[Marxism] Los Angeles working class movements

thomas muntzer immune_from_demoralization at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 11 11:24:56 MDT 2006

"Today, of course, the organized labor movement is
quite active
in the immigrants rights struggle."

I guess, in terms of donating staff and that sort of
thing.  But it should be pointed out that the L.A.
labor "leaders" are our political opponents and that
the revolutionaries in the movement who have
connections with rank-and-file union workers need to
come together and propose a more militant perspective
based on interracial working class unity.

Maria Elena Durazo who Walter mentions (the hotel
workers UNITE-HERE local 11) is a perfect face for the
L.A. labor bureaucracy precisely because she
represents its most militant wing - she is left cover
as her husband was before he died.  Local 11 has done
a lot under her leadership but at the same time she is
not going to come out against the team concept.  She
is not going to come out against the relationship with
the Democrats.  She is not going to come out against
Ted Kennedy and the Democrats vicious counter-proposal
to HR4437.  She will stand on the stage with the
Democrats and the bureaucrats and call for unity under
the leadership of the reformist apparatus.

Also I have many personal connections within that
local in particular and I know what they can do.  If
they wanted to they could be mobilizing contingents of
at least a hundred workers to all the demonstrations
that have been going on - they haven't done that. 
Like all business unions they focus on their own
contract fights and projects and don't think in terms
of representing the whole class or moving the broader
class forward.  They are a left face of business
unionism.  All the SEIU locals, UTLA, all the major
unions in L.A. could be mobilizing their memberships
to back up the immigrants movement so that the spirit
of these protests would infect the broader working
class.  They haven't done that.  The fact that they
donate staff to these demonstrations or their leaders
speak on the platform means very little.

The movement's leaders right now are raising a very
limited set of demands revolving around amnesty.  We
need to fight for them to mobilize their own workers
and also raise class demands that draw in the black
and white workers who have largely stood to the side
of the movement so they see this as THEIR movement. 
So the movement would infect wider layers of workers. 
These types of demands should be added: a living wage
for all workers.  Free good public health care for all
workers.  A jobs creation program that would create
decent jobs that would support families and address
the problems of poverty gangs and unemployment
plaguing working class communities.  It should be
repeated over and over again that crisis of immigrant
workers is a crisis of all working families in the
U.S. and that we should all unite.

The mood probably exists among some sectors of the
hotel workers, janitors, etc (unionized immigrant
workers) for political strikes right now.  The union
leadership needs to be raising and popularizing the
idea of political strikes and mobilizing for political
strikes on May 1st which I haven't seen evidence they
are doing.

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