Skip to main content

View Diary: ACM: Working Class Self-Activity III: Walmart Workers Rising & the Prospects for Radical Politics (51 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Freedom is just another word for nothing left to (5+ / 0-)

    lose.I think the decreasing upward mobility, lack of manufacturing and construction jobs with traditionally higher salaries, combined with the economic downturn and attack on middle class jobs has finally made many folks realize that we can't take past victories for granted and actually have to start taking the risks ourselves if we want to have decent paying jobs.  Think we are slowly getting to the point where we are actually contemplating organizing low paid work --Starbucks, McDonald's, Walmart,etc.  It will have a different trajectory than previous organizing in industrial jobs, but I think we are on our way. And it has nothing to do with voting in people who will make better labor laws.  The organizing comes first, the laws later.

    •  Yes, that is exactly right. (4+ / 0-)

      We organized in the past when the law was all arrayed against us and we can do it again.

      So many forget that the great strike year:1934 preceded the New Deal.

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Nov: Lives lost trying to earn a living.

      by JayRaye on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:05:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is true but it was and is a dialectical (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NY brit expat, BlueDragon, JayRaye

        process. The labor activism of 1934 et seq. created the political pressure for labor law reform finally to pass in 1935 (NLRA) & 1938 (FLSA), but it was after those laws were passed that organized labor actually began to win organizing campaigns consistently. In some case, e.g. Ford Motors, complete unionization was not achieved until WWII, when the feds encouraged/required union labor on govt. contracts, and in others like textiles unionization has not been fully achieved to this day.

        That's particularly unjust when it comes to the textile workers, for their General Strike of 1934, which entailed enormous sacrifices on the part of 400,000 workers, was one of the strikes that helped convince middle of the road Dems in Congress to support the NLRA.

        So, the hoped-for trajectory would be sufficient labor activism, regardless of how "successful" in contract terms, to motivate Dems to pass labor law reform in 2014. (It's certainly never happening under Speaker Boehner.) Then unions use the new laws to actually increase their share of the workforce for the first time since the mid-1950s.

        "Karl Marx and Frederick Engels came to the checkout at the 7-11 Marx was skint - but he had sense Engels lent him the necessary pence What have we got? Yeh-o, magnificence!!" (The Clash, 1976-1983)

        by Le Gauchiste on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:55:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes, that is exactly what I was saying (0+ / 0-)

          in my own way.

          However, now we have been brainwashed that we Cannot have labor activism until the laws are more on our side.

          And, meanwhile, union membership continues to decline.

          This is my belief: at this time massive labor action should be primary, begging for changes in the law, should be a very distant 2nd or 3rd.

          WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Nov: Lives lost trying to earn a living.

          by JayRaye on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 09:44:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The vast majority of industrial workers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      George3, JayRaye

      were low paid workers before unions; think of the garment workers, think of the miners, etc. All were unskilled, low paid workers; I agree there will be a different trajectory for many reasons, but low pay is an obvious point of similarity. But, I agree, I think this is the beginning and will give the neoliberals a nice kick in the arse; their whole line is low wages brought about by competition. If low paid workers fight back internationally, it will create a problem.

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:26:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site