There was a spirited rally at the Korean Embassy in San Francisco yesterday in solidarity with the General Strike in that country against privatization. There were a number of speakers present including the head of the San Francisco Central Labor council Tim Paulson. The rally was very good it appears although I was unable to attend it. As you can see, Tim Paulson opened by announcing how many affiliated unions he represents and how the Labor Council supports the workers of South Korea. Unfortunately this is all rhetoric. These officials appear at these events and repeat this stuff all the time. Barely a handful of workers whose unions are affiliated to the Labor Council would know who he was or even knew he would be at an event like this.
Paulson will do nothing to help the workers of South Korea, no more than he does for us here in California. He is also on the executive board of the California Democratic Party, a party of Wall Street and the bankers that is presiding over unprecedented attacks on working people and our unions. He is friends with these politicians and like many of these higher union officials they use rally's and protests like these as a cover for their class collaboration polices that flow from the Team Concept. They use these events to give the impression that they are fighters for workers but we all know different. Unfortunately this contradiction is is rarely if ever pointed out although one speaker does at the end of this video.
Despite this, the organizers of the rally, mostly the Transport Workers' Solidarity Committee organized a successful event and should be congratulated but real support and power comes from labor's rank and file and those of us active in unions have to help organize this power. The fight against the boss is one we must have but we cannot ignore the fact that we will inevitably be drawn in to a struggle against the union hierarchy and people like Paulson if we want to change our unions.
As an aside to this, I was talking with some members of SEIU at a local hospital today. They had nothing good to say about the Union officials. They were in bed with the boss they said and when they are needed they don't fight for them and it's hard to get a hold of them; this could be any union member in any union throughout organized Labor. In fact, they initially attacked the union as an organization until I brought the role of the leadership in to it. I explained that this is due primarily to the Team Concept described above which is the dominant ideology of the entire labor leadership. This holds that the bosses' interests and workers interests are the same. It is a philosophy of collaboration rather than confrontation, not for confrontation's sake, but as a necessity for defending workers' rights, wages and conditions on the job. Not simply for those of us working but for future generations and all workers as well.
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