Mayday in Troy, New York

jonathan flanders jon_flanders at
Sun May 7 17:28:49 MDT 2000

 <<(Kate said that the State AFL-CIO director was visibly upset at some of
my remarks!),>>

 Mike's remarks at the May Day forum centered on a call for genuine workers
internationalism, as opposed to the nationalist campaign against China's
joining the WTO, the current pre-occupation of the US labor leadership.

  The tension in the room during several portions of his speech was
palpable, but despite the discomfort of several labor leaders(the NYS
AFL-CIO rep was secy-treasurer Paul Cole), applause broke out several times
during the talk, and afterwards several people came up and thanked me for
inviting Mike. He certainly contributed exactly what I hoped he would.

  At a discussion of the May Day weekend during the Albany Central Labor
Council meeting I attended this week, the forum was given high marks.

  I certainly agree with Mike that re-establishing May Day in the US should
be on our agenda, and provides a real basis for bringing people together in
common action, whatever our political pasts might be. The challenge for us
here in this area is now to begin to involve local unions and more rank and
file workers in next years  event.

  I particularly want to plug Mike's book, "Why Unions Matter." I just
finished reading it, and found it an excellent introduction to the promise
and problems facing unions today. Several people in my shop are reading it,
and I expect more will.

Jon Flanders

 Given the growing relationship between labor and the student activists
like those at SUNY, its very important that they not get sucked into a
chauvinist dead end.

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