It’s Time For A Democratic Labor Party and A GENERAL STRIKE
To Bust The Union Busters!
The political and ideological assault on public workers and working people throughout the US is unprecedented. It takes place because US capitalism is in decline and the corporations and their parties, the Democrats and Republicans, want to make working people pay for this crisis.
From Wisconsin to California, Democratic politicians have helped grease the way for attacks by supporting the efforts to “reform” public worker pensions and calling on public workers to take concessions on their wages, benefits, and give backs on their working conditions.
The labor movement needs to answer these attacks with a massive education campaign with a 24-hour labor TV channel about why they are taking place, who is organizing these attacks, and the organizing of an independent Democratic Labor Party with a program to defend working people.
Instead, even today, the CNA affiliated with National Nurses United and the SEIU are spending union dues to elect “moderate Republicans” in California. Is this how we will solve this crisis?
The Democratic Party in Wisconsin helped pass the tax cuts for big business that led the way for Scott Walker and they refuse to go after the billionaires in Wisconsin and nationally to make them pay for this crisis. While working people bleed and die in the streets, the 84 US billionaires are doing great.
In California, the union supported Democrats in the California legislature have passed a draconian budget that cuts billions from education and public services, and Governor Brown wants even more cutbacks. Unfortunately, the unions have relied politically on the Democrats to solve this crisis, and from Obama on down, this strategy has failed. We cannot fight these attacks with one hand tied behind our back.
At the same time, the corporate top down business union structure of our unions prevent even a real debate from taking place. At the San Francisco Labor Council, TWU 250-A Muni drivers and SF City Painters came to protest the concessions and demands from the entire leadership of the Labor Council that they should take concessions on their contracts and also on their pensions. TWU 250-A bus drivers were publicly berated by Bob Muscat, head of the Public Employee Committee (PEC) for not going along with the concessions, and not one Executive Committee member stood up and defended these workers to oppose the push for concessions. Those who talk about fighting concessions but are silent against the officials who push them are not on our side. Following these protests, the SFLC Council leadership has instituted new rules making it difficult for rank and file workers to attend meetings, speak out and limited delegates to a few minutes each for speaking. International resolutions have now been prioritized to last on the agenda. The fight against concessions is also a fight for a democratic labor movement in which the workers have the right to debate and vote on all contract deals and negotiation proposals.
Seventy-seven years ago, workers in Minneapolis & San Francisco launched general strikes against union busting and the war on labor, and these kinds of actions are needed now, as some workers in Wisconsin demanded. The attack by the Republicans on working people including outsourcing and privatization will not be answered by relying on Obama and the Democrats who accept the framework of capitalism, which requires that the working people pay for this crisis. We have the power to shut down this country and stop the union busting and imperial wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and around the world. The Democrats and Republicans support this imperial agenda and it means the destruction of working people not only here but around the world. The AFL-CIO has banned even mention of these criminal wars in their publications. Only our political independence and independent working class action that unites all working people can win. ILWU Local 10 longshoremen in SF have shown the way by striking on April 4, 2011 in solidarity with Wisconsin workers. Such political strikes as this are exactly what need to be replicated nationally to smash the union busters. We need to support their effort to get the PMA Taft-Hartley suit against them dropped!
Join United Public Workers For Action UPWA.info and set up a branch in your union, city, or region. There are millions of public workers in this country, and they need to unite politically in action to defend public services and education for all working people.
United Public Workers For Action
(216) 235-9629, (415) 867-0628