“We call on the labor movement to break from the Democratic Party, and build a class- struggle workers party.”
So reads the conclusion of a resolution passed by IUPAT (Painters Union) Local 10 in Portland, Oregon. At a time when many white union members are supporting Trump, this call from Local 10 is the answer. We urge all members of other union locals to bring up motions to send IUPAT Local 10 letters of support for their resolution. A follow-up step could be for the locals that support this position to jointly call for a conference, along with community groups such as those protesting against the police, the Native Americans protesting the North Dakota Access Pipeline, etc. in order to take the first steps towards making this a reality.
The full resolution reads as follows:
No Support to the Democrats, Republicans, or Any Party of the Bosses
Whereas the bosses have two parties to represent their class while the millions of working people have none, and
Whereas the Democratic president Barack Obama sent the U.S. Coast Guard to enforce scabbing against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union during the 2013-14 lock-out of northwest dock workers, and
Whereas the Democratic governor Kate Brown opposed and undercut the movement for a $15 minimum wage across Oregon, and
Whereas in 2014 Democrats in Congress joined with Republicans to pass a disastrous pension “reform,” allowing the bosses to escape their obligations and cheat our retirees, and
Whereas the two presidencies of the Democrat Barack Obama have been eight years of unending war in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, causing untold human suffering, millions of refugees, and attacks on our democratic rights at home, and
Whereas the Democratic Party in power has deported some 5 million immigrants, a record, and
Whereas across the country, from Oakland to Baltimore, police under Democratic mayors regularly murder black men and women with impunity, and
Whereas the 2016 presidential election offers us the “choice” between a raving, bigoted clown and a career representative of Wall Street, and
Whereas the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Virginia governor Tim Kaine, supports union- busting “right to work” laws, and
Whereas Democrats and Republicans are and have always been strike-breaking, war-making parties of the bosses, and
Whereas so long as the labor movement supports one or another party of the bosses, we will be playing a losing game, therefore be it
Resolved that IUPAT Local 10 does not support the Democrats, Republicans, or any bosses’ parties or politicians, and Resolved that we call on the International Union to repudiate its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president, and Resolved that we call on the labor movement to break from the Democratic Party, and build a class- struggle workers party
Approved at the August 17, 2016 Regular Meeting of the Membership
Categories: labor, politics, United States
I completely agree that both capitalist parties are a disaster, and have been a Green for decades now.
HOWEVER, calling for unions to leave the 2 parties is not enough. We also have to find better ways to organize. There are only 11% overall union membership, and 7% in the private sector.
Workers and community members have to unite and organize together. Yes, neighbors often join picket lines and help boycott. But community and neighborhood organizations also need to survey workers in local shops and help them get into unions. Will our present unions allow that? If not we need a whole new labor federation, and a drive on the level of the 1930’s CIO to create it.
I’m not sure what you’re asking. Will the present unions allow new members in? In the great majority of cases, yes.
That doesn’t mean we don’t need “a drive on the level of the 1930s CIO”, but it would have to be a drive to transform the existing unions, to make them really fight for their members, and for all working class people. A fight around the issue of being tied to the Republicans/Democrats would be part of that drive. If you click on “labor” on the subjects of the home page of this blog site, you’ll see a lot more about what needs to change in the unions. You can start with the Labor Day, 2016 article, for example.