Sunday, November 18, 2012

Which way forward for the Oakland Port Workers Assembly

How can the Oakland Port Workers Assembly support the SEIU 1021 strike - building the class wide solidarity needed to win a non-concessionary contract? 

We have seen many one day strikes (the CNA makes a regular practice of using them as do the European trade unions) and they do not result in winning contracts. In fact, they are used by the union leaderships who tie the workers to the capitalist bosses’ political party, as a pressure release valve when leadership feels heat from the rank and file. However, in this period of capitalist crisis non-concessionary contracts will not won by one-day strikes or even a series of them.

Our support for the strike action at the port by SEIU 1021 this week must be unwavering and show that the Assembly is mobilizing boots on the ground and bringing the information about the Port to our co-workers and communities.  But we would be remiss if we were to say nothing about the failed strategy of one-day and limited duration strikes, about who promotes them, the whys  and how’s and that they disarm the working class.
Our assembly has a choice to make.  Will we limit ourselves to doing the work the labor council should be doing, substituting ourselves for the work the accumulated resources of labor (under control of the leaderships) should be put too?   Of course we must!  But this is not enough.

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