What a crock of bullshit.
After tough election, labor leaders say unions are here to stay
"What happened in this election," Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO declared, "is that the vast majority of the voters stayed home." He attributed the massive stay-away to widespread disgust with falling wages, fear of the uncertain in both foreign and domestic affairs, a flat or declining standard of living and serious problems in the messaging that came form both major political parties. "The Republicans blamed everything on President Obama and there was no real message coming from the Democrats either," Trumka said.
He warned that the GOP should not interpret the results as "any kind of mandate for their policies," pointing out that when given the chance to vote on specific issues, "people voted overwhelmingly for hikes in the minimum wage. When polled they were overwhelmingly against any cuts in Medicare and Social Security."
Trumka was joined by Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers and by Eliseo Medina, former SEIU secretary-tresurer and currently a leader in the national fight for comprehensive immigration reform. The event was a forum sponsored here by the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics.
Gerard said the election results should also be blamed on "the record amount of dark money poured into the Republican campaigns. They, the Koch brothers and their like spent four and a half billion buying this election," Gerard said. "That's a record."
Trumka said the labor movement "can usually be counted upon for 25 percent of the vote. That usual 25 percent went down to 18 percent. Still," he noted, "the fact that 18 percent of the voters were union members puts our participation in the election ahead of our percentage in the overall population."
Nationally, only 11 percent of the workforce is unionized.
Trumka noted that because of the small size of the labor movement, unions cannot alone carry on the fight to defend workers rights and turn the country around. "This is why we are fully engaging with our allies in the community," he said. "Our values and what we stand for are in sync with the majority of Americans. We want to build a permanent coalition on as many issues as possible together with other groups," he added. Trumka noted that current efforts to build lasting coalitions with allies differ from past efforts by unions "which were directed at forming temporary alliances on single issues rather than ongoing coalitions around a number of concerns we all have."
Some in the crowd at the University of Chicago last Thursday questioned the enormous amount of effort unions have been putting into the fight for immigration reform. "Wouldn't it be better if we just froze all immigration for the time being, until the job situation improves?," one participant asked.
"That is not the way to deal with the problem we have," Medina said. "There are millions who are now here with their families. Their immigration status is being used to deny them their rights and this brings down conditions for all workers in the country."
"As long as I am president of the AFL-CIO," Trumka said, "our fight is going to be for full rights for immigrants. That is the only way unscrupulous employers can be prevented from playing immigrant workers against native born. It's the only way to resolve the problem."
Gerard said that when President Obama acts soon by executive order, to provide relief for perhaps millions of undocumented workers, "we [the labor movement] are going to have to get behind him and support him; the Republican attacks on him will be unrelenting," Gerard warned.
Trumka vowed that unions will continue their battle for civil rights on every front.
"We were down in Ferguson right away," he said. "During the last pesidential elections we made it clear that the one totally unacceptable reason for not voting for Barack Obama was that he was black. Equally, it would be unacceptable not to vote for Hillary Clinton because she is a woman."
Gerard said that there is work to be done yet in the area of increasing workers' understanding of major economic issues.
"People need to know, for example," that when the Republicans talk about the 'free market' they are talking about something that doesn't exist. No markets are free. They all have rules, it's only a question of who makes the rules for whom."
Trumka followed up on that theme: "People need to know, for example, that it was Milton Friedman from this university who first developed the extreme free market shock capitalism model and that it was no accident where he applied it first - in Chile where it resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and economic disaster that continues on some levels today."
He was referring to the right-wing economic policies instituted under the Washington-backed military coup that resulted in the death of elected socialist President Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973.
Come on; does anyone really believe this bullshit?
We have all heard this same talk from these big blowhard millionaire labor leaders before with nothing ever being done. They will do nothing now except what Trumka has more than hinted at--- helping to elect Hillary Clinton who is just one more puppet being worked on strings controlled from corporate boardrooms by the parasitical crowd of Wall Street warmongers.
As for what happened in Chile, the barbaric carnage and brutal repression orchestrated by a bunch of murderous fascist bastards working at Wall Street's behest, the AFL-CIO was working side-by-side with Wall Street bosses and hand-in-hand with the U.S. CIA; apparently a story Trumka and Gerard do not want to fully tell and explain.
These never-ending dirty imperialist wars are making us all poor. There is always enough money for another war but never enough to fund the requirements of working class families for more decent lives. Trumka and Gerard are eating up this crap about a "populist economics" spewed by the likes of NAFTA supporter Robert Reich without any mention of how militarism and wars are robbing our Nation of the wealth created by workers which should be used to fund people's needs like health care and child care through National Public Health Care and National Public Child Care systems which are publicly funded, publicly administered and publicly delivered just like public education.
The Democrats, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, are no better than the Republicans.
It's time for working people to break free from Wall Street's two-party trap otherwise we are not going to improve our lives and livelihoods; we will not have peace and our living environment will be unable to support healthy populations with clean air, water and land.
