Junior Hoffa & Leadership

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU
Sun Jun 28 20:26:59 PDT 1998

On Sun, 28 Jun 1998, Tom Lehman wrote:

> Getting back to the subject of leadership. Many years ago a wise old
> labor pundit told me on the subject of union leadership, " I've seen
> them all come, and I've seen them go...the steelworkers, autoworkers,
> teamsters always remain." In other words, leadership changes, the rank
> and file member is the only constant.

And that, in a nutshell, explains why aforesaid pundits have waxed fat and fruitful, with their lush consultancies, sinecures, and foundations, while the American workingclass has been worked over with the cattle prods.

What we need isn't leadership, what we need are truly democratic unions which do not *need* leadership, but are membership-run and predicated on constant local organizing/solidarity campaigns in the community. We need many, many more TDU-style radical bastions within the labor movement, labor groups on the campuses and universities, etc., in conjunction with a no less grassroots-oriented Labor Party or Green Party, of course.

-- Dennis

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