Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

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Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Democrats and labor.

Why labor needs to dump the Democrats and build its own progressive working class based people's political party:

The Minneapolis Star Tribune on January 29, 2013 claims the American Crystal Sugar Company lockout of 1,300 workers here in the Red River Valley is a “work stoppage.”

Does anyone see any workers who stopped working?

This is NOT a work stoppage as claimed by the union bashing Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper.

Workers did not stop working; nor did workers go on strike.

The company locked workers out of the plants and their jobs; and the work in these plants goes on with the American Crystal Sugar Company using scab labor.

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Miller's (BCTGM) International Union’s leaders even insisted workers had to train these scabs who workers knew would be used to replace them over many months should workers turn down American Crystal Sugar Company's “final offer.”

Why hasn't the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party with its controlling majorities in the Minnesota State House and Senate and a Democratic Governor brought forward both anti-lockout and anti-scab legislation?

What good is having this super majority if it isn’t going to be used in the interests of workers?

Why isn't the call for this kind of legislation being brought forward by any DFL legislators, members of the DFL state central committee or DFL county committees?

Why haven't the union representing the workers and the Minnesota AFL-CIO insisted their DFL partners bring forward anti-lockout and anti-scab legislation?

Why haven't rank and file union members insisted on getting this legislation out of the MNDFL in return for their votes?

This is one more very typical case where labor leaders refuse to act responsibly in defense of the workers rights and interests  they are supposed to represent and to make sure this never happens again to any workers in Minnesota.

The first cowardly mistake these labor leaders made was telling workers they had to leave these plants as ordered by American Crystal Sugar Management instead of occupying these plants from the very beginning.

These labor leaders should have had the decency to place plant occupations before American Crystal Sugar workers to let them make a democratic decision as to what they wanted to do in order to defend their rights and their livelihoods.

The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Miller's (BCTGM) International Union is a union that has been engaged in working class betrayal for years both in the United States and Canada and it has operated to the detriment of not only its own members, but the entire working class as a whole when it comes to refusing to insist on a real living wage for the minimum wage. In plant after plant and workplace after workplace the national leadership of the BCTGM International Union has pursued the very worst kinds of class collaborationist policies, and often very racist policies, of stabbing militant rank-and-file activists in the back over even very obviously legitimate workplace grievances in which the International repeatedly takes the side of management and insists local labor leaders tow this non-struggle line.   

As for this so-called "boycott" Richard Trumka and the "leaders" of the AFL-CIO have initiated; workers employed in union plants all across the country are still handling and using American Crystal Sugar in the production of everything and anything requiring sugar. From the shipping to processing to retail sales. What kind of a boycott do you call this where the public is being asked to boycott a product union members are still handling?

And why is a petition campaign underway "asking" a Democratic Governor and Democratic State Legislators here in Minnesota to stop purchasing and using American Crystal Sugar? Shouldn't these Democrats who know to come to workers for their money and their votes not to mention insisting the unions do their "heavy lifting" know enough on their own not to be purchasing and using a scab product? Apparently not.

If this lockout by the American Crystal Sugar Company's management and the failure of the Democrats to properly respond isn't a good enough reason to start a progressive working class based people's party on top of the firm foundation of what remains of the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party, I don't know what it is going to take.

Reactionary shit-ass Minneapolis Star Tribune reporters like Jane Friedmann take it upon themselves to attack me time and time again but this dirty anti-working class rag can’t even get it straight that there has been no work stoppage as it declares:

“...It (American Crystal Sugar Company-ALM))has grown into one of the longest work stoppages in Minnesota history. Unemployment benefits for workers have expired…”

Lie after lie when it comes to this anti-labor rag.