in jailed for tax evasion, was married several times, and had a record 
of starting civil unrest for years.  He had started in the peace 
movement in the 70's, as an SDS member.   Then moved onto labor 
organizing.   Barbara watched him on the interview.  He was very 
handsome, black wavy hair, dark eyes.  Kind of rebellious looking.  But 
when he spoke, his words were very compelling. 

The interviewer asked him what the strike was for. 

"For years, the workers in this country have been pushed around, piled
with more and more work, threatened with layoffs, barely able to make a 
living, while the corporate big shots make more and more money.  I am 
tired of hearing about layoffs at big corporations which makes the 
stock price go up, while the workers are either fired, or given three 
times as much to do." 

"A family of two cannot live on the wages paid to the average blue
collar worker, so one or both of the parents have to get another job, 
and this means they rarely see their kids.  It's not fair, and the 
workers have taken it long enough.  So we are calling for a general 
strike all across the country, for people who are fed up to walk off 
their jobs.  We want management to feel the pain that the workers have 
felt for years." 

Just then the power went out. 

Barbara and Jeff got out the battery-powered radio and found a news
station.  It appeared that lots of hot spots of sympathetic strikers 
were breaking out all across the country.  Civil unrest was spreading, 
and power disruptions were everywhere. 

Their power was back on the next morning though, and life went on more
or less as usual for them. 

The next day the President declared a State of Emergency. 

The President went on the air and told the country that he thought the
strikes were causing enough civil disruption to threaten the nation's 
welfare.   He was imposing martial law in the strike areas, and would 
have the National Guard work when the strikers would not in critical 
areas.   He would take control wherever he needed to to restore order. 

The press had a field day, and civil libertarians were in an uproar, but
public opinion seemed to side with the President. 

Linda watched the George Brand CNN interview very closely.  She was a
waitress at a country club in Palm Springs.  All day long she served 
food and drinks to wealthy golfers and their friends.  She was paid 
minimum wage, and the tips were not great, despite how hard she worked. 
 Linda was a single mom with two kids in day care, ages three and five. 
  The fees there were sky high.  She could barely afford to pay rent 
and buy food, much less pay for medical insurance.  When the kids got 
sick, she had to take them to the emergency room, or worse yet, just 
hope they would get better.   Right now Tommy, her three year old, had 
a cough that just would not go away. 

As she watched the interview, a light went on in her head.  Here she

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