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News :: Labor
Anti-labor union socialists? "World Socialist Web Site" and SEP Oppose Labor Unions
09 Aug 2015
(Labor union protest in Quincy Center)
Click on image for a larger version

Quincy - Union Construction Workers Protest in Quincy Center.png
From an article on the New York City school bus drivers labor union strike --- February 2013

"On the other hand, the World Socialist Web Site of the Socialist Equality Party positively encourages and feeds on demoralization as a result of the defeat of the strike. The SEP is a dubious outfit of anti-union, reformist political bandits. Dubious, because its main leader is the owner of a non-union (scab) printing plant in Michigan. Anti-union, because they actively try to get workers to leave unions, and side with employers in telling workers not to vote for unions in representation elections. Reformists because they pretend that that the aim of a workers government should be “ending the rule of the financial oligarchy and the reorganization of economic life to meet human needs, not private profit” (WSWS, 18 February). What’s needed is not simply “reorganizing economic life” to sideline the bankers but a socialist revolution.

The SEP writes (WSWS, 23 February) that in this strike, “The union itself was fighting for interests that were separate and hostile to those of ordinary workers.” This is a fundamental falsehood. Like the media and the union leaders themselves, they equate the union with the bureaucracy that sits atop it and feeds off it. Yet the basis of the union is the membership, and the ranks of drivers and matrons were out there on the picket line desperately fighting for their interests. When they chanted “ATU 1181” they were referring to themselves. The union tops reflected different interests and a different agenda not in calling the strike but in calling it off.

The labor bureaucracy, what American socialist Daniel DeLeon called the “labor lieutenants of the capitalist class,” is a contradictory layer that seeks to act as a buffer between the bosses and the workers. They support the capitalist parties and imperialist wars. The bureaucrats are an obstacle to workers’ struggle, which must be swept out in order to win; the bosses are the enemy. Failing to understand this crucial difference would spell defeat for workers. The task that faces us is not to get rid of the unions, but to oust the bureaucrats, break with the Democrats and all capitalist parties, and build a class-struggle leadership fighting for a workers party on a program for a genuine workers government that can put an end to the capitalist system of war, racism and poverty and open the road to a socialist society of abundance for all."
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