Even in their weakened situation, the unions have the power to stop the white supremacists in their tracks. Instead of putting out an occasional statement and occasionally endorsing a march or rally, the union leaders can call out their members and families to lead a real united, working class opposition to the white supremacists.
In Berkeley CA, for example, the white supremacists are supposed to be trying to make a statement on August 27. A
“March Against Hate” is planned in response. The Alameda County Central Labor Council has endorsed this march as have a few local unions. But how many of their members will know? What will the Central Labor Council actually do to get its affiliated local unions involved? What will the leaders of the affiliated locals do to get their members involved?
We should be clear: These white supremacists are not just a threat to people of color, not just a threat to left protesters (such as the young woman who was murdered by them in Charlotsville); they are a threat to the entire working class and to the only working class organizations in the US – the unions. In the past, these groups have been used to attack workers on strike and to attack union organizers. They will do so again.
In 1946, the Alameda County Central Labor Council organized the Oakland General Strike. It can do so again, along with the active support of the affiliated local unions. But, realistically, we know that this leadership is not going to do that. They won’t even organize a fight for the most immediate interests of their members. So it is up to the rank and file members to organize to make their unions do what they were built to do: Fight for working class people.
The fight against the white supremacists is linked with the fight for jobs and wages for all.
- For a union campaign to stop the white supremacists! Labor to shut down the city of Berkeley on
- Link the fight against white supremacism with the fight against Trump’s drive to war and the fight for decent jobs and wages for all!
- Build a mass working class party with socialist policies!
We urge union members to get active and organize with their fellow members to make their unions really build the fight against the white supremacists. Others, outside the unions, can directly contact union workers by leafleting union work places. It’s all very well and good to get the leadership to pass resolutions and endorsements of events like the August 27 “March Against Hate” in Berkeley, but that is not enough. We have to go directly to the union rank and file to get real action.