As for Obama and "immigration reform;" Obama has deported more workers than any other president and he has not ended these maliciously racist deportations where the only "crime" committed by these working class families has been seeking a better life through hard work.
Compare the way these "undocumented workers" have been treated like criminals to how this rotten Wall Street government has coddled Nazi war criminals who should have been dangling from the hangman's noose, but, instead, were provided with the highest Social Security payments as their dirty deeds were covered up.
In fact, thousands of workers who have been deported by Obama were paying union dues--- and how have their unions defended them? Listening to Trumka and Gerard talk as if they are actually doing something to defend the rights of "undocumented workers" who are no different from any other workers and entitled to their rights under the United States Constitution, Bill of Rights and the words proclaimed in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights is enough to make one vomit. Mere words; no action.
The cause of workers leaving their homelands is Wall Street's exploitation of workers and the rape of their lands and resources and now these innocent workers are being used as scapegoats for Wall Street to hide its criminal dirty deeds behind. Just leave these "undocumented workers" alone and let them live here in the United States in the peace and dignity they are entitled to; they have had enough punishment for several lifetimes. If anyone should be locked up it is the Wall Street warmongers and the crooked, corrupt and unethical bankers robbing this country blind while creating havoc and misery all over the world--- not to mention these politicians being bribed by Wall Street.
Unions should be using their resources to organize the unorganized and to build a progressive working class-based people's party that has as its intent deep-seated reforms while challenging Wall Street for political and economic power.
To go along with a new people's party we need an anti-imperialist movement and working-class think-tanks all over this country in every place of employment and in every working class community.
As far as all this talk coming from Trumka and these other millionaire labor leaders about how we need a "new economy;" they are definitely correct about this--- but, what are they seeking? A more human capitalism and there is no such thing; never has been and never will be. What we need is what millions of Americans are supporting: socialism, a cooperative socialist commonwealth.
All these people who claim we have such a great democracy, let's find out what they think about giving the American people the right to vote on whether or not they want to continue down this dangerous capitalist road or get on the road to socialism. Capitalism is Wall Street's system; socialism is the workers' system. Capitalism is evil. Socialism provides peace and harmony.
Capitalism was evil at its birth and is even more evil today as it has grown into a barbaric monster of state monopoly capitalism with Wall Street the head of this most cannibalistic imperialist system that capitalism has become. Life for working people under this rotten Wall Street imposed capitalist system will never get any better; life can only get worse--- this is the nature of the beast. The rich get richer; the poor get poorer. This is the way the system works.
That what is supposed to be a revolutionary working class newspaper like the People's World would actually publish a story like this without comment and analysis that is so full of lies, excuses and misinformation is shameful and disgusting. No mention of the need to build working class Communist Party Clubs and united, militant rank-and-file committees and organizations capable of taking to task these millionaire labor leaders living the "life of Riley" off the dues they take in from workers who in return are only getting one bankrupt message from them: Elect more Democrats... when everyone knows that if there was a Democratic super-majority--- a Democratic president, all Democrats in the House and Senate, working class families would fare no better than they do now because the Democrats, just like their Republican counter parts, are part of Wall Street's two-party trap. The two-party trap is intended to trap workers and the working class. Millionaire labor "leaders" like Trumka and Gerard are part of this trap as they use their persuasive powers to push workers out of the streets and into the arms of the Democrats who work for the bosses.
And as for racism, every single community in this country is a "Ferguson, Missouri" with racist killer cops acting just like the black-booted fascists who trampled democracy and murdered a sickly Pablo Neruda in Allende's Chile; fascists who were being being defended in the same way as racist murdering cops by the AFL-CIO.
Has anyone heard Richard Trumka or Leo Gerard call for the arrest of this murdering cop in Ferguson, Missouri which justice requires?
The same military equipment being brought out against the people of Ferguson, Missouri who are demanding justice will be used against workers fighting for justice against the Wall Street bosses.
Workers paying union dues are not being properly represented by these millionaire labor leaders who don't have a clue as to what is meant by "the duty and responsibility" to represent workers when it comes to the most basic and fundamental grievances. How many grievances are just allowed to pile up waiting for filing in "the circular file cabinet"--- the trash can?
Trumka and his coterie of millionaire labor leaders refuse to stand up for the workers whose dues are paying their big fat salaries--- does anyone really believe these millionaire labor leaders have the moral and ethical integrity to defend the interests of the entire working class? They will continue to piss away the dues of hard working Americans supporting Democrats who are owned by Wall Street.
People aren't voting because there is no organized alternative to vote for.
Workers in Canada have their own political party--- the socialist New Democratic Party now challenging Wall Street and its junior partner, Bay Street, for political power. We should be looking north of our border to find out what Canadian workers are doing--- workers who recently elected a class struggle trade unionists to lead the Canadian Labour Congress; why is Trumka getting a free pass?