UAW convention

Michael Eisenscher meisenscher at
Tue Jul 7 23:58:00 PDT 1998

At 09:11 PM 7/7/98 -0400, Doug Henwood wrote:

>Herb Kaye writes of the UAW national convention in the July 4 issue of
>People's Weekly World:
>"Many delegates and millions of supporters around the country looked to the
>convention to formulate a program of solidarity with the more than 9,000
>UAW members on strike against two General Motors plants in Flint, Michigan.
> They have been out since early June in defense of their jobs and safe
>working conditions. Hoever, the convention was never allowed to deal with
>that struggle.
> Several proposals for action voiced by many delegates, including a
>national rally in Flint, were rejected by UAW president and convention
>chair Stephen Yokich.
> Yokich said the battles in Flint were local strikes - thus precluding
>the convention from taking action. Convention delegates seemed puzzled by
>this position but indicated general confidence in the union's leadership by
>unanimously reelecting the incumbent officers and their slate of regional
>I guess the electoral style appeals to the CP.

["....The American electorate seemed puzzled why a system deemed to be superior to any other in the world would continue to produce such blatant corruption, inequality, scandal, malfeasance, racism, sexism, consumer debt, homelessness....but they indicated their general confidence in the direction the country was taking by reelecting Bill Clinton, the leadership of Congress, and virtually any other incumbent whose palms had been properly greased and who had provided value in return during their previous term...."] Now there's incisive, critical journalism at its best, reflecting a deep understanding of how labor institutions operate, how union leadership perpetuates its reign, and how democracy works on the floor of the UAW convention! With reportage like this, who needs the Wall St. Journal? Well, at least I still have my subscription to LBO!

> Kaye, after quoting speeches by AFL-CIO boss John Sweeney ("employers who
>put workers last in their pursuit of profits - it is wrong!") and Economic
>Policy Institute director Jeff Faux (who denounced NAFTA and cheered the
>defeat of fast track, went on to quote Yokich saying "local strike, local
>issues," and concluded:
>"Like the Flint Sit-down Strike that brought them the UAW in 1937, the
>present generation of Flinto autoworkers have made and are making an
>historic contribution to the struggle for job seucrity of all working
>people in the United States - a struggle that deserves the support of all
>trade unionists and progressive-minded people." Including the UAW
>leadership, wouldn't you think?

Wonder what Bob Travis would say about that?

In solidarity, Michael

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list