[Marxism] Unionism: Selfishness will be our death

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Sun May 6 18:27:58 MDT 2018

The Seattle Times reports
 that Ironworkers from Local 86, mobilized by that noted humanitarian Jeff
Bezos, went and shouted down Seattle city council member Kshama Sawant as
she tried to speak in favor of a proposed tax on Seattle businesses. The
tax would be used to build housing for the homeless. What happened was that
Amazon shut down a major construction project for a day so that the
ironworkers could go campaign on their behalf.  As led by their “business
manager” Chris McClain, the ironworkers were swallowing whole the claim of
Amazon that if the tax goes into effect then Amazon will build less in
Seattle, causing these ironworkers to lose work.

This is not only swallowing whole the claim by big business that we must
help them make ever greater profits in order to have work; it’s even worse:
It’s a total reversal of any sort of class solidarity. Where are these
union members for the homeless or for other more oppressed layers of the
working class?

This thinking reminds one of the position of the building trades regarding
the construction of the Oakland A’s stadium right across the street from
Laney Community College in Oakland. (See this article.
That it would have destroyed Laney didn’t matter. As  Rafael Gonzalez,
President of Laborers Local 304 said at the time: “We’re going to support
wherever they (the A’s) want to build.” Where that thinking leads was shown
by Abraham Parra, labor relations representative for Laborers Local 304:
When asked if the laborers’ union (LIUNA) would then support building
Trump’s wall if it meant jobs, he said “on behalf of LIUNA I can’t answer
that.” Andreas Cluver, secretary-treasurer of the Alameda County building
and Construction Trades Council, also made the thinking clear. “Yes, we are
slaves in the capitalist economy to the financiers,” he said....

Read entire article here:

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