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Union Leaders meet Trump: "almost giddy." Nauseating

By Sean O'Torain - Facts For Working People, April 10, 2017

The authors of this Blog have continually focused on the refusal of the trade union leaders to fight the bosses and the offensive of the bosses capitalist system against working people and the environment. We believe we are correct to do so. The US trade union leaders control organizations with a membership of up to 14 million and with huge full time resources, a massive infrastructure and hundreds of millions of dollars. Their potential power is confirmed by the fact that people like Obama, and now Trump stroke these union leaders to make sure they remain on their side. Just have a look at how far these union leaders are prepared to go to boot lick the bosses and their political stooges.

The New York Times Sunday April 9th had an article entitled: "Can Trump Win Over Big Labor?" The article showed he would not have a hard job if we are talking about the union leaders as opposed to the rank and file. Just three days after his inauguration - he was wasting no time, again this shows the potential of the trade union movement that he thought he had to move fast - yes just three days after his inauguration Trump invited the leaders of the building trades unions to the White House. The New York Times described what was going on as Trump "courting" these leaders. Well this courting worked, the romance is so far going well. The New York Times describes the mood of these union leaders after the meeting as "almost giddy" (it is nauseating) and went on to point to the news release from the laborers' union which was headed: "It is finally beginning to feel like a new day for America's working class." Yes it is a new day alright. The whip will be laid with even greater ferocity across the back of the US working class.

Then there is McGarvey the head of the North American Building Trades Unions and supporter of the Keystone Pipeline and other such destructive projects; he said: "So far so good - our concern is the economic trajectory of our members." In other words screw everything else, the workers who are not their members, the planet, women's rights, the fight against racism, sexism, police brutality, the wars and occupations abroad, health care, education, screw them all it is just the "economic trajectory" of his members. Oh how these bureaucrats like using big words. It makes them sound learn ed and, they hope, cover up their cowardice and refusal to fight for their members. And if this betrayal of the working class as a whole, this betrayal of the fight to save the planet and against war were not enough, the economic trajectory of his members has already been going down for years. McGarvey went on: "We're creating a building trades majority, Democratic and Republican whether state or national. We never want to be in a position where losing an election changes the economic trajectory of our membership." So he wants an alliance of the Trumps, the Clintons, incredible. On top of that  this moron refuses to see that the "economic trajectory" let us speak plainly, the living standards of his members and the US working class has been going down for decades. A new fighting leadership has to be built in the rank and file of the unions and the workplaces. This old boot licking pro capitalist leadership has to be removed.

Let us look further at this Predator in Chief in the White House, this creature who the leadership of the Laborers union says might be opening a new day for America's working class. Let us leave aside the issue of wages for and benefits for a moment. OSHA the agency which is supposed to oversee health in the workplace estimates that every year 50,000, yes 50,000, are killed by chemical exposure in the workplace and another 190,000 sickened. This "friend" of the Building trades leaders in the White House is moving to strip OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency of just about all their powers so the numbers of deaths from such exposure is set to rocket. Compare this with the deaths from foreign terrorists, the deaths from the latter are not even a drop in the bucket. Yet using this as an excuse they can change the countries laws to take away our rights, they can conduct 15 year long wars in the Middle East, they can keep military bases in hundreds of countries, they can bomb Syria, but they cannot change the countries laws to protect the American worker in the American workplace. In fact it is the contrary.

Trump is getting away with his anti worker policies, Obama did and Bush and they all did before that because the US trade union leaders would not organize against these capitalist, these bosses mouth pieces and agents, in the White House and Congress. Think about it. The trade union leaders could have mobilized their 14 million membership and their huge resources, their tens of thousands of full time staff, used their tens and tens of millions of dollars to link with and help build the Women's marches and now to build the Resistance to the Trump agenda. But no, boot licking the capitalist creature in the White House is their game. There are some union leaders who do utter the odd squeak of opposition but as far as mobilizing their members to fight this is a no go. A mobilized membership would threaten their control over the unions and threaten their big salaries and secure jobs and fancy cars and trips and clothes. There are some small signs of realization amongst a minority of the trade union leaders that boot licking Trump might have its limitations. When Trump spoke last week at the construction unions' legislative conference, (what was he doing there, this was inviting the enemy into speak to his potential victims) but when he spoke there were some union officials who were unhappy about his position on the Affordable Care act and on regulation who booed him and held up signs on which were written: "Resist." We will see how serious they are by watching to see if they organize their membership and become part of the anti Trump movement.

As well as mobilizing against Trump the task is to organize the huge retail chains that have developed, the McDonalds, the Starbucks, and on and on. Organize the unorganized in construction and industry and the rest. As well as that organize amongst the new forms of employment such as being used by scab outfits such as Uber, Lyft etc. Outfits which are using video games, psychological high technological tricks to get more out of their workers while paying them less. The fancy term Human Resource management is continuously used. This must be called what it is. How to get workers to work harder for less and how to make it easy to fire them and how to give them no benefits.

However having said all this this is not the time to despair. Yes the degenerate Trump is in the White House, though for how long remains to be seen. Yes the Congress is full of capitalist politicians from end to end, yes the Supreme Court while always full of capitalist stooges has now moved even further to the right. But if ever there was a situation where US capitalism will over play its hand it is now. The authors of this Blog have continually said that when the leaders of the workers movement are not prepared to organize and fight then the revolution needs the whip of the counter revolution. We do not welcome this but it is the reality and it is the fault of the union leaders refusal to lead. This is the period into which we are moving. The US working class will rise to its feet in the greatest struggles in its history. Those of us who want a future for our species and for life on earth must organize a mass direct action united front movement to bring all the forces of struggle together around a program against the capitalist  offensive. As part of this we must build a cohesive force within this movement dedicated to the over throwing of  capitalism itself. This force must see its task as building a new revolutionary leadership in the working class. Time is not plentiful. Climate change, nuclear war, drought, mass starvation, threatens life on earth as we know it. Not in the centuries ahead but in the decades ahead. The alternatives are stark. Organize a mass international revolutionary force of tens and hundreds of millions and overthrow capitalism or perish as that historically out dated system ends life on earth as we know it. And finally a word to the small groups who claim to stand for an end to capitalism unless they get over their left sectarianism and ultra leftism they will only be another obstacle in the path of the working class.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.