Nationalism and the union bureaucracy
By Jerry White, 20 March 2018
A recent article by a former top executive at the American Federation of Teachers argues that the unions exist to “maintain labor peace” and “tamp down rank-and-file gripes and discord.”
By Jerry White, 9 March 2018
In the aftermath of the nine-day strike by West Virginia teachers, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said that the unions are necessary to contain opposition.
By Joseph Kishore, 28 February 2018
In Supreme Court arguments, a lawyer for the public-sector union AFSCME argued that without the trade unions there would be “an untold specter of labor unrest throughout the country.”
By our reporters, 2 February 2018
Autoworkers discussed the significance of the scandal and the Autoworker Newsletter’s call for the formation of rank-and-file committees, independent of the United Auto Workers union.
By Jerry White, 31 January 2018
A legal complaint by three autoworkers charges the union with colluding to destroy wages and rights, and defrauding workers of hundreds of millions of dollars in union dues.
By Joseph Kishore, 26 January 2018
Fiat Chrysler’s bribery of UAW officials involved in contract negotiations exposes the anti-working-class character of the entire trade union apparatus.
By Gustav Kemper, 24 January 2018
The IG Metall leadership, which supports the formation of a new grand coalition government, is opposed to a broad mobilisation of workers against job cuts.
By Nancy Hanover, 7 December 2017
The historic decline of union membership among teachers highlights the extent to which these unions exist only at the behest of the government.
“This is one smart guy”
By Jerry White, 4 November 2017
For over six months, the AFT president sought to conceal her meeting with Trump’s fascistic aide who was at the time the top White House strategist.
By Trévon Austin, 27 October 2017
A signification section of the union bureaucracy is openly allied with Trump on the basis of “America First” nationalism.
By our reporters, 13 October 2017
A two-hour work stoppage was called to lay the basis for another union-employer sellout deal.
By Jerry White, 31 August 2017
The plea deal by United Auto Workers Associate Director Virdell King could open the way for the indictment of other senior union officials.
“Everyone high up in the UAW must have known what was going on”
By a WSWS reporting team, 25 August 2017
US autoworkers contacted by the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter expressed disgust and anger over the results of a federal investigation into allegations of bribery of top United Auto Workers officials by Fiat Chrysler executives.
By Shannon Jones, 17 August 2017
Trumka left the panel as a face-saving measure, following the departure of several corporate CEOs.
By our correspondents, 7 August 2017
The RMTU is collaborating with multinational private operator Transdev to impose a new agreement which will continue to attack workers’ conditions.
By Jerry White, 7 August 2017
Workers have drawn conclusions about the UAW after decades in which it has focused all of its efforts on suppressing the class struggle and partnering with the auto companies to destroy jobs and living standards.
By Jerry White, 26 July 2017
General Motors has announced plans to reduce production as US automakers prepare a new onslaught on jobs.
By Kristina Betinis and Alexander Fangmann, 12 June 2017
Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt Hotels fortune, has been enlisted by the Democratic Party to take on Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, another billionaire, whom the Democrats are attacking as “bad for business.”
By Eric London, 9 May 2017
Information provided to the World Socialist Web Site shows a UAW conspiracy to silence autoworkers with evidence that the UAW committed election fraud to pass the 2015 Ford contract.
By Jerry White, 21 April 2017
The anti-working class AFL-CIO is providing the deeply hated president with critical political support as he prepares for war and a massive assault on jobs and social programs.
By Marianne Arens, 20 April 2017
Five unions in the German state of Hesse have accepted a burqa ban in a public sector contract.
By Shannon Jones, 14 April 2017
An analysis of its 2016 US Labor Department filing makes clear the UAW is not a workers’ organization but a business largely funded by the auto bosses.
By Jerry White, 7 April 2017
The American trade union bureaucracy spent much of this week praising Trump and bolstering the billionaire president’s claim that he is champion of American workers.
By Niles Niemuth, 17 March 2017
UAW President Dennis Williams’ appearance Wednesday with President Donald Trump and the Big Three auto bosses to promote “American First” nationalism is further confirmation of the anti-working class character of the unions.
By Niles Niemuth, 16 March 2017
While signaling his readiness to boost company profits by weakening fuel economy standards, Trump called for the unity of employers and workers on the basis of economic nationalism.
By Jerry White, 23 February 2017
It was the socialists who opposed nativism and racism and waged a struggle to unify all workers, black and white, native-born and immigrant, against the divide-and-conquer strategy of the employers.
By George Gallanis, 21 February 2017
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is attempting to force a sellout contract on the 900 bus drivers, paraprofessionals and food service workers.
