Ian--I doubt if you or even Max realizes how seriously pissed off
Steelworker and other manufacturing workers are at this time.
represents hundreds of thousands of really unhappy campers. I
very seldom do
any pissing or moaning on this list---let me tell you we have got
plenty to piss
and moan about. Out there in your state, the Kaiser Aluminum
debacle is just a
little taste of what's going on across the nation. Even in
places that never
have problems there are serious rumblings about working conditions and the
future of the workplace. These trade deals are killing us and
don't care if we have to go below the belt to stop them.
We can have all the most wonderful alturistic motives in the
world; that's not
what counts when your dealing with corporate politicians. The
only thing that
counts is what kind of heart attack you can give them.
I had the good fortune to meet John Goodman and other Steelworkers at pre-WTO conference in Olympia during the month of October. I listened as John and Don Kegley [one of the founders of the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment] recounted both the horrors of the lock outs in Tacoma and Spokane and their eco-religious experiences while deep in the Headwaters Forest.
I marched with them shortly after dawn N30 from Victor Steinbruck park in Seattle. They embody the most promising aspects of a potentially enormously fruitful blue-green alliance that needs greater solidarity over the long haul. The issue of China weighed heavily on their minds, yet they knew in their bones and stated in no uncertain terms that the biggest long term problem for workers and greens everywhere was the US gov/corp complex, the BWI's and the authoritarian ethos that pervades capitalism.
Clearly, labor and greens need to do one hell of a lot of work on forging substantive analytical links between industrial organization, sustainability and workplace democracy, not just in the US, but everywhere workers and communities hunger for an alternative. Enlisting local enviro. chapters to help with fighting corporate crime [lockouts, dumping of pollutants etc.] is a great step in the right direction. Removing the institutional barriers to these tasks are gonna take a long time, but following the KISS principle seems to imply that attacking and dismantling those multilateral institutions will demonstrate to workers/citizens in other countries that US workers are inward gazing no longer. This in turn seems to imply that getting sidetracked on attacking individual countries is counterproductive; after China, should we go after Turkey, Mexico, Colombia? Where does it stop?
Yoshie is right; we have to start here at home and continue sending, by any and all means necessary, two simple messages until those who fear democracy yell uncle or medic!
An injury to one is an injury to all -and- workers of the world unite, we have nothing to lose but a planet.