[Marxism] Bob Fitch's Hatchet Job: Smearing Ron Carey and the TDU

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 12 18:45:49 MST 2006


(Joe could have added that at the time the left did a
lousy job of defending Carey, but otherwise this is an
excellent column.)
http://counterpunch.com/allen03112006.html
Weekend Edition
March 11 / 12, 2006
Bob Fitch's Hatchet Job
Smearing Ron Carey and the TDU

By JOE ALLEN

Ron Carey was the most important trade union leader to
emerge in the last decade 
of the 20th century in the United States.

His 1991 election as the first reform leader of the
Teamsters was bombshell that 
hit the labor movement and Corporate America.

What made his victory even more stunning was the role
played by the Teamsters 
for a Democratic Union (TDU), the longstanding reform
group made up of rank and 
file Teamsters.

Corrupt and complacent trade union officers were put
on notice their members 
wanted a different direction for their unions. While
the bosses use to big 
concessions, when not out-rightly engaging in
union-busting, had to face a newly 
revived Teamsters union.

The highpoint of the Carey administration and the
reform struggle in the 
Teamsters was 1997 strike against package delivery
behemoth United Parcel 
Service.

It was the biggest labor victory in a generation. At
that time, labor historian 
Nelson Lichtenstein wrote that the strike ended "the
PATCO syndrome. A 
16-year period in which a strike was synonymous with
defeat and 
demoralization."

But, for writer Bob Fitch all this was all a
"glittering mirage."

Fitch in his new book Solidarity for Sale: How
Corruption Destroyed the Labor 
Movement and Undermined America's Promise-a book
ostensibly about union 
corruption-rehashes the worst smears and lies about
Ron Carey traditionally 
coming from the mobbed-up, old guard of the Teamsters.

Carey, for Fitch, was just another corrupt Teamster
officer in the mold of his 
predecessors, a man who secretly controlled millions
of dollars in UPS stock and 
an ally of the New York-based organized crime
families.

Fitch also dismisses the idea that Carey banished from
the union for leading the 
UPS strike as "paranoid," "self-serving," "politically

naïve." "A left-wing conspiracy theory" because the
fruits of the 
UPS strike were "over-hyped."

While there many things wrong with Fitch's book, which
surveys several unions, 
I'm going to focus on those parts that apply to the
Teamsters, a subject which I 
know best.
[snip]


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