As Trump promotes America First nationalism at South Carolina Boeing plant
By Shannon Jones, 18 February 2017
The UAW is ramping up its promotion of economic nationalism in line with the reactionary America First demagogy of the Trump administration.
By Jerry White, 3 February 2017
The public relations exercise was a further demonstration of the complete prostration of American unions to the corporations and the government.
By Dan Conway, 13 January 2017
More than 96,000 state workers are voting this week on a new contract between Service Workers International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 and the state government, led by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.
By Paul Mitchell, 10 January 2017
A video posted by the pro-Corbyn Momentum organization seeks to portray the population of Europe as benefitting from the privatization if the UK’s rail network.
By Jerry White, 12 November 2016
It did not take long for the executives that run the trade unions to offer their loyal services to President-elect Donald Trump.
By Ulrich Rippert, 14 October 2016
The workers at TUIfly are putting up fierce opposition to a restructuring plan accompanied by extensive job and wage cuts.
By Anthony Torres, 12 September 2016
The CGT is inciting nationalist hatred to divide the workers and disorient their opposition to the wars and social cuts of the French government, which it helped elect.
By Dietmar Henning, 28 June 2016
IG Metall sprang to the support of management, which is exploiting the emission scandal to impose the biggest ever attacks on jobs, wages and conditions.
By Jan Peters and Dietmar Henning, 16 June 2016
In a new burst of reactionary economic nationalism, the Social Democratic Party and German trade unions are calling for US-type trade war measures against China.
By Alex Lantier, 9 June 2016
Garbage workers took strike action in several cities across France, joining rail, port and oil workers in France and rail workers in Belgium.
“It’s reached a point where we had to stand up to them, and we are”
By our reporters, 21 April 2016
Hundreds of Verizon workers on Wednesday picketed a Verizon facility in Silver Spring, Maryland, which is being used to coordinate the company’s strikebreaking operations.
By Michael Barnes and Julie Hyland, 19 April 2016
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union and the train drivers union ASLEF claim EU membership is “bad for Britain in general and bad for the railway in particular.”
By Nick Beams, 14 April 2016
The program of economic nationalism promoted by the steel bosses, political leaders and the trade union bureaucrats leads to depression and ultimately war.
By our correspondents, 13 April 2016
The German metalworkers union IG Metall organised the rallies as a backdrop for management and government representatives to demand protective tariffs and trade war measures against China.
By Stéphane Hugues, 25 February 2016
Opposition is growing among workers and students to the state of emergency and the Socialist Party’s historic attacks on the working class.
By Shannon Jones, 13 February 2016
The remarks expressed the concern of the UAW leadership over growing signs of militancy and social anger in the working class in Michigan and throughout the country.
By Lawrence Porter and Nancy Hanover, 11 February 2016
The American Federation of Teachers is seeking to divert opposition into fruitless appeals to state Democrats and Republicans—the very forces seeking to dismantle public education.
Statement of the Socialist Equality Party
4 February 2016
A real struggle to defend public education must begin with an understanding that teachers face in the Chicago Teachers Union an enemy no less bitter than Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
By Jerry White, 15 January 2016
After three straight days of “sick-out” protests, hundreds of determined teachers attended a union meeting Thursday, where officials tried to smother resistance.
By Shannon Jones, 12 January 2016
The lawsuit targets millions of dollars in union revenue from labor agreements that compel public employees to pay a fee to a union even if they choose not to be a member.
By Marc Wells, 13 November 2015
The Teamsters have organized eight bogus strikes of truck drivers in two years at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in pursuit of increasing union membership.
By Mike Head, 30 October 2015
The union campaign seeks to blame Chinese workers, and Chinese companies, for the growing unemployment in Australia.
By Adam McLean, 2 October 2015
Unions collaborated with the Los Angeles City Council to impose measures that will hang retirees out to dry.
By Sheila Brehm, 22 September 2015
The executive board of the Detroit Federation of Teachers pushed through the removal of Steve Conn on trumped-up charges.
By Tom Mackaman, 22 September 2015
For all of the US labor movement’s militancy, self-sacrifice and social power, its Achilles heel has been its failure to free itself from the political domination of capitalist parties and politicians.
By Shannon Jones, 11 September 2015
The UAW is basically a business entity run by wealthy parasites that have no accountability to the membership.
By Shannon Jones, 8 September 2015
After decades of corporatist degeneration, the unions neither want to nor are able to mobilize much of anyone outside the upper middle class strata that mans their apparatuses.
