Labor's Failure in D.C.

Stephen E Philion philion at
Tue Apr 18 15:09:38 PDT 2000

I simply think Andy's argument should be read carefully. I disagree with the stance on China trade, but monolithic portrayals of the AFL-CIO will not help make any progress on that issue, for those who would like to see it changed.

Luxemburg made an argument I believe in Reform or Revolution that the way to strengthen the left is by making alliances with progressive sectors of the labor movement, real alliances. Those kinds of alliances can't be made if we argue that the movement is a monolithic entity...


Stephen Philion Lecturer/PhD Candidate Department of Sociology 2424 Maile Way Social Sciences Bldg. # 247 Honolulu, HI 96822

On Tue, 18 Apr 2000, Andrew English wrote:

> I know people in the Washington DC metro LP chapter worked hard on the
> A16 demo.
> What I heard is that the A-16 Mobe went to the Public Policy division of the
> AFL-CIO first and thats why the endorsement got stalled. Once they finally
> talked to
> Jobs With Justice and the Field Mobilization department, things went much
> smoother.
> According to a friend of mine, if they had known who in the bureaucracy to
> talk to first,
> the endorsement would have been made 3 weeks earlier, and with an earlier
> AFL endorsement
> I think there probably would have been more unionists there.
> Even with all the weaknesses of labor's participation, the most striking
> aspect is that
> they supported it, period. Can you imagine Lane Kirkland being part of this
> action?
> Meany and Kirkland are spinning in their graves right now.
> Changing the AFL is a process. Linking up with the right folks in the AFL
> is also a
> process. It's not a monolith anymore.
> I also suspect there were forces in the A16 coalition who probably aren't
> that supportive
> of linking up with "big labor", so there are obstacles on both sides.
> -Andy English
> >
> >Regarding the Labor Party, at the 'wrap-up press conference'
> >on C-Span held by Movement for Justice, they said the LP
> >had played an important role in the organizing, and they
> >had Tony Mazzochhi speak. So maybe the LP was more of a
> >factor than evident.
> >

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