Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Trade Union leadership has no answer to Hostess

Once again, a local isolated to fight global capitalism alone
I got this below from Richard Trumka and the AFL-CIO.  It is the standard stuff. Of course he's right about the coupon clippers being vultures and all that, the same vultures that support Romney, support Obama, the same class that is. The may squabble about the details, the pace of the offensive, but they are united in their war against workers and the middle class.

Delphi, the auto parts maker also declared bankruptcy in order to renege on contractual obligations.  The two political parties, the courts, the media and the police are all used against workers in their offensive to take back 150 years of gains and have us compete with our brothers and sisters who are earning $3 a day in the factories of Vietnam.

The problem is that Trumka and the Labor hierarchy have no plan to stop it.  They support the Democratic Party whose politicians are savaging workers at home as well as waging predatory wars for these vultures abroad. 

The labor leadership has the same world view as the bosses.  Capitalism is the only system of production possible and the market is god.  They use terms that the coupon clippers do, "market share" and "crony capitalism".  Crony capitalism is a term the Wall Street Journal, the major mouthpiece of the coupon clippers' uses to describe nations, capitalist economies run by autocratic regimes that don't obey the rules. Healthy capitalism, organized theft, has rules to it.

So what Trumka is saying, is that capitalism is not at fault, "Crony Capitalism" is. But the shifting of production to cheaper, more profitable climes is exactly what capitalists do; that's their right.  Responding to global competition by destroying organized Labor and Unions built by the heroism and sacrifice of generations of American workers and using the state and the weapons in its arsenal to do so is simply the norm.

Trumka and the Labor Hierarchy also blame what is happening on "bad decisions""Poor management".  Anything but the system.  Anything but the market. Anything but the objective truth that Labor and Capital are two opposing sides; that capital is accumulated at the expense of Labor and in to fewer and fewer hands.  He talks about the worker's offering concessions but those nasty bosses simply want more. It's all about greed in the abstract, it's a totally apolitical view of the world.

Look at our history.  We have unions and living standards that were once the envy of the world because workers fought and died for them. (There is also the extreme exploitation of workers in the former colonial countries of course)  The problem with Trumka and the rest of Labor's officialdom is that concessions don't work.  Weakness breeds aggression as they say. Look at the horrific conditions workers in dictatorships and the third world suffer working for these same US "good" capitalists. It's not about individuals, good capitalists versus the crony ones, it's about the capitalist system itself.

Never having a national political party of our own has meant that so much of our progress has come through huge industrial struggles and battles in the streets, this and the crass, arrogant and brutal nature of the US capitalist class.  The present heads of organized Labor only have a position of concessions, of damage control.  They never have to work under the contracts they force on their members and the obscene salaries that many of them earn are also factors in their decisions but secondary to their view of the world.  They have no alternative, they do not believe that there is another way to organize the production of social needs; they are wed to the market, this is the cause of their failed approach.

The solution to the bosses' threatening to move production is to take it off them; but we need a party to do that.  In Hostess' case, the workers should occupy the factory and the local and national labor movement and our communities mobilized to support them and demand more jobs, more leisure time, more control, over production.; no to austerity and an end to their predatory wars.  The coupon clippers bleed these industries dry and have no absolute right to own the means of production or the right to destroy a community and generations of families that built it simply to increase their profits. This is a right we need to deny them.

The role of the Labor leadership has delayed the formation of a new movement, a direct action mass movement like the civil rights movement of the fifties that broke the back of the apartheid regime in the south and the rise of industrial unionism in the 1930's that forced the mighty GM to accept a Union. At some point this obstacle will be breached and there will be splits and fissures opening up within organized Labor, especially as movements outside of it have an effect on its internal life.  New leaders will arise, old ones will fall like rotten apples on a tree when the slightest breeze picks up.  Rank and file caucuses fighting to win, not die a slower death will arise in the workplaces and Union halls.

The pathetic whining from Labor's leadership for the bosses to be nicer, kinder, gentler capitalists will give way to an offensive that will take us back to our traditions that built our organizations in the first place. Meanwhile, Trumka and company will continue to ask us to send an e mail to this or that big business politician and that this will bring social change,  so in  the short term we will suffer more unnecessary hardships until the tide turns and it is beginning to do so.

Here's the AFL-CIO's fighting plan of action (Yawn)

Richard, Wall street vultures are blaming workers for getting rid of your sweets-and that's just not right.

You might have heard that Hostess Brands, the company that makes Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other desserts, filed for court permission to go out of business, and that it's blaming a worker strike for the shutdown.

The Wall Street hedge fund managers who run the company have squeezed every cent out of Hostess for eight years. And they've put their friends with no experience in the baking industry in high-level management positions.

Hostess workers believe in their company, and we need to stand with them-sign our pledge to support workers, not greedy CEOs who will cut and run for a quick buck. [ ]

What's happening here is a classic Bain Capital-style assault-blame the little guy to cover the greedy corporate policies that are gutting the middle class.

It's not just happening to the workers who make the great products Americans love. What's happening at Hostess is happening to workers all over this country. It's wrong. And it has to stop.

Crony capitalism and poor management drove Hostess into the ground, not the workers who are now paying the price. In this struggling economy, the greedy corporate executives are willing to let 18,000 people lose their jobs-just so they can pad their pockets.

Hostess' executives are now blaming workers who've offered their company multiple concessions and want it to succeed. This is what's wrecking our country.

Workers have borne the brunt of bad decision-making by executives who didn't know anything about the baking business. And they're the ones getting fired?

These brave workers need to know we stand with them-and we'll stand with everyone who will take a stand against the corporate race-to-the-bottom.

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