Saturday, October 26, 2019

NYC Labor for Bernie Aims to Raise Profile in Unions

I attended my first Labor for Bernie (L4B) meeting last week which was held at 50 Broadway, ironically a building owned by the UFT. There were union members from a variety of NYC unions - DC37, iron workers, Transit, Teamsters, UAW -  with the biggest contingent being from the UFT. That group included a few of my former MORE colleagues - and I made sure to keep my back against the wall at all times.

It is hard to come up with a general approach to pushing Bernie as a candidate in unions depending on the general views of the members, the level of control exerted by the leadership, and other factors. For instance, there was a Transit Worker guy there (oh, and let me point out that this meeting was overwhelmingly male - and white). He pointed out that the former head of the TWU had endorsed Bernie but he was now head of the national TWU so there was now a different dynamic.

There was someone there who worked with the Teamster opposition faction, Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), but the Teamsters are not viewed as a whole as Bernie territory. But I found out that Teamsters rep many work areas, including some college teachers and nurses.

It was interesting that the meeting was being chaired by the same guy from MORE who chaired so many of their meetings, one of the more recent recruits to MORE over the past two years from the Democratic Socialists (DSA) who worked with the ISO faction in the purges and takeover. I assume the moves inside L4B is part of the overall strategy of the MORE/DSA group. Watch for a campaign around this issue coming out of MORE.

I had been aware of L4B due to the work of Mindy Rosier, who has been on the Bernie team from Day 1 and was a delegate to the 2016 Dem convention, one of those who were pretty critical of the Randi/AFT/UFT early support for Hillary.

Mindy is another ex-MORE who found the actions of the current MORE leadership pretty despicable and has now joined Unity and was elected to the Ex Bd which is so interesting given that the UFT leadership is so anti-Bernie. We know they will never back Bernie and we know that Mindy will try to be a delegate to the Dem convention where Randi is a super delegate. That should be fun.

One experience of the progressives pushed out of MORE who had been anti-Unity has been that if the opposition acts as bad or worse than the union leadership, why not go with them? I personally don't agree with that point and in fact find myself in more agreement with positions MORE takes but can't support them because of their leadership.

So there is this interesting dynamic of the undemocratic socialists of MORE (USoM) pushing a line in the UFT that the AFT should have a democratic process in choosing the presidential nominee. Former MOREs are snickering and doing LOLs. I keep thinking of a dog biting its own tail.

Mindy is enormously popular inside the L4B crew due to her hard work over the years. As someone new to this group I will follow wherever Mindy goes politically. If she works with the MOREs I will bite the bullet and join her. As the UDoMs push for a "fair" process inside the UFT it will be fun to watch how things play out.


6 comments:

  1. Probably not a good idea for unions to go all-in for an elderly Socialist (!) heart-attack survivor who is sure to go down to resounding defeat in a general election (if he, in fact, becomes the Democratic nominee).

    Perhaps we could find a Dem who is not for dismantling our union-won private health insurance and does not have the word 'socialist' as a descriptor. In other words, back a guy/gal who supports us (teachers) and has a shot at winning the presidency.

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    1. Perfect! Bernie is a communist. There are no unions in communist countries.

      "The goal of socialism is communism."

      Mass murderer, Vladimir Lenin

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  2. I am voting for Bernie. Warren just doesn’t do it for me. I don’t care what kind of education plan she releases. Biden is completely full of shit. Harris can’t find her way out of a paper bag. If Booker wins, I’ll vote Republican. Buttigieg should go back to Indiana.

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  3. And anything Vlad says goes for Bernie too. Capitalist George Bush was a mass murderer. Why not quote him too?

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  4. It's OK to be a mass murderer for our right wingnut. As long as it's your mass murderer.

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  5. Communism is responsible for over 100 million deaths in the 20th century. That is a fact. You then do your usual ad hominen act because you never really can discuss anything rationally.

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