" why santa why ?...why is there no strike wave .. coming to corporate amerika for christmas ?"

By Owen Paine on Saturday December 24, 2011 08:56 AM


its a long term syndrome:
union pie cards craving snug, sealed room, closed door negotiations
with " their corporate peers"
and fearing and loathing wide open, toe to toe strikes like...well like
house cats hate lakes....... even lakes full of fish

you may ask yourself " how the hell did we get here from 1946 ???"

ahh ' 46 what a rising that was brothers and sisters
like the roar of a "new age dawning" ..... an age of union militancy

t'was not to be ..

in fact quite the opposite ...we never got that high again ..never ...not even once
the early 70's saw an echo but ....general direction ?

union strength : down down ...DOWN THE DRAIN !!!!

Why ? lots of whys really . So well ... Its prolly not a bad personal improvement goal
to slap together your very own --- hugely special and individuaized--
" inner narrative " of this complexly grim
and utterly endless
bummer of a story .

There are scores of useful sources to "consult "of course .
today U might start here
by reading this BOOK review from the cutting edge e-rag " jackoff "

'The Strike and Its Enemies'



" a little book published this year by Joe Burns, a union negotiator in Minneapolis, demystifies what is probably the most tangible element in modern labor’s aura of lifelessness: the virtual disappearance of the strike..... At the center of Burns’ story is what he calls “the traditional strike,” which was the heart of trade union activity from the beginnings of labor history until its virtual disappearance after the 1970s. The crucial characteristic of the traditional strike — its sole reason for being — is that it forces capital to stop production. Although this fact may seem slightly obvious, its significance for both workers and radicals has been largely forgotten"

and note this you dark pink farts:

"...in telling the story of the strike’s disappearance, Burns... reveals...
young radicals who scorn unions and the aging bureaucrats who run them
have more in common than one might think."

ambitious ??
here's another review/ interview
with the author of a recent one union case study


Comments (3)


elements of the legal super structure of repression

"...during this period of relative harmony, the judicial and political systems were ... entrapping the unions in a.. web of repressive measures that collectively make up what Burns calls “the system of labor control.” "

"The system, which developed gradually from the late 1930s through the 1960s, functions as an organic whole. No one piece destroyed the strike on its own; rather, each element carefully reinforces all the others."

One of the system’s remarkable aspects is how juridically unorthodox it often is:... many court decisions clearly contradict the stated text of the National Labor Relations Act. "

"...a few details :

• the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, explicitly made solidarity a crime by outlawing the secondary strike — the crucial technique of striking or picketing in support of workers at another firm. In one blow, the production-halting potential of strikes was drastically curtailed. Tellingly, under current law, peacefully standing outside a toy store handing out fliers urging a boycott is considered protected speech if done by a college anti-sweatshop activist; but it is an illegal act subject to fines and arrest if done by a union worker employed in a striking shop."

• ...freedom of contract was swept aside in the 1959 Landrum-Griffin Act, which declared null and void voluntary agreements between an employer and a union exempting the workers from handling “hot cargo” — that is, products made in struck shops.

•... a series of court decisions have ruled on the “intermittent strike.” This is a particularly effective technique in which workers strike for only an hour or two without physically leaving their jobs, making orderly management practically impossible while leaving workers largely invulnerable to replacement by scab labor
....the intermittent strike has been ruled to be an unprotected strike act and therefore punishable by firing....the finding ... clearly runs counter to the literal text of the National Labor Relations Act .... "


for you anti state direct action types
note this goal :

push "the state " back

back out of "shop floor struggles "
at least as far back
as the "intent " of the wagner act
pushed it


worthy of separate consideration

"the Supreme Court’s 1938 decision in NLRB vs. Mackay Radio"

gives "... employers the right to permanently replace striking workers."

"... the “Mackay doctrine” discovered a previously unknown distinction between “discharging” striking workers – which the court acknowledged was not permitted by the NLRA – and merely “replacing” them permanently with scabs."

"... the United States remains one of the few democratic countries in the world where strikers can be permanently replaced."


the bit for the pwog nation scorning herd:

" the contradictory profile of the labor “progressives” who have taken leadership roles throughout the AFL-CIO in the last fifteen years."

" ...many formerly progressive policymakers accepted the new, management-centric order that was being created within the movement by the employer onslaught of the 1980s. Adapting their own ideas to match this new conservative reality, these activists created the one-day strike, the corporate campaign, and social unionism—tactics that functioned comfortably within the existing structures imposed by management and the legal system."

"...main ideas can be summed up as follows:

Unions must only fight within the bounds of the law

1.Workers and the workplace are not at the center of the struggle

2.Middle-class progressive staffers know more than workers and thus should take a lead role in union strategy

3.Progressive union staffers do not have different material interests than rank-and-file workers

4.Building organization, rather than confronting management, should be labor’s main mission

5.One can accept the fundamentals of capitalism and still devise effective trade union tactics

6.Ultimately, workers must rely on the power of the government in order to make gains

7.Militancy is naïve and should be marginalized

8.To argue that unions need to break free from the current labor system is too radical

"Meanwhile, today’s generation of young radicals, like the progressive labor bureaucrats have spent all of their formative years living in the era of capitalist realism — the era of There is No Alternative."

"...each tenet of the union bureaucrat philosophy ... finds its distorted mirror-image in the views of the young anti-union radicals."

"...the prevailing attitude in certain precincts of the Occupy movement is that unions by their very nature will never break the law. "

"That workplaces are not at the center of the struggle."

" That middle-class intellectuals and full-time activists should take the lead role in strategy"

" these groups do not have different material interests than rank-and-file workers."

" building “communes,” rather than confronting capital, should be the movement’s main mission."

" one can tacitly resign oneself to the permanence of capitalism and neoliberalism and still devise effective movement tactics. "

"The irony is poignant."

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