As most of you know, the recent West Coast port shutdowns were a butt-kicking success, especially in Oakland. The minor downside was that it was carried out over the objections of the longshoremen’s union “leadership”. Yeah, that’s right, a labor union got its panties in a twist over a militant mass action on behalf of the rights of workers. In fact, this cartoon was inspired in large part by the craven tap-dancing of the “leadership” of the ILWU. Here’s their poobah, Bob McEllrath:
“The ILWU has a long history of democracy, Part of that historic democracy is the hard-won right to chart our own course to victory.”
What victory, Bob? The only course I see modern union “leadership” charting these days is straight down the goddamn’ toilet.
But let’s move on, now, to our so-called comrades at the AFSCME, who recently endorsed Barack “Drone Strike” Obama for another term as El Presidente. AFSCME plans to scarf workers’ dues to the tune of $100 million to help re-”elect” a bloody-handed Wall Street stooge who plans to sign legislation giving the military the right to snatch and detain indefinitely anybody they damn’ well feel like. Here’s what their honcho, Gerald McEntee, has to say for himself:
“President Obama is the only choice for the 99 percent.”
He’s pulling our leg, right? Barack “Bailout” Obama, water boy for bankers, is the only choice for the underpaid, unemployed and foreclosed? Excuse me while I have myself a nice big Technicolor Yawn…
…ahh, that was satisfying. Now, let’s check out the NEA, representing our nation’s teachers, the men and women who bring out the spirit of curiosity, creativity and wonder in our children and crush it to death. They’ve also recently endorsed Obummer, in spite of the rank and file’s dissatisfaction with his cheerleading for charter schools and the corporatization of public education. Here’s the spin from their “leader”, Dennis Van Roekel:
“He (Obama) has never wavered from talking about the importance of education or his dedication to a vibrant middle class…”
…yeah, except when he’s sitting on his ass allowing the middle class to be thrown out of work and thrown out of their homes.
But, wait; it gets worse. The SEIU also recently declared its endorsement for Barack “The Assassin” Obama without even allowing its members to vote — and, adding insult to injury, the “leadership” of the SEIU co-opted the language of the Occupy Movement with this steaming heap of smarm:
“We need a leader willing to fight for the needs of the 99 percent … Our economy and democracy have been taken over by the wealthiest one percent.”
Yeah, and that leader isn’t going to be Barack “Sparkle Pony” Obama, a guy whose nose is so far up Wall Street’s ass that it’s a wonder he can even breathe. You’ll pardon my laughing until I piss myself.
Saving the worst for last, we finish up with the venerable AFL-CIO. As anyone with a long-term memory longer than that of a housefly will recall, the AFL-CIO was pretty much caught red-handed funneling cash — via the ironically-named National Endowment for Democracy and equally-ironically-named Solidarity Center — to Venezuelan rightists plotting a coup against President Hugo Chavez back in 2002. In addition, the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center (spit) is still active in efforts to destabilize popular, democratically-elected leaders in Venezuela and Colombia, using money from Federal grants via the State Department, USAID, and the NED. No wonder so many people call them the AFL-CIA.
So, given that the “leadership” of the ILWU, AFSCME, NEA, SEIU and AFL-CIO are endorsing Barack Obama despite his cozy relationship with Wall Street, corporate and banking interests, despite his obstruction of efforts to bring the Bush Mob to justice for their crimes, despite his warmongering in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, despite his horrendous civili liberties record, and despite his disregard for working people, am I still the only one here who thinks that the biggest obstacle to the struggle for workers’ rights is the goddamn’ unions — or, more accurately, the craven, hidebound union “leaders” who are in perpetual retreat and who identify more with the needs of corporations and political parties than with the needs of workers?
I’m no expert, but I think that any successful workers’ struggle in this country is going to be won in spite of the mainstream unions, not because of them.
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