By Tom Hall, 1 July 2015
The “socialist” senator and Democratic presidential candidate's nationalist appeals are designed to head off the emergence of an independent movement of the working class.
By Shannon Jones, 26 June 2015
With the formal start of talks set for July 13, auto workers are being kept in the dark, fed bits and scraps of information filtered through the corporate-controlled media.
By Jerry White, 9 June 2015
UAW local officials have told auto workers to save money from their meager earnings and be prepared to rely on charity in the event of a strike this summer.
By Lawrence Porter, 1 April 2015
Moratorium NOW! worked to conceal the role of the courts and promote the trade unions and Democratic Party as part of the political conspiracy against the workers of Detroit.
By Shannon Jones, 11 March 2015
The deal funnels money into the pockets of wealthy stockholders and, not coincidently, into the retiree health care fund controlled by the UAW.
By Patrick Martin, 2 March 2015
The Wisconsin governor has repeatedly said that the struggle against the working class at home is a critical component of Washington’s militarist policy abroad.
By Shannon Jones, 28 January 2015
The unionization rate in America is at its lowest point in 100 years.
By Terry Cook and Mike Head, 26 July 2014
Howes is treading a well-worn path, taken by a host of union bureaucrats, into the financial elite and the political establishment.
By Jerry White, 26 March 2014
The president of the American Federation of Teachers traveled to Kiev to praise the Western-backed regime installed through a fascist-led coup.
By Jerry White, 26 March 2014
The KVPU, whose headquarters served as an organizing center for the right-wing Maidan protests, has long been financed by State Department money funneled through the AFL-CIO’s American Center for International Labor Solidarity.
By Terry Cook, 8 January 2014
Under the AMWU’s plan, the very future of thousands of workers is to be tied directly to the war aims of Australian and US imperialism.
By Jerry White, 13 December 2012
The inability of the United Auto Workers and other unions to mount any serious opposition to the anti-worker legislation demonstrates the bankruptcy of these organizations.
21 April 2011
Published here is correspondence on the SEP statement on the Trades Union Congress March 26 demonstration in London, entitled “Reject TUC’s phoney war.”
By Jerry White, 22 February 2011
In the course of the struggle in Wisconsin, the trade unions are focusing on the right to “collective bargaining,” even as they openly declare their willingness to accept all the concessions demanded by the Wisconsin governor.
By Alejandro López and Paul Stuart, 22 January 2011
Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero’s government imposed a “state of alarm” on 2,200 air traffic controllers December 4, subjecting them to military discipline to force them back to work.
By Robert Stevens, 28 August 2010
With the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government planning the most drastic attacks on the working class since the 1930s, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is working to ensure they are imposed without opposition.
By Carl Bronski, 15 April 2010
As the strike at Vale Inco’s Sudbury mine and smelter operations enters its tenth month, the transnational mining conglomerate is stepping up its scabbing operation.
By Ulrich Rippert, 20 March 2010
The petty-bourgeois political groupings that present themselves as “left” in Greece are, through their efforts to subordinate the working class to the trade union apparatuses, demonstrating their crucial political role in facilitating the drive of the European and international financial elite to impose historic attacks on working people of every country.
By Robert Stevens and Marcus Salzmann, 17 March 2010
As the Greek government begins implementing its austerity measures, the two major trade unions federations, the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) and the public sector confederation (ADEDY), are systematically demobilising opposition to PASOK’s assault on the jobs, employment conditions and living standards of working people.
By Ulrich Rippert, 5 March 2010
The response of the trade unions in all countries to the wave of strikes and protests across Europe has been to isolate and suppress the workers’ resistance to austerity measures, block the development of a European-wide movement, and close ranks with their respective governments and the European financial elite.
By Patrick Martin, 5 March 2010
The AFL-CIO Executive Council announced this week that the union federation would provide even more financial and organizational support for Democratic Party candidates this year than in 2008, despite the anti-working-class record of the Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress.
By Chris Marsden, 3 December 2009
Britain’s Socialist Worker newspaper acknowledged on November 29 that Jane Loftus, president of the Communication Workers Union, has quit the Socialist Workers Party.
By Julie Hyland, 28 September 2009
The disciplinary action taken by the public sector union Unison against several of its members raises important issues of political perspective.
By Robert Stevens and Julie Hyland, 25 September 2009
The sell-off of General Motors’ European operations, Opel and Vauxhall, to the Canadian-Russian consortium Magna has elicited a poisonous “us first” response by the trade unions involved.
By Barry Grey, 18 September 2009
At its convention this week, the AFL-CIO chose a new president. One measure of the decrepitude of the union federation is the fact that the leadership change barely registered on the public consciousness, least of all among workers.
By Carl Bronski, 10 September 2009
As the strike at mining giant Vale Inco enters its ninth week, union leaders continue to promote the illusion that the attacks launched by the transnational corporation on the 3,300 striking workers is due to the fact that the company is headquartered in Brazil.
By Robert Stevens, 22 June 2009
On June 19, 647 construction contractors were sacked at the Lindsey Oil Refinery construction site, in Lincolnshire, England.
By Robert Stevens, 16 June 2009
Last week, administrators PriceWaterhouseCoopers announced that nearly all 850 workers employed by the Birmingham-based van maker LDV are to be made redundant.
By Paul Mitchell, 12 June 2009
Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union workers yesterday ended a two-day strike on the London Underground against plans by the company and its parent body Transport for London to cut over 1,000 jobs.
The Opel fraud
By Dietmar Henning, 6 June 2009
The German government, the IG Metall trade union and company works councils are attempting to portray the deal struck by General Motors, Magna and the Russian state bank Sberbank as a success, although 11,000 jobs are to be slashed, a number of European GM plants closed down, and drastic wage cuts imposed on the remaining workforce.
By Tom Eley, 4 June 2009
A recent column by New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse portrays the UAW as an antagonist of the Big Three, capable of advancing the interests of its workers. The organization’s history over the past four decades proves otherwise.
By Jerry White, 23 May 2009
The transformation of the United Auto Workers into a business entity is the culmination of decades of betrayals and degeneration in which the UAW apparatus developed material interests separate from, and hostile to, the “members” it claimed to represent.
By Stefan Steinberg, 19 May 2009
ETUC protests on Saturday aimed at covering up their nationalist tracks. To this end, the union bureaucrats are quite prepared to utter denunciations of the finance markets, but these criticisms should not be taken seriously.
A PR stunt in the defence of British economic nationalism
By Robert Stevens, 19 May 2009
On Saturday, Britain’s largest trade union, Unite, organised a demonstration in Birmingham in the West Midlands which was attended by about 5,000 people.
By Jerry White, 15 May 2009
This week’s “Keep It Made In America” rallies were aimed at diverting popular anger over mass layoffs and concessions in the auto industry and channeling opposition down the reactionary path of economic nationalism and militarism.
By Julie Hyland, 7 April 2009
The No2EU platform of populist nationalism is the outcome of the protracted degeneration of the labour and trade union bureaucracy and its incorporation into the capitalist nation state.
By Julie Hyland, 7 April 2009
While the specific origins of No2EU are unclear, its pedigree is firmly on that wing of the political spectrum associated with the Conservative Party and “little Englander” nationalism.
By Robert Stevens, 21 February 2009
A report from the industrial tribunal ACAS into the dispute at the Lindsey oil refinery in Lincolnshire has exposed union claims that British workers’ wages and conditions were being undercut.
German union seeks to divide European and North American GM workers
20 February 2009
The actions of the Opel shop stewards and IG Metall bureaucrats exemplify the reactionary logic of economic nationalism.
By Robert Stevens, 18 February 2009
Recent unofficial strikes at power stations and oil refineries across the UK and an official walkout on February 11 were conducted on the basis of the nationalist demand of “British Jobs for British workers.”
7 February 2009
The Socialist Party and Morning Star have claimed victory in the “Britons first” refinery dispute. But at what cost?
5 February 2009
The strike at the Lindsey Oil Refinery in Lincolnshire, Britain, on the basis of a nationalist program of defending “British jobs for British workers” raises fundamental issues for the working class internationally.
By Julie Hyland, 5 February 2009
The refinery strikes over jobs for “Britons first” have become the focus for a shift to protectionism by the trade union bureaucracy, which is also finding expression within the Labour government.
By Robert Stevens, 4 February 2009
The Socialist Party’s demand for “Union controlled registering of unemployed and locally skilled union members” is only window dressing for a “Britons first” policy.
By Julie Hyland, 3 February 2009
The Stalinist Communist Party and the Socialist Party are seeking to defend the demand for “British jobs for British workers” at the centre of the oil refinery dispute.
No concessions! No job cuts!
By Socialist Equality Party, 19 December 2008
Seventy years ago auto workers in Canada and the US joined forces to found the UAW because they recognized that to fight the giant auto companies they needed to unify their struggles across the Canada-US border. Today in the area of integrated global production--where the transnational corporations systematically seek to pit workers against each other, placing production wherever the greatest profits can be wrung from the workers--auto workers cannot take a step forward unless they consciously organize themselves as an international force, organizing industrial and political action across national boundaries and continents.