- AFSCME Local 444 negotiations assesment 1997
- Preparing for Revolution: A discussion document
- The Internal lives of Revolutionary Organizations
- Socialist Alternative members: Questions and Answers
- Sanders: Our Alternative
- The Nature of the New European Left
- University of California workers and Unions
- An Invitation to Our Readers
- Facts For Working People Weekly Phone Conferences and Discussions
- Help open The AFL-CIO AIFLD Archives
Monday, January 25, 2016
US Union leaders have to be thrown out. And Flint.
The problem is not complicated. The union leaders support capitalism. They think there is no other system. They think the working class is incapable of building a new socialist society. They believe that any effort by the working class to try and do so would lead to chaos and of course to they themselves losing their own positions of power, privilege and high salaries.
This commitment to capitalism comes at a time is when capitalism is ruthlessly pursuing the most aggressive offensive against the working class and at the same time destroying life on earth through climate change, pollution, wars and in the future, nuclear or partial nuclear war.
The union leaders seeing no alternative to capitalism, more afraid of their own members than of capitalism, not only go along with the offensive of capitalism, they actually help the capitalist class pursue this offensive. The union leaders move to crush all attempts by their own members to halt and throw back this capitalist offensive and open up an offensive of their own. They are an utterly reactionary, counter revolutionary force.
I have long since stopped calling on the union leadership to act. They must be driven from their positions. A new leadership has to be built. An anti capitalist mass direct action force in the workplaces, the union rank and file, the communities and the schools and the colleges. One committed to ending capitalism. This is what is necessary. Maybe some may think I am being too hard on the union bureaucrats. I think not.
Consider the catastrophe in Flint. The home of the great 1936 sit down strikes which built the UAW and transformed the workers movement. What are the union leaders doing about this? As far as i can see, nothing. As far as I can see the singer actor, Cher, the rock group Pearl Jam, Michael Moore even the capitalist TV station MSNBC are doing more. These union leaders are an utter disgrace. But it is more than this. These union leaders have been telling their members that we are in this difficult period and so defeats are inevitable and must be accepted. There is not alternative, that is their story. What flows from this?
The very last thing the union leaders want is a victory for the working class. A victory for the working class would show that all their defeatist groveling before the capitalist class and the Democratic Party is based on lies. Victories are possible. But victories would not be welcome to the union leaders as they have been selling the inevitability of defeat to their members as a way to get their members to accept it, to accept concessionary contracts that the union officials themselves do not have to work under.
These union leaders have to all be thrown out of office. A new movement has to be built. This can be and will likely be built inside the existing unions and outside the existing unions in the form of new unions springing up. This has to be done. The sooner the better. I repeat, these union leaders are contemptible. they sit on their hands or kiss the Democrats' boots while Flint is poisoned and the working class driven deeper and deeper into poverty and while US capitalism which it supports bombs the Middle East to pieces.