Education workers participate in solidarity strike

By Annika Prom, Lifestyle Editor

Labor unions rallied together to go on a general strike of solidarity and economic boycott on Friday, Feb. 17 to protest recent legislative rulings in Wash. regarding unions.

According to a Facebook page for the Solidarity Strike in Seattle, the purpose of the strike is to express discontent for the Washington Senate Republican proposal to “fund education by undermining collective bargaining rights of education workers” and to oppose president Donald Trump’s controversial executive orders.

The Solidarity Strike began at 11 a.m. in Seattle with crowds marching from Volunteer Park to Myrtle Edwards Park. Speakers and performance artists showed their support as well and presented on controversial topics at the location of the strike.

Solidarity Strike’s Facebook page also announced that these speakers addressed topics such as race, education, reforms needed in the criminal justice system, the pipeline advances through Standing Rock and “the actions that stopped oil trains through Everett and resulted in a favorable court ruling for environmental activism.

The Edmonds Education Association (EEA) encouraged teachers to participate in the economic resistance, a joint effort to refrain from spending money for the day. However, the EEA did not take a position regarding the strike aspect of it.

EEA president Andi Nofziger believes the economic resistance portion of the Solidarity Strike showed the impact of the working class on the community.

“The economic resistance portion of the general solidarity strike is designed to show the power of working people when we act collectively,” she said. “We can vote with our ballot, our feet, or our money, so we encourage[d] members to not buy anything.”

Though the EEA expressed their stance on the Solidarity Strike, there were no related coordinated activities in the Edmonds area.

On the day of the strike, 14 MTHS staff members were absent from school, but these numbers are not directly related to the strike.

“Individual teachers have the right to take a personal day [on Friday] to participate, but that is not something that I am coordinating out of [the EEA] office,” Nofziger said.

Math teacher and EEA high school representative Nancy Paine did not go on the general strike and instead participated in the boycott. Although she was concerned it would hurt small businesses due to lack of revenue, the boycott lasted only one day.