[Marxism] Iranian labor and US trade union "support" - was "Winning and Losing" etc.

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Thu Aug 10 14:18:25 MDT 2006


Lou Paulsen writes:

...AFL-CIO money is so tainted that you would have to be pretty desperate
(or uninformed) to touch it...If they (the union) had said, "We respect the
workers of the USA, but unfortunately the AFL-CIO has not respected the
sovereignty of countries like Iran.  We don't want any support that will
make anyone think we are taking aid from the U.S. imperialists," this would
have made them look better, not worse, in Iran, I bet...
=====================================
I'd bet not - unless you're only alluding to the clerical authorities and
bus company management who, for certain, would have been well pleased with
the introduction of a resolution along the lines you propose into a meeting
of the bus workers union:

"BE IT RESOLVED THAT we respect the workers of the USA, but unfortunately
the AFL-CIO has not respected the sovereignty of countries like Iran (and)
we don't want any support that will make anyone think we are taking aid from
the U.S. imperialists."

On the other hand, I don't have to be an expert on the Iranian trade union
movement to believe that an opposing resolution framed in the following way
would probably carry handily:

BE IT RESOLVED that the union accept financial and all other forms of
support offered worldwide by other workers' federations while reiterating
its class and national independence and rejection of all forms of external
interference in the affairs of Iran and its civic institutions."

I don't think the Iranian bus workers would have seen it as a betrayal of
their own or the nation's interest in adopting it.

There's a long history, as you know, of left-wing unions, organizations, and
states accepting aid from questionable agencies within without becoming
subordinated to them, eg. Hoover's famine relief effort to the young Soviet
republic.

It ultimately depends on the strength and consciousness of the leadership
and of the membership, which can't be known with certainty in advance - and
certainly not from afar. If they are going to sell out, they are going to
sell out anyway - regardless of how and where they get their funding. The
greater danger, as with the search for agents in any organization, is that
more often than not it engenders fear and paranoia which can inhibit it from
moving forward.

But you have helped me clarify the differences on this thread.







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