[Marxism] Blog Post: Hoffa and Trumka Babble While the House of Labor Burns

MICHAEL YATES mikedjyates at msn.com
Sat Sep 17 11:25:31 MDT 2011


Full at http://blog.cheapmotelsandahotplate.org/2011/09/17/hoffa-and-trumka-babble-while-the-house-of-labor-burns/ "The Obama administration and powerful Democrats have been so consistently supportive of the demands of business, especially in finance, that their most liberal adherents have expressed disillusion. For example, some of our top labor leaders, whose unions spent hundreds of millions of dollars helping Obama and Democrats get elected, have recently criticized through deed and word their supposed political allies. James Hoffa, Jr., president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the nation’s fourth largest union (with about 1.4 million members), filed suit on September 2, 2011 against the federal government to block the end of a U.S. ban on Mexican trucks entering the United States. Much to the chagrin of labor, Obama has pushed for more "free trade" agreements, and the end of the truck ban is part of a deal with the Mexican government, which had filed and won a complaint against the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA mandates access to U.S. markets by Mexican companies, including trucking firms, and when the United States forbade the entry of Mexican trucks on safety grounds, Mexico sued to force U.S. compliance with the agreement.

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, whose affiliated unions have more than 12,000,000 members, has verbally taken to task the Democrats and Obama. On August 25, 2011, Trumka promised that organized labor would scale back its support for the Democratic Party in 2012 and establish its own independent political organizations. A newspaper report quoted Trumka: "Let’s assume we spent $100 million in the last election. The day after Election Day, we were no stronger than we were the day before. If we had spent that on creating a structure for working people that would be there year round, then we are stronger." He also said about Obama, "He’s going to give a speech in a couple of weeks on job creation. If he’s talking about another percent or two break from a tax here and doing something with patent control, and doing three years down the road something with infrastructure bank, that’s not going to get the job done."  Much was made of Trumka’s pronouncements by the media, some suggesting that a labor-Democratic Party divorce and the formation of a labor party were imminent.

Anyone familiar with the U.S. labor movement would be skeptical of these actions and pronouncements, understanding (to paraphrase Shakespeare) that they were full of sound and fury but signified nothing. And sure enough, within a few days of Hoffa’s lawsuit and Trumka’s tough talk, cooler heads prevailed." . . .   		 	   		  


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