Monday, March 10, 2014

IN THE NEWS: The Dirty Dozen

At least back to the 1930s, fishing tackle factories and labor discord have gone hand in hand. During that decade and in the immediate post-war era, tackle companies including Heddon, Shakespeare, and especially the Enterprise Manufacturing Company (Pflueger) suffered significant strikes, some of which involved not an insignificant amount of violence. Pflueger's proximity to Akron, Ohio's great rubber factories of Goodyear and Firestone meant it was in the hotbed of labor unrest of the 1930s and 1940s, which greatly disrupted manufacturing for several months at a time. Eventually, labor peace was restored, but at a price.

All of this means that the recent activity of what has become known as "the Dirty Dozen" -- 12 female worked at the Daiwa tackle factory in Netherton, U.K. -- are the latest in a long line of tackle workers striking for a fair deal. The twelve ladies (all union members) were given 1% pay raises over the past few years, which was well below the cost of living increase. All twelve women work in the fishing rod manufacturing sector of the plant. Not surprisingly, management finds the actions of the twelve women to be "completely unnecessary."

If history teaches us anything it is that usually when tackle workers take to the picket line, there is a pretty good reason for it. Hopefully, this strike will have a satisfying conclusion, and the ladies can get back to what they do best -- making fishing rods.

-- Dr. Todd

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