As for how bad it gets, well, it depends on who's on strike. Teachers unions are more restrained, he says, but the shit can hit the fan when a bunch of burly auto workers get involved.
"Any strike having to do with the UAW (United Auto Workers) or cars is another level ... I've had bricks thrown at me going back to the shuttle to the hotel. Sometimes they follow you back to the hotel and taunt you there, so you need to switch on a weekly basis."
Bill Pugliano / GettyImages
"Always remember to sharpen the top of your sign handles into stakes."
We should point out here that in every labor dispute, there are competing narratives about which side is full of "goons" resorting to petty violence -- we'll have stories later on about strikers complaining of equally rough treatment at the hands of the strikebreakers. Each party is going to portray themselves as hard-working folk just trying to make a living despite the bullies standing in their way.
"This hospital in Oakland had this really nasty strike going on, and we were even warned before going in," says Jermaine. "Leading some replacements in the front, the nurses would twist the signs as I passed by, moving the top sign part right to my face. I got three paper cuts on my cheek and ear."
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Luckily, he was already at the hospital so he was quickly treated and- oh, right.
On another occasion, he says he was driving a bus full of replacement workers when strikers began tapping its windows with their signs. He points out that that's normal, "but this one union guy tapped pool-cue style, smashed the driver side window next to me, and sent glass everywhere. I got a bunch of nasty cuts on my hand, but nothing on my face. No one got a good look, and since the union wouldn't rat him out, we never knew who did it. I was back the next day, and I made sure to wave at them with my bandaged hand on the way in."
Cory Ryan / Stringer / Getty Images
Kids or no kids, nothing good ever came out of menacing a school bus.