Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Trump Responsible For Attack on 91 Year Old Mexican

Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444. retired

This is a 91 year old Mexican man beaten by a group of people. This atmosphere has been whipped up by the Predator in Chief and Klan and Nazi supporter Donald Trump. If you support him this is the consequence of it. I am not a Democrat and do not support that party. No one should need partisan loyalty to despise the degenerate sexual abuser Trump.

I was disciplined once when I was still at work and a shop steward for creating a hostile atmosphere in the workplace. I had a dispute with another worker whose actions seriously undermined our union solidarity and the gains our union had won us. I leafleted outside the plant against his views.  

Workplace violence was becoming the rage and like anything else, the bosses' were going to use it to their advantage. They would use it against union people and "trouble makers" . A worker who read the back and forth between me and this other guy mentioned something about the possibility of trouble and that's what kicked it off.

To his credit, the person I was writing about stated he never felt threatened in any way. It went to arbitration and was thrown out. This was important as I was very active in the union and also in contract negotiations. The worker I was confronting about his actions was a principled individual in many way but he was wrong. 

We had another worker who made some stupid comment (given the whole thing about creating a "hostile workplace") something along the lines of, if he got cancer and was dying he'd come in and take out his boss. He said this out loud so confident he was that it would not be taken seriously. He had his issues but he was a strong advocate for the union on the job and was making accusations about his boss making some shady deals. Police came to his house, shackled him in front of his kids, there was an injunction against him to not come near the plant and he never came back to work. This is what happens when a worker is accused of creating a hostile work environment. The workplace is hostile enough to all workers and it is class solidarity and comradeship that helps. A union, even a weak one, is generally better than no union because it gives people a structure through which to fight back to some extent.

This attack on this 91 year old Mexican man is as much Trump's fault as the people that committed it. He has made the most violent racist attacks on Latino's and Mexicans in particular. It is to their credit, (and I do not advise combating Trump's racism and the brutality of capitalism in this way) that Latino's and Mexicans in particular have not resorted to extra ordinary individual acts of retribution for what is happening to them and especially their children. It shows particular restraint give that the force in society that can drive back this offensive against immigrants, black folks, the poor and all working people including and especially, organized labor, is held back by the heads of organized labor themselves.

In the face of the attacks on the children of immigrants, locking them up in cages, cells, camps whatever you want to call them, those figures at the helm of organized labor and to which 14 million workers belong  are a disgrace. The Los Angeles labor council alone has over 800,000 workers affiliated to it. They have not only betrayed their own members through their decades of concessions and supporting the employers assault. They have betrayed the poor among us, the unorganized, women, the black people and other people of color that face additional oppression in capitalist society.  Remember the building trades leaders that met Trump in the White House and kissed his ass. Teamster head Hoffa (a lawyer) praised him. Every attempt by labor's rank and file to drive back the assaults on our wages rights and working conditions has been met by a powerful combination of the bosses, their state and the heads of organized labor. For the trade union leadership it is not so much because they are corrupt, or taking bribes or money which occurs. Why would it not? We live in a corrupt society. They are corrupt ideologically, that's the problem.

The trade union leadership cooperates with the bosses', forces concessions on its own members because they do not see any alternative to the present system in which we live.  They support capitalism. They support the right of the boss to own the factory, the agribusiness and they support the right of Stephen Scwartzman of Blackrock, a thoroughly unproductive parasitic individual, to take home $800 million in 2017. They just plead with them to be a little less aggressive in their ways. Their support of the bosses is expressed by the philosophy that has not to my mind been publicly condemned by any major labor official and that is the Team Concept, the view that workers and bosses have the same interests.

If some Latino's do resort to taking things in to their own hands, the heads of organized labor share some of the blame for not providing an alternative, for not mobilizing the tremendous potential social power of their membership; for not giving workers a place to go. It's part of why drugs are such a problem, violence is, depression and despair. There's nothing worse than feeling helpless, a victim. It always pays to fight back.


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