We are writing on behalf of Asheville Mutual Aid to commend the Xpress for its important contribution to the Sitel employees' efforts to organize themselves [“Unprecedented,” Aug. 1 Xpress]. While we have only been peripherally involved in this campaign, we fully support these workers in their struggle for better working conditions and the ability to unionize.
As John Murphy stated in the article, “There's a growing unrest among workers. People are looking for ways to improve their lives.” That's where AMA seeks to make a contribution. The aim of AMA is to consolidate our power as workers based on the model of a “solidarity network.” With this loose structure holding us together, we can rally our numbers in winnable campaigns against abusive bosses and landlords.
While we might not be a union, we can easily picket during the lunch rush of a restaurant owing employees back-pay or leaflet targeted blocks to deter renting from unresponsive property owners. These are just a couple of examples of our potential power as ordinary citizens working together.
Given its highly precarious service economy, pro-local business campaigns, expensive old houses and rampant gentrification, Asheville is particularly ripe for this kind of project. We need each other in this town. If you want support, get in touch with us; if you're an abusive boss or landlord, expect to hear from us soon.
— Louis Lingg
Asheville Mutual Aid