IN AN unprecedented move, the American trade union AFL-CIO federation (the US equivalent of the TUC) issued a statement last Friday warning that the unions were prepared to intervene if president Trump carried out his threat to overturn the result of the Presidential election on 3 November if it went against him.
In this statement, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said: ‘The AFL-CIO categorically rejects all threats to the peaceful transition of power. The labour movement simply will not allow any breach of the U.S. Constitution or other effort to deny the will of the people.’
Trumka concluded with the warning: ‘America’s workers will continue to be steadfast in defence of our democracy in the face of President Trump’s antics, and we stand ready to do our part to ensure his defeat in this election is followed by his removal from office.’
Trumka didn’t outline exactly what action the trade unions would take but the threat that any attempt by Trump to cling on to power, using force if necessary, would lead to mass industrial action by the working class to drive him out of office is clear.
That the AFL-CIO leadership are supporting Democratic candidate Joe Biden is not surprising; they have always thrown the support of the trade union bureaucracy behind the Democrats.
What makes this leadership statement astounding is that, for the first time, they are being forced by the working class into openly declaring that the unions are prepared to mobilise the strength of workers to remove Trump who is trailing Biden in all the polls.
This statement appeared even before Tuesday night’s presidential debate between Trump and Biden, a debate that quickly descended into utter chaos and name calling between the two men.
What did emerge from Trump, however, was a ramping up of his threats that he would never concede defeat to Biden whatever the result.
Along with all the wild and ludicrous accusations that Biden was some kind of socialist, Trump went out of his way to blame ‘the left’ for violence while pointedly refusing to condemn white supremacists and the violent groups like the Proud Boys.
In an open incitement to violence to keep him in office, Trump directly appealed to the Proud Boys, a far right group noted for their violence against left-wing protesters, to stand by saying: ‘Proud Boys, stand back and stand by!’ He added ‘somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.’
Trump has taken the lead in the war being waged by US capitalism to inflict its massive economic crisis onto the backs of the American working class.
The direct result of his policy of forcing workers back to work during the coronavirus pandemic, has been to make the US the world leader in Covid-19 deaths with over 200,000 Americans dying from the virus.
With over 28 million workers on unemployment benefit while millions more simply dropped off the official figures, Trump has presided over pumping trillions of dollars into the pockets of the bankers, the big companies and their shareholders with the full support of Democrats.
The bitter struggle between the two bourgeois parties is a reflection of the bankruptcy of American capitalism and its political parties reeling under the impact of the world crisis of capitalism.
This crisis has caused this historic breakup of bourgeois democracy as the two parties fight over the crucial issue facing the ruling class of how best to impose the crisis on the backs of the working class.
There can be no doubt that the American working class will make the AFL-CIO leaders make good their threat to bring down Trump. In fact they are prepared to go far beyond what a Democrat administration wants.
The burning issue today is not just to kick out Trump but for the working class to go forward to take the power and bring in socialism.
The working class must force the trade union leadership to break with the bourgeois Democratic party and go forward immediately to building an independent American Labour Party to fight for socialism.
What is also required is the establishment of a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International as a leading part of a US Labour Party to lead the struggle for a Socialist United States of America.
This can only be achieved through a socialist revolution that smashes the US capitalist state and nationalises the economy under workers management to bring in the new socialist society whose motto will be from each according to their ability to each according to their need.