Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Chicago Teachers Contract.

Union leaders and tame left prefer defeat. 
Sean O'Torain.

The majority of the so called tame left claims that the Chicago Teachers are winning a great contract. But then just about all the tame left claim all defeats as victories these days. There are a number of reasons for this.

One is they do not want to confront the union leaderships who believe that only defeats are possible. The tame left wants to keep in with the union leadership. It is nauseating. In fact I would go further than this in relation to the union leadership. The union leadership do not want victories. They only want defeats.  If the workers had victories this would show that victories are possible and this would negate the union leaders' whole strategy and propaganda which is that as capitalism is now on the offensive it cannot be thrown back and so concessions have to be made. Concessions have to be the name of the game. Concessions are the only game in town. What garbage. But let us look further.

A good victory for a substantial section of workers such as the Chicago Teachers would tear at, would undermine, this entire BS of the union leadership. It would show that concessions, that defeats were not the only game in town. It would show that real victories were possible. that the bosses' offensive could be halted, thrown back and a working class offensive launched. And it would also of course tear at and undermine the tame left who support the union leadership. The union leadership and the tame left are united in their fear of big victories. And one way or another unite to see that these are not won.

A new fighting leadership has to be built in the rank and file of the unions, the workplaces, the communities, the schools and colleges. A leadership that is serious about taking on the bosses. Not a leadership that gives up the battle before it even begins and puts energies, with the help of the tame left, to bleat on about the need to accept that victories cannot be won. Any union leader that does not believe that victories are possible, and is not organizing fighting squads in the union rank and file and workplaces to bring about these victories, that is not building for a new fighting leadership has to be removed. And in doing so we would respectfully ask the tame left to step aside and keep their defeatist opinions to their goddamn selves.

1 comment:

G de Leon said...

i have friends in this "tame" left and (not to my astonishment) they were all enthused when the CTU was going through the motions of preparing to strike while the inner circle apparently never intended to follow through.

if decent gains had been obtained through the CTU's brinkmanship, this could be seen as tactical wisdom. but as activists on this blog have pointed out in a 4 year contract (covering 2015-2019), there are wage increases in the last two years. an additional burden (pension contributions) is being placed on new hires that widens the wage gap between younger and older, better paid teachers.

Socialist Worker (ISO's organ) did an article that was not filled with un-mitigated enthusiasm so it's clear they understand this is a "pretend" victory. when i saw the pay scales (cited on this blog by George N. Schmidt) i was surprised. a two to one disparity needs to be narrowed. i didn't see anything in tentative agreement addressing this. i understand (on a cynical level) the fear of the "tame" left to criticize this tentative agreement. this is the most visible union in chicago. to distant themselves w'd deprive them of some of the reflected limelight.