/union/ - Trade Unions General

Why are you not a union member yet, Holla Forums?


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also can we post some syndicalist and deleonist theory in here?

There are five links to tons of theory, I would be more interested in personal experience.

In the US, labor unions (thats what they're called in the US) have fought for a lot of shit. Many liberals will take credit for worker programs and protections, but without socialist unions striking, the vast majority of those things wouldn't exist. Not only that, but I remember reading how unions played a role in the civil rights movement.

But I am

Used to work for Kroger, joining their union is obligatory to work there.
They were just corporate's HR department, they 'negotiated' a significantly worse contract for us last year, and lied to the proles working there to get support for it.
Through numerous troubles like obscene working hours and my department having 2 workers fired and 2 more transferred away, they did nothing to pressure the company to hire more. I and a 55 year old lady had to work 80 hour weeks for 2 months before they hired anyone.

I'm a member of my city's IWW. By far it is the best leftwing group in my city because it's actually focused around working class organizing. We do a lot of work with incarcerated workers too and it's pretty cool that a couple of guys in the union now had a one point been in prison and helped either by us or another closely affiliated left wing group while they were inside.

De Leonist Gang

the de leonist gang G R O W S

Jesus Christ m8 that sounds horrible. In what way was your union structured? I have a few friends who work for Kroger's but I've never asked them much about their union.


Your wish is my command:


But you still may get the chance to see Chairman Dore and Commissar of economic coordination Wolff take power; the fight never ends: nay it has only just begun.

Because they're dead.


I live in a right to work state. The only unions left are extrmely old legacy types, bottling companies and industrial workers and whatnot, who are barely hanging on to their leverage as is.
Interesting thing about the burger perspective on unions even in states like mine, where right to work laws have demonstrably made things worse for everyone, is that the anti-union rhetoric we're forced to watch during training is generally just swallowed whole. Class-consciousness is so low it's genuinely demoralizing at times.

So while I have full support for unions, and a support in my heart for Eastern Airlines levels of bloody-mindedness ("The company is dead, but we beat the CEO"), I have to wonder what the ideologically appropriate response to "unreasonable" union behaviour is. (While everything that follows will by nature sound union-skeptic, they're relatively outlying cases. It's not uncommon for me to come up a syndicalist on political tests since I think wage-setting should be a three way process between the state, employers and unions - with like a 95% unionised workforce.)
There are two examples I would consider.
One is Eastern Airlines itself. Now in that case, the CEO was a notorious corporate raider who used scab labour and had backstabbed unions in the past, so the collapse was basically inevitable. But assuming we get rid of Lorenzo (the CEO), there's the underlying problem that wages had to fall for a while if the company was going to survive. It happened across the entire airline industry, and Eastern had a string of past mistakes that made it all the more essential.
Once it collapsed, the employees generally went on to lower paid, lower seniority, possibly non-union positions elsewhere, or to unemployment, which is obviously less desirable than lower pay (but better than starting pay) and saving the company. (Again, provided there's a new CEO)
good documentary on Eastern.

The other would be Britain during the 1970s, where individual unions made rational decisions but there was a bit of collective irrationality to the whole thing. Accepting wage restraint was painful, and pushing for a 5% restraint in 1978-9 was a mistake on the part of the government (though inflation was then 8%), but in responding with mass-militancy in a period where an election was becoming inevitable, they basically guaranteed that a sympathetic Labour government was replaced by a strongly anti-Union Conservative one. (This too may have at first seemed rational, given the memories of Heath's rash behaviour in 1974, but as we can see it didn't quite work out.) Had the government not engaged in wage restraint policies at all, it would've been vulnerable to the charge of doing nothing to stop inflation (not to mention, inflation itself), and again anti-Union forces would come to power.
This one above has particular relevance for economic management (which as I argue, unions should have a strong role in). In controlling inflation it would seem there are basically two key options - you can use price-and-income controls (i.e. wage restraint), or you can hike interest rates (so less people can afford to borrow and your currency doesn't devalue, causing inflation due to higher import costs.), and while wage restraint is completely undesirable to unions, the latter is what we got throughout the 1980s which made union-busting easier since it destroys companies in debt leading to high unemployment.

With all that said, the gains from a more reasonable approach in 1979 wouldn't be amazing - probably not the maintenance of full employment, etc. The likely process that would have happened were Labour returned in 1979 is that unions would've been slowly cauterized like those in Australia seem to have been, as opposed to rapidly assaulted as they were under Thatcher and Reagan. That'd probably still leave a more desirable position for rebuilding, though.

