What you hear in this video was confirmed further after we sat and talked with some Teamster drivers after leaving the ILWU local 6 picket line. There were a number of drivers who informed us that their officials had told them that the ILWU did not want their help. This is not what Facts For Working People was told by a Teamster spokesperson. (See here).
No rank and file worker believed this to be honest. Why would a worker on strike not want the support of another union or the members of another union who are their co-workers and whose support would increase their chances of a victory?
While leadership has an obligation to lead, and it is the most disturbing thing to have union officials telling their members to scab on other workers, it is also our responsibility, the member, the ones that pay the dues, to involve ourselves in our organizations. It is our responsibility to hold the leadership's feet to the fire or replace them. We cannot continue to leave the running of our organizations to others whose policies lead to concessions and more concessions.
None of the Teamsters who drove through these picket lines liked what they were doing, they know it is the violation of a principle. They also know that they have to work together when this is over and are acutely aware of the consequences of their actions if things don't change. There will be increased division in the workplace and the power of the boss will be strengthened. The leaders whose policies take members down this road do not have to suffer the consequences of their decisions. It is a sad state of affairs but all too common.