Cash contributions may keep a strike fund going strong, but chocolate is the icing on the cake. So when members of the Corning Teachers Association decided to show their support recently for the picket line at a local manufacturing plant, their effort had a home-baked component.
As teachers returned to classes the first week of September and as workers at the Dresser-Rand turbine manufacturing corporation in nearby Painted Post entered their fifth week of their strike, the Corning Teachers Association was one of several NYSUT locals to let the Dresser-Rand workers know that other unions are backing them. Corning teachers donated $100 to the strike fund, along with a homemade chocolate cake.
"They're out there around the clock; they're very visible," said Corning Teachers Association President Billie Gammaro, longtime elementary teacher and cake-baker. "These are our neighbors, our friends and our fellow union workers. Dresser-Rand is a major employer in our community, and obviously as we drive by, we are very aware of the strikers."
Local 313 of the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers - Communications Workers of America went on strike Aug. 4 after failing to reach agreement on health insurance and work rules.