US trade unions organising for a general strike if Trump refuses to leave

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WITH LESS than two weeks to go before the US presidential election on November 3rd, president Donald Trump’s former national security advisor John Bolton has added his voice to the growing view that Trump will refuse to leave office even if defeated.

In a CNN interview broadcast last Sunday, Bolton said: ‘I think it’s very troubling (Trump) has said “I can’t lose unless there’s fraud”.’

He warned: ‘Let’s be clear: Trump will not leave graciously if he loses.’

According to Bolton, what will determine the outcome rests with the leadership of the Republican Party, saying he believes Republicans are ‘ready’ to deal with Trump and that ‘I don’t think they will stand’ for Trump refusing to stand down if he loses.

In fact, the Republican Party leadership have never stood up to Trump but supported him every inch of the way to cling on to power.

Meanwhile Democratic Party leaders, while sounding the alarm about Trump’s repeated statements that he will not go peacefully, are in agreement with Bolton that it depends on Republicans ‘doing the right thing’ and joining with Democrats in insisting he accept the election results.

The Democrats offer no real alternative to Trump and have gone along with all his attacks on the working class with only token opposition.

They are as scared as the Republicans of upsetting the apple cart of capitalism in the US to the extent of allowing a virtual ‘coup’ by Trump. The powerful US working class has no such qualms however.

Last month Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO federation (the US equivalent of the TUC), issued a statement warning that the trade unions are prepared to intervene if Trump carries out his threat to overturn the election result if it goes against him.

Trumka didn’t elaborate on what the unions would do in this statement, but it soon became clear that trade unions and workers across America are organising to take national action and are calling for a general strike make sure Trump is removed.

On October 8th the Upstate New York-based Rochester Labour Federation, AFL-CIO, which represents over 70,000 workers, unanimously passed a resolution calling ‘on the National AFL-CIO, all of its affiliate unions, and all other labour organizations in the United States of America to prepare for and enact a general strike of all working people, if necessary, to ensure a Constitutionally mandated peaceful transition of power as a result of the 2020 Presidential Elections.’

A few days later this demand was taken up by a meeting of the representative assembly of the Seattle Educators Association, which voted to call an emergency meeting within seven days of the election to determine if there had been ‘interference’ and then call a further meeting to vote on ‘work action’.

The US Postal Workers Union in Detroit has issued a warning to its members to be prepared to resist a ‘coup’ and issued a leaflet which asks its members to pledge to ‘take to the streets if a coup is attempted’ and that ‘if we need to, we will shut down this country to protect the integrity of the democratic process.’

The struggle being played out between the two bourgeois parties over how best to impose the massive crisis of US capitalism on the backs of the working class represents a historic breakup of bourgeois democracy.

In this situation, the rapid development of a political national general strike (unprecedented in the history of America) opens the way for the working class to organise not just to bring down Trump, but to go far beyond a Democratic administration by going forward to take power and bringing in socialism.

This requires the working class to force its trade union leaders to break decisively with the Democrats and immediately build an independent US Labor Party to fight for socialism with a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International playing a decisive role in this party in the struggle to smash the US capitalist state, expropriate the bosses and bankers, and advance to a Socialist United States of America.