[Marxism] Restructuring in the AFL-CIO

Jack Cade jack.cade at btinternet.com
Sat May 7 07:02:37 MDT 2005

	It is the same here. Amicus, one of the so-called
'mega-unions' has 1.2 million members. It is merging soon into a
'super union' (with the Transport and General Workers Union and
the GMB--General and Municipal and Boilermakers) . Amicus alone
has about 400 full-time officials. When Derek Simpson, the
General Secretary, called them together for a meeting they had to
use the Birmingham NEC (National Exhibition Centre). Other unions
are much the same, except perhaps for the smaller ones, which are
now rare and peripheral.

	Part of it is to do with running the union as a kind of
insurance and benefit company; part with doing away with member
participation and democracy (without which you need
administrators) and the 'new realist' pro-capitalist outlook and
programme they have adopted. The results are to be seen in things
like the recent shambles over the MG-Rover car company, where the
unions were as much to blame as anyone else for allowing that
situation to develop.

	The left is also partly responsible. Broad Leftism, which
began here in the 1970s, developed a concept relying on union
administration; balloting for union executives and officials and
'stance resolutions' (that do not require action by members to
implement them--only taking a position on some issue). The result
was no membership-based campaigning.

	All this has led to atrophy of the trade union movement,
aided by the political environment of Thatcher's anti-union laws.

Jack Cade


Amicus is the largest manufacturing union in the United Kingdom,
with over one million members in the public and private sectors.
We are the union for the 21st century we are the union for you.

> Joaquín Bustelo
> > 	It is *astonishing* to me that the AFL-CIO has a staff 
> of nearly 500 people. 
> 	What do they do?

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