UAW convention

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU
Fri Jul 10 16:29:31 PDT 1998

On Fri, 10 Jul 1998, Enrique Diaz-Alvarez wrote:

> This is very nice, but exactly how do you lump together $30,000/year
> clean-room technicians and $60,000/year engineers in the US, on the one
> hand, with $2/day workers in Mexico or even $3/hour US McDonalds
> employees, on the other? Can you convince them that they have common
> class interests? Do they really have common class interests?

Yes they do. They're all working for giant greedy corporations who don't give a damn about human life or worker happiness or the planetary ecosphere or anything at all except the pockets of the rentiers who own them. Of course, different groups require different organizing strategies; engineers can often set their own wages, by playing one employer off against another during economic booms, forcing companies to raise their wages; their issues are the problems of overwork, burnout, lack of professional opportunities, adequate childcare, intellectual property rights for their inventions, a say in workplace management etc. McWorkers, on the other hand, are far more brutally exploited. Both groups need unions, just in different ways: the former need protection during downturns, the latter need hefty wage increases and mandated benefits. The European unions show that you can indeed organize engineers, scientists, doctors, and professionals of all kinds; why not do the same in the US?

-- Dennis

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