GM strike: a question (off-list)

Justin Schwartz jschwart at
Mon Jun 29 19:54:21 PDT 1998

On Mon, 29 Jun 1998, Mike Yates wrote:

> Friends,
> "Final Offer" is available from California Newsreel, 149 9th St., #420, San
> Francisco, CA 94103. I do not remember the rental or purchase price, but it
> probably is not too high. One interesting thing about the film is the
> absolute domination of men in the UAW. Not a woman on the bargaining team.

Well, for what it's worth, my boss at UAW Legal, one of the Assoc Gen'l Counsels, was a very tough black woman. The Legal Dept is headed by a man, Jordan Rosser, but the Associate Genl Counsels are pretty evenly split, I think it's 4-4. As far as I can tell, the women have equal responbilities and opportunities, they don't get stuck with second class work. Several other depts, and not just service depts, are headed by women--PR, for one.

Now, I grant that Legal is sort of isolateed from other parts of Solidarity House; we do legal stuff, oddly enough, and don't make policy. But I think that the unrelievadely horroble impression of the UAW that's being promulgated on this list is misleading and erroneous. Sure, it's a rather stick in the mud labor bureaucracy. No, it's not a revolutionary organization. Yes, a lot of my comrades in New Directions spend a good deal of time eyeball to eyeball with their local unions and the International. It's far from perfect. But it's not the old Teamsters or MIneworkers or Laborers or the East Coast Longshoremen. It's fairly honest and within the blinkered limits imposed by a foolish commitment to DP politics, progressive as US unions go--one of the more progressive. It needs to be democratized. But it shouldn't be demonized.


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