The rise of class struggles in the United States pits workers against unions

There are a number of manifestations of the significant growth of the class struggle in the United States, which pose fundamental questions of perspective for the working class.

At Columbia University, 3,000 graduate students are fighting “COVID-19 austerity” and demanding living wages, health benefits and child care. In Worcester, Massachusetts, more than 700 caregivers have been on strike for more than four weeks to speak out against the dangerous understaffing during the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, large sections of industrial workers joined the ongoing strikes, including 1,300 workers at steelmaker ATI in the northeastern United States and 1,100 miners at the Warrior Met coal company in Alabama.

Left, workers set up a picket line at Hunts Point Market on January 19, 2021 (WSWS Media). Right, the Columbia Graduate Student Strike (WSWS Media).

These struggles are part of a growing movement of workers internationally, including a one-day general strike against the cap on wage increases in Belgium, a four-day strike of 2,000 Amazon workers in Germany, a strike of 2,000 coal miners in Bosnia and Herzegovina for unpaid wages, and a planned walkout of primary teachers against the reopening of schools in the face of the rise of the pandemic in France.

This is just a first manifestation of the enormous growth of social antagonisms around the world following the ruling class response to the pandemic. The subordination of public health to the profits of the rich has led to more than 2.8 million deaths worldwide, including more than 560,000 in the United States alone. At the same time, the pandemic was used to orchestrate an unprecedented bailout of the rich, followed by a massive restructuring of class relations to force workers to bear the cost.

Every struggle of the working class directly raises the question of the reactionary role of corporate unions like the AFL-CIO in the United States, which serve to suppress the class struggle and which, when they cannot avoid a strike, isolate it. to beat her. The “unions” intervene not in favor of the workers they falsely claim to represent but in favor of the employers against the workers.

At Columbia University, the United Auto Workers union, which covers graduate students, is working to isolate the strike by New York University (NYU) graduate students, a few miles south, which part of the same local union. Last month, the president of the local union UAW revealed that she planned to end the strike before a strike vote in NYU. The UAW is doing nothing to mobilize autoworkers behind the graduate students and everything to keep them from knowing about the strike.

See Also:  How long is the flight to the USA from Alabama - the best service for calculating flight time

Meanwhile, the UAW is starving graduate students on the picket line with meager weekly strike pay of $ 275, while it controls a $ 790 million strike fund.

The Massachusetts Caregivers Association (MNA) – the largest statewide organization of the National Nurses United – with 123,000 members, isolates the 700 caregivers in Worcester while paying them no compensation. strike. Instead, the MNA forces them to beg for support: it operates a Venmo account to receive donations from the public to pay for the living expenses of caregivers.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.