WITH capitalism in its greatest crisis, and with tens of millions of jobs and tens of millions of people’s lives being destroyed after the collapse of the banking system, there is an enormous revolutionary anger and hatred building up in the working class of the world against capitalism, capitalists and bankers.
This is at the same time as bourgeois governments of all kinds, including Labour governments, are handing billions to the bankers and the bosses to save their system, while the working class and the middle class are suffering.
These governments are now very hard pressed and are desperate for support to push through their policies. It is at this time that the trade union bureaucracy has come forward to offer its services for defending capitalism.
Instead of calling for the nationalisation of the industries, they are telling workers that they must make sacrifices to save the capitalists, and that there is no other system possible.
In the United States the assistance of the trade union leaders is absolutely vital to save the ‘Big Three’ motor car giants, GM, Ford and Chrysler, and also the rest of the capitalist class.
This has reached the point where the Obama transition team officials have held a unity meeting with the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win trade union federations, and the 3.2 million-strong National Education Association teachers’ trade union, to tell them that Obama wants them to re-unite in one trade union federation, so that they can all the better enforce the anti-working class deals that they will be a party to.
The union leaders said of the meeting: ‘The goal is to create a unified labour movement that can speak and act nationally on the critical issues facing working Americans.’
GM and Chrysler have just received billions of bail-out money from Bush. Bush is insisting that this means that there must be no strikes or work stoppages and that wages, pensions and health benefits must be cut in the UAW organised factories to the level of the non-union car plants in the southern states.
This kind of deal is going to be the rule in the major US industries.
The administration has no hope of making these measures stick, without the active support of the union leaders. This is why they want only one trade union federation to make policing and enforcement easier.
The bosses and the union leaders are joining forces to make the working class pay for the crisis. The union leaders are being absorbed into the state.
Such union leaders must be dumped, and revolutionary trade union leaders put in their places to fight for socialist policies, including the nationalisation of the major industries.
The US model is now being imposed in the UK. The leaders of the TUC, UNITE and the GMB say openly that government, employers and trade union leaders must work together to save capitalism.
Leaders such as Woodley and Simpson are calling for government bail-out aid for sections of the motor car industry, and in return will ‘deliver’ wage cuts, speed-ups and redundancies, so that the bosses can restructure.
Where car factories face closure, such as the Vauxhall plants, they will fold their arms, be very understanding about the problems of the bosses and do nothing.
If any industry should be nationalised to save hundreds of thousands of jobs it is the motor car industry, but Simpson and Woodley refuse to make the call.
They are the labour lieutenants of capitalism, who are now uniting with the bosses and the government to try and save parts of the capitalist motor car industry. They want to become the junior partners of the capitalist enterprise.
These union leaders are not servants of the working class, they are servants of the employers.
They must be removed and replaced by leaders who will lead the struggle to defend jobs, wages and basic rights with occupations of plants threatened with closure, and with a national struggle for their nationalisation.
There has to be a trade union leadership that will defend the real interests of the working class and will set out to resolve the crisis by expropriating the bosses and the bankers and establishing socialism.
This is the way forward.