Labor & Racism: Construction Trades

Vladimir Bilenkin "achekhov at" at
Thu Aug 29 19:49:01 MDT 1996

>An important task of Marxists and progressives in the labor movement is to
>squarely face this phenomenon--which has its echo throughout much of the
>labor movement.     There is much truth,  unfortunately,  to the
>charge--leveled by MIM,  Rakesh,  and others,  that the labor movement in
>America is,  indeed,  permeated with the privileges and the perogatives of a
>"labor aristocracy",  acting hand in hand with the employers and against the
>interests of the world's (largely impoverished) workers.

>The question is:  where do we go from here?

>Louis Godena

To recognize this ugly fact is already a big step forward.
But isn't this section of American workers constitutes a minority
 of US labor force?  The very viciousness of their efforts
 to protect their turf seems to suggest how insecure they feel
 in the midst of the laboring masses who become more impoverished
 and more willing to challenge their privileges.  IMO, to portray these
 workers as representing the US proletariat as a whole towering above the
billions of exploited toilers of the rest of the world may be very
dangerous for both sides.  This would only play in the hands
 of metropolitan and national bourgeoisies. Instead, the privilidged
layers of the working class in the North should be politically neutralized
 wherever their cooperation with the rest of the workers is presently
out of question.  The problem is how to mobilize the masses without
antagonizing the "aristocracy" and pushing it into the hands of reaction.



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