Unions are dead or non-revolutionary. Get over it.

>>>/walmart/ is the place to begin unionizing the most blatant and untapped source of anti-union sentiment

unions a shit
I worked in a factory where joining a union was mandatory
obviously it was mandatory to pay dues as well
nobody never asked me about the terms of union contract, it was signed behind closed doors
every time I had problems with my superiors some union office rat was "negotiating" with me, basically saying that I need to bend over because economy is shit

unions are outbated shit :DDDDDDDD
they can bossibly be conbidered revolutiobary in the 21st century since the inbrustrial worker is no longer revebant :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD
we beed unions that unionize service inbustry workers and truck brivers :DDDDDDDDDDD

Hypothetically, if such option existed, could you leave this and join a more radical union?

Modern unions should cultivate loyalty to a cause, not acquire slightly better wages from management. Workplace action and disobedience, not voting campaigns.

All the things that are the most likely to be automated in the coming years.

We need to be targeting tech workers instead, who are all totally class cucked as of now.

They can't even do the wages part.

Targeting tech workers is more a job for the Red Guards or Symbionese Liberation Army.

Their wages are shit so targeting theb for organization is necessary :DDDDDD
amd theyre being driven down eben futher by wage thebft bosses who steal tibs :DDDDDDD
no money mo problems :DDDDDDDDD
truck brivers are the most bommon job in the us and automation of them will call riots. cabitalism doesnt keep jobs for ebonomic burboses anymoar they beep jobs bor politic beasons so they can create consumers and probucers :DDDDDDDD
I abree we need stem people and hackers on our side like mr robot :DDDDDDDDD
hacbers will be the next revolutiobaries :DDDDDDDDDDDD

Most of our production is in the third world.
unions in the first world have never successfully organized against capitalism, they have only bargained for higher wages, better working conditions, more stuff. thus delaying revolution.

Read Sam Williams

Unions are dead because socialists were chased out, and only socialists have the power to bring them back. Even if the Fordist factory model is dead, that doesn't prevent the rise of unions, nothing can, because they're a natural consequence of class antagonism.

You mean the cyber deleonist gang

Not really, no other kroger union exists that i know of.

I dont know too much about how its structured, they invite members to a meeting once every year or two to vote on contracts.
Otherwise all we can do is call our local representative who doesnt really do anything

big surprise, anarchist has no idea what he's talking about

The service sector is not going to be automated any time soon.

Uphold Marxism-De Leonism-Cockshottism.

For those complaining that unions are no longer radical; this is to no fault of unions themselves but rather the eradication of syndicalism in the early 20th century and socdem hijacking of union power by turning them into corporate shilling orgs.
If we revive syndicalism then it would give a cause for radical unionists to gain political confidence and conciousness to start and grow radical unions. You have to think outside the box and not be dragged down by current circumstances.

Have you considered trying to organize a clandestine union beside the official one?

I'll be joining the IWW once I finally find a job. It's fucking impossible where I'm from in my predicament.

Uphold Jeffersonism-Lincolnism-Marxism-De Leon Thought!

I've had a number of shitty jobs, none of them union. The circumstances of the modern workplace lead me to believe clandestine unions would be the only effective kind. The amount of red tape and pitfalls you have to navigate just to establish a union are huge. Once you actually get a union you're playing by porky's rules, limiting resistance to bilateral negotiations so your retarded coworkers can go on nicer vacations.

Daily reminder that Eco-Marxist-Deleonism with Cockshot charecteristics is the only true way towards socialism in the US

Combining Bookchin, De Leon, Marx and Cockshot sounds like the only way of unifying leftypol too.

Tbh but I think the best praxis is pulling portions of each tendency and trying to combine them. Taking the best of each.
Some things are contradictory and require either compromise or choosing between them. But you can be a Stalinist and still implement Bookchins focus on the environment and conservation into your lexicon and political objectives, as but one example

Hello Eco-Stalinism user

I was originally making a joke but in all honesty you make a very good point.

The real question is how does one start a union? Is there a manual on how to do it? I've heard there were workers trying to unionize Walmart but were fired. Why wouldn't every worker unionize?





Has anyone organized or experienced organizing? Story time please!


r/ some propaganda to get people organized.

Literally all of these are in the service sector.

The relevant union don't support anything left of socdems because they think workers are supposed to aim for a more amiable relationship with the bourgeoisie. Quite literally.

Union members are by an large much less ideologically servile to capitalists than non union guys in the same trade, in my experience

But I'm sure since syndicalism isn't going to cause FALC to descend from the heavens it's not worth leaving your armchair for, right?

Stronger Labor Unions Could Do a Lot of Good
Nothing else has been able to stop the decline in workers' bargaining power.


What do unions do with all their dues? Serious question some of these union leaders make more than the worker. I think union leaders should be a volunteer positions so it cannot corrupt. If anyone has any theories or answers please respond :3

Legal fees are a significant part of it I imagine.

A Trade Union needs a fairly significant full-time staff to run anything more effective than a single workplace dispute.

You need full-time organisers to help run branches and districts (part-time branch officials can only do so much), as well as act as representatives during disciplinary disputes that require a more in-depth knowledge of the law than a lay Rep might have.

You also need administrators, support staff, communications staff, campaign planners, managers, lawyers, graphic designers, web designers, recruiters, branch secretaries, senior organisers, regional secretaries, junior secretaries, tech support, and the general secretary and political department.

Basically, they're all full-time jobs (some more than full-time, and will stipulate that in the contract), and I'd be surprised if anyone could do it part-time for free.

The pay is above average, the pensions are good, the hours can be horrific, and if there's an industrial dispute, say goodbye to your weekends and holidays.

A significant amount of the dues will also go to local branches, allowing them to run properly, as well as to send delegates to conferences, national congresses, etc.

A chunk will also go to whatever party the Trade Union supports electorally (if the Union in question is affiliated to any).

t. Britbong who used to work for a medium sized Trade Union.

I visited my local UFCW for a talk and the liberal feminists there were bragging about their relationship with Kroger, and shilling for them. The lecture they gave was about how the way you talk to your local politicians was to tell them a sob story. This is who is in power to help the working class: liberal, middle-aged white women.

militant labor is fucking d e a d

Fuck everything

Do you have some stories to share?

Sure, what sort of stuff do you want to know?

Everything anons could learn from!

This bump

Apologies, just getting round to it.

I mostly worked out of the national office, but still had some contact with the lay and branch structures as well as the Union leadership.

We were quite lucky in that our Union was experiencing growth in some areas, whilst most others were collapsing in numbers (including the two biggest TUs in the country). Nevertheless, most of the traditional branches were non-functional and had to be merged together in order to allow people access to Shop Stewards, Health and Safety Reps, etc.

The Union was geared quite strongly towards a very Democratic way of functioning, with Branch Democracy and the ability of lay members to apply towards positions in the Union (ask their workplaces to elect the Union Reps, and then run to be Branch Secretaries, etc.).

That said, about half of the full-time officers were fairly middle class leftie types who had got the job after graduating University, the other half were time-servers who had worked their way up into paying positions. There wasn't that much of a clash of ideas (it's too busy to facilitate much day to day politics within the office), but the younger University types were more keen on direct action, publicity stunts, etc., while the older crew tended to put more emphasis on keeping the bureaucracy running, making sure that the members were happy, etc.

Politically, the views of the various officers and staff members were all over the place. Most were members of the main Social-Democratic Party in the country, some were on the left-wing of that, some on the right-wing, a chunk were non-political. As for the average member? Probably close to a fifty-fifty split between those who would vote for the Conservatives and Social Democrats. Most of the membership was pretty a-political.

The reputation of the Union was very good in some industries, and terrible in others. If you were lucky enough to have a good Branch Secretary, good Full-time officer and both didn't have too much on their plate, they could really organise some workplace militancy if they put their mind to it, teaching the workers what their rights were, how to recruit your comrades, etc. Other times, (where the FTOs were busy and the Branch Secretaries crap) there could be real problems (Union Officials sharing offices with Management, going for drinks with them, refusing to listen to the rank and file).

Overall, I'd say it's worth being in one, and even getting involved a a Youth or Branch level, the job opportunities can be good, but it's also quite clear that there's next to no revolutionary potential in any of the main ones.

I wish I could join a union, though I can’t really since one doesn’t exist for my line of work.
I am a post doctoral researcher in an academic lab. It’s sort of a weird limbo between being a professor and grad student. Also the “boss” vs “worker” dichotomy isn’t the same since there really isn’t a product i am being exploited for. Instead my labor is knowledge, which I know does classify, but its different. No profit or surplus value is generated