Lizz Winstead, co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show and co-founder of Air America Radio, has recorded a message of support for the members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7 – 699 who are locked out of their jobs in Metropolis, Ill. by the defense contractor Honeywell, for In These Times.
The video message came about after Winstead met Working In These Times contributor Mike Elk at this year’s Netroots Nation conference in Minneapolis. She praised Elk’s reporting on the Honeywell lockout for Working In These Times and AlterNet, and expressed surprise and outrage that a story with such ramifications had not been widely covered elsewhere. (Read his coverage of the struggle here, here and here; his Democracy Now! interview about the story is here.)
Elk, in turn, suggested the USW members would appreciate any message of support that helped bring their struggle to greater prominence. Tomorrow will mark one year since around 220 Honeywell employees were prevented from entering the uranium conversion plant and doing their jobs.
Back in October 2010, labor historian and author Joe Burns wrote on this blog that the Honeywell lockout was “perhaps the highest profile ongoing dispute” between workers and their employer in the U.S. However, while labor struggles in the Midwest have attained a new prominence in the media in the months since, the focus has mostly been on anti-union legislation by local politicians in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Honeywell CEO David Cote’s own fight with workers has received less media attention, even though (or perhaps because?) Cote is a close advisor to President Obama.
Winstead is currently touring the United States in support of Planned Parenthood.