Question on Unions

Robert Perrone perrone1 at igc.apc.org
Thu Oct 10 11:06:30 MDT 1996


Bob,

Check out the archives; you said Hoffa was an enemy of capitalism. I
don't believe that saying the government was forced to act is the
equivalent of calling on the state to intervene, as you claim in your
post of April 4. You make an insupportable assertion when you state
*the membership of the Teamsters union loved Hoffa.* I wonder if that
also holds true for the r&f Teamsters who were beaten with battery
cables, among other things, for opposing official slates in local,
regional and international elections.

Your statement that *the government will use any excuse to break the
trade unions* indicates to me that you do not understand the role of
the trade unions under the current aflcio leadership. Why would the
government want to break the trade unions, when the leadership of the
unions have made them one of the pillars of support for capitalism.

Hoffa was doing the work of the bourgeiosie in the trade union
movement; he was a pro-capitalist, anti-democratic autocrat. The r&f
teamster had little, if any, say in how the union was run, from the
local level to the international. If Lenin was prepared to make a
pact with the devil himself, then, depending on the circumstances, I
might support government intervention in a specific situation. It is
done all the time. It is virtually impossible to organize a union
under capitalism without government intervention. Communists
frequently demand that the government enforce its own laws to ensure
the rights of a particular group of people, be they workers, people
of color, immigrants, etc. Why shouldn't we demand that the
government act in accordance with its own rule, if only to expose the
fact of its utter hypocrisy. What is the demand for a livable minimum
wage if not a demand for government to intervene by passing such a
law?

Robert




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