Friday, September 12, 2014

Video: Ironworkers wildcat strike in San Francisco.

The Ironworkers wildcat strike in San Francisco is taking place as the Carpenters wildcat strike did in 1999 in a booming economy.  The worker says it so clearly in this video, that the cranes are all over the place, there's a boom, the hall is empty etc. It places workers in a stronger position.

A building trades worker once said to me he knew nothing about economics.  But then, he knew if the union hall was empty the economy was good, if it was full, the economy was bad. We know about economics in our own way, not in an academic abstract way, but in a concrete way.

But we have to reject this idea that any one or any group of us are more important than the other.  The worker talks about how the ironworkers are the foundation, are the most important part of the project.  But we cannot beat the bosses alone.  The UAW didn't the steel unions didn't, no union alone can.  The main problem as a worker commented in this video is that the union leadership has the same world view as the bosses.  They support capitalism, they worship the market, they stress competition.  But unions were built to protect us from the market not facilitate competition between us.

But more important than this failure of our own leadership, their collaboration with the bosses, is that we must build a generalized movement, a united front of struggle.  Not just union workers but all workers, the unemployed and the unorganized and our communities and the youth who have no future as things are. This is how the unions were built in the first place along with defying and violating the bosses' anti-union laws. This is what will turn this tide.

1 comment:

Philly Meyers said...

The Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) talked about One Big Union. In an effort to raise awareness of how Unions were defeating themselves in the early 1900's they used a "comic character" to represent the AFL craft unionism---they called him "Blockhead".