Wednesday, December 15, 2004

[Your Scheme Here]

If you want to propose a scheme for saving the labor movement, stand in line. UNITE is there before you with a plan which begins by sequestering a vanishing clothing union into a rising hotel union. The Carpenters are ahead of you with their version: obliterating the collective bargaining rights of members and locals and turning authoritarian powers over to a small group of regional fuehrers.

Now come the Teamster leaders with their own idea. It must be important because it was highlighted in the New York Times on what must have been a slow day for labor news. Teamster leaders are unlikely candidates for showing the way; they can’t even keep their own union free of racketeers. RISE, the Teamster self-reform effort, fell apart when Ed Stier, its sponsor, charged that the union administration was blocking his efforts to take action against crooks.

The Teamsters want the AFL-CIO to refund to the internationals half of their per capita payments. Now there’s a proposal that’s bound to be popular. It has all the persuasive power of Bush’s plan to reduce taxes. Give the Teamsters, and some other union leaders, more money and they know what to do with it. The Teamsters for a Democratic Union offers statistics to show that as more money comes in as dues, it vanishes into the the double-dipping salaries of officials who have been generously paid.

TDU wants money that is already available to be directed into organizing, not diverted into higher pay and perquisites. There’s a plan. It won’t save the labor movement. But it has this virtue: it can’t hurt. It might even help.


termite said...

So the plan is to consolidate the smaller unions into larger "Industrial Unions" that would have more clout. Everyone seems to be acting as if they've just developed the art of baking bread.
This plan has existed since the early days of the American Labor Movement and it's called the "Industrial Workers of the World." The only difference between the newly proposed plans (NUP, etc. etc.) is that, under the IWW set-up, the union management would have to accept term limits for the officers and work within a Rank & File controlled union.
The slogan "An injury to one is an injury to all" should be adopted by our Fellow R&F Unionist and applied to the stuggle against union corporatism. I am a member of the UBC (also the CDUI and the IWW) and have seen the cancer of corporate unionism spreading from that center.
The only way to save the labor movement in america is to give the unions back to the R & F. Excuse me, that does not empower my Fellow Workers. Let me rephrase that. The only way to save the labor movement in america is for the R & F to TAKE BACK the control of their unions. A priviledge is given. A right is taken by force and kept by force.
All Power to the Rank and File.

Anonymous said...

It is clear to me that the reason our international representatives do NOT desire real involvement from rank-and-file members is because, they are afraid of losing their personal power base. Someone better or more talented might come along and replace them. They're to busy protecting their positions, and excluding rank-and-file participation rather than moving the labor movement in the right direction. To many cowards running the official labor movement....

Frank Natalie (p4du)

thomas bennett said...

Here is the leadership of the IBT with postive prospectives to strengthen a cause and people question their motives.
About showing the way,the Teamsters have been very successful as of late by bringing in new members,looking ahead for the advancement of skilled labor.
The pot luck mumbo jumbo of what Stier and TDU add to this story is not a factor. TDU represents a very small portion of the general membership of the rank and file members of the Teamsters...Stier has bridges to burn.
The only group that has supposely seen a copy of the Stier report is a Chicago paper.....and if solid corruption ties to the Teamsters was the case....don't you think they would be running headline stories with facts instead of rumors or opinions? The "he said","they said" just doesn't get anywhere these days.

By the way......let's add some unconfirmed facts to the post,since many exist......

hasn't the TDU have some of their own problems with the Central States Improvement Committee,that they have formed,where some members asking about the makeup of that committee and those same members looking for a complete explaination of where the funds supporting that committee are and have been used?

Millwright Ron said...

Would you please add Union Millwrights at to your links page?
Millwright Ron