[Marxism] Re: Wal-Mart Democracy

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at resist.ca
Fri Aug 13 19:31:03 MDT 2004

Akif Akalin <akifakalin at yahoo.com> wrote:

> There are unions in Canada. Teachers and nurses have their own unions.
> However, they cannot use their weapon of going strike. We have seen
> what happened recently in Brirish Colombia and Newfoundland when they
> tried to go strike.  And, there is no union in low-wage jobs most
> people work. 

Let's be clear: In BC, the BCTF (teachers) were quite ready to go on 
strike, and were among the rank and file union members who were trying to 
take such action to extend solidarity to the HEU and help defend what is 
left of the health care regiment in Columbia, as well as the mostly women 
and people of colour who were in the HEU itself. Workers from across the 
province went on wildcat strikes and were expecting to confront one of the 
most reactionary regimes in the history of the country, province or 
anywhere else. It is simply NOT true that legislation against going on 
strike was going to stop them: the IWA (which in recent years has been a 
total rat union), ferry workers, Nurses, transit workers, almost the entire 
public sector and many public sector unions were all ready to go on the 
line to shut down the province, and in fact had already done most of this.

It was the terrfiying worst nightmare ever for the Trade Union Bureaucracy: 
the working class showing it didn't need their misleaders! Such an act had 
to be squashed, and the BC Federation of Labour (the highest level of the 
provincial labour hierarchy), in particular Jim Sinclair, sold the whole 
thing down the tubes.

If there had been a real other alternative to the labour movement than 
these careerist bureaucrats, if there had not been a tradition of 
"leftists" across the province making careers following around TUB's 
looking for handouts, then perhaps we might have defeated this government, 
or at least won the damn strike. I was at the Vancouver Hospital the 
morning of the great betrayal by the Fed, the workers were in tears, angry, 
screaming and looking for a real way out.

But such a way out will not be found in the ruling elite of BC's capitalist 
trade union bureaucracy-- they feared that such a strike might "alienate" 
voters, and as such cost the NDP the next election. The "leader" of the NDP 
Carole James, ran a memo detailing the "deal" (fix) two days before the 
union movement of BC had it crammed down their throats.

Let there never be any mistake: The working class and the teachers among 
them led this strike. It was killed by the union brass.


More information about the Marxism mailing list