I am now in Seattle seeing what the Kshama Sawant campaign is doing. I just went to a meeting of some members of the International Association of Machinists. These are members who opposed the last contract – naturally some of the strongest unionists in their union. I introduced myself as a retired carpenter and an expelled member of the carpenters union. Before I had the chanceto give a single word of explanation, one of the IAM members jumped up, ran over to me, gave me a hug and said “that’s my kind of guy.”
It used to be that such an introduction would immediately raise suspicion — did this guy steal union money? Did he scab? Nowadays it’s just assumed that he stood up to the representatives of the employers who are running our unions.
That is a sad state of affairs in our unions.