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Sweeney agonistes

By Owen Paine on Tuesday June 5, 2007 11:51 AM

Enter John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO executive council, that comfy club for aging pie-heads:


Seems he's got a message for the rest of us. Pathetically, only the Boston Globe, not the Washpost or NYT, found it fit to print. I suspect this lead shows us why:

"AMERICA'S WORKING families today are running faster than ever to keep up, and still falling behind. "
Pretty durn ho-hum, right? Oh, and here's a surprise for us groundlings:
....disposable income is now part of the "good old days."
But let's get down to brass tacks. Give him credit -- John tries to answer a big question: "How did this happen to America's workers?" And even more to his credit, he notices some key stuff: "unfair trade laws and poor national fiscal policy." But then sure enough, don't he pass them by, and the imperial dollar too, so he can get to what it's really all about:
... a major factor that often remains hidden.... Corporations have systematically riddled workers' freedom to improve their lives through unions, and our nation's labor laws are too weak to stop them.... union workers earn 30 percent more than workers without a union and are much more likely to have healthcare and pensions
Sweeney provides a seemingly obvious conclusion: "Increasing the number of people who are in unions."

But how we do that is not so obvious, since according to John, anyway, we gotta first make legal union recognition and contracts doable under the present system of laws and regs. 'Cause as it stands now:

companies routinely violate workers' basic right to form a union.... Unfortunately, these nasty methods of threat and coercion work for the employer.... In more than 90 percent of union elections a majority of workers indicated in writing that they wanted a union at the beginning of the process. However, unions won less than half of these elections, after months and years of employer intimidation.
Hmmmmm. Blunt fact: the CIO breakthrough originally occurred inside an industrial society and under a "superstructure" far worse than the one we have now in this post-Reagan white-worker future-shock America. So what is John-john's solution? Well not my solution, it seems. Nope, John doesn't want us to go into massive job-class upheaval mode. He don't want us to put on another 7-year rage and rampage like in 30-36. God forbid we get fired from our precious jobs -- let alone arrested -- for trying to freeze up the flow of corporate profiteeing. No blockades, no occupations, no job site rebellions, not for old John. Just lobby to change a few key parts of the legal superstructure.
Fortunately, there is legislation in Congress that will give workers the real freedom to join a union.... the Employee Free Choice Act.... a crucial first step to rebuilding the middle class and ensuring that working people can once again share in our nation's prosperity.
What can I add to that pea of a product? Analogy is tricky at all times, but here's an obvious one anyway: Black America and her allies hit the system hard and at multiplying points long long long before "the laws changed."

The free-to-choose line is pure bird crap and I bet swino John knows it in his heart of hearts. But he's got to keep the wheels of his gristmill turning, right?

Mates, I say with Father Smiff -- stop traffic!

Comments (3)


I think another problem is a more systemic rot. Our economy can't produce anything. the bvest and brightest go to law school or join defense industries or financial manipulators. Let's be honest-workers are losing their jobs in American manufacturing at least partly because even manufacturing management is more interested in financial manipulation and the casino economy than in producing a car anyone wants to buy. All the job actions in the world won't help when your job is producinbg the Chevy Cavalier.


"Our economy can't produce anything"
certainly not at the GE level
where the walshy jackoffs

"manufacturing management is more interested in financial manipulation and the casino economy than in producing a car anyone wants to buy"

and yet a diving dollar would give a pause to the catastrophe
and maybe time to "create"
an industrial policy...

ahhh but
failure bodes ill here

the long run of britain
was thatcher
turned out to be even worse

forget laputa hi fi greater london
and several campus and studio attractors
in the new creation based regional economies

industry is all last step
or post r&d first step

and notice scotland may try
a fantasy independence to escape
the moving compactors drim back wash
the north of ireland
a cobweb like system
post industrial trench lines
brimming with bitter
metal and hu-meat scrap


That's the difficulty: One diagnoses the problems, but is there a solution? I wonder if the only solution is the kind of Mad Max, scrabbling shiredom of the libertarian anarchists (mutualism)????

I don't believe in Centralized State "Socialism" either, in which the BOSSES of the corporate world are replaced by the even more venal BOSSES of political party hackery.

Alas-I am just a useless poster on other peoples' blogs.

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