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View Diary: What I Saw: An Open Letter to the Leaders of America's Labor Unions. (30 comments)

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  •  Also Remember They're Legally Barred From (17+ / 0-)

    organizing or supporting it, so there's that element as well.

    Labor is not only with us, they were out their first in protests on Wall Street and at state capitals, and in vigorous recall/repeal drives in many states which they're still working on.

    It's not the 60's any more, we're on the same side and we face the same threat.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 12:09:29 PM PST

    •  While the ILWU cannot support a port shutdown (4+ / 0-)

      there is no obstacle that I am aware of for other unions that are not operating in the Port to support it.

      The Oakland Teacher's Union (or whatever it is called) came out in support.  But others did not.

      •  One of the best ways we can show solidarity (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie, JayRaye, jpmassar, AoT, offgrid

        is to strike in support of our fellow workers at other workplaces.

        Of course, the government made that illegal as a "secondary strike."  Just another example of how labor law was written in the interests of the owning class, not the working class.

        If a whole sector, say big box retail stores, can strike together, in addition to the truck drivers, security guards, IT professionals etc. who service the can bet your ass we'll win our demands.  It's the model the IWW, which largely rejects contracts, is based on.  Solidarity unionism.

        To respond more directly, the ILWU can support a port shutdown if it says, "Fuck the law, let's see you try to punish us for striking...I dare you."  And it's great that some teachers may have come down to the protest, but more effective would have been a strike in support, to shut down more of the system.  When you have huge goals, like say overthrowing oligarchy, you need the total solidarity of your fellow workers to succeed, up to and including a true general strike.

        Organized workers must break the chains of contracts and labor law and rediscover our strength through struggle.  It's the only way we'll stop being victims and start taking control of our own future.

        The politics of direct action is based, to a certain degree, on a faith that freedom is contagious. - David Graeber

        by An Affirming Flame on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 02:10:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In the early days (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jpmassar, An Affirming Flame

          organizing a union was illegal in many parts of the country. In  many of the company towns, organizing could get you shot right quick. Or at least fired, in which case you lost your job and your home, since the company owned your home, and food also, since the money in your pocket, if you had any, was company script good only at the company store. Yet unions were organized and strikes were waged. Now, sadly, the union leaders lack courage. They are more interested in kissing the butts of politicians than in leading the struggle for economic justice. How is this working out for us? Union membership is declining, as is the living standard of the working class, income inequality is increasing.Yet our union leaders  seem only interested in Labor Peace. All the while the 1% wages war on us.

          At some point, the working people may need to leave the union leaders behind. As seems to be happening in Oakland.

          True Solidarity!
          Is there anything left for us but to Organize and Fight?

          If there's a reason for the rich to rule, please Lord, tell us why. -Battle of Jericol, Coal Mining Woman

          by JayRaye on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 03:22:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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