UAW convention

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Thu Jul 9 08:24:28 PDT 1998

MScoleman at wrote:

>Doug succinctly points out the fact that UAW national leadership is trailing
>the country in supporting the strikes of their own union members. The sad
>fact is, this is all too typical of numbers of unions. As a more general
>question, how can this pattern be fixed? Generally, it is the most tame and
>bureaucratic of union members who get sent to conventions, thereby insuring
>the re-election of the bureaucracy (in general this is true -- certainly in
>the CWA, my alma mater). Also, when mavericks get elected on an individual
>basis, they almost always become part of the conservative pattern, rather than
>changing the conservatives to more progressive actions. So, in the words of
>whatshisname: what is to be done? If elections tend to perpetuate the status
>quo, and if occasional activist leadership persons tend to be co-opted, the
>how do unions become more the front line of defense for the working class? Do
>we need all new unions? Do we need a new movement? Is there some way to push
>existing unions into class action?

How much difference does direct election of union leadership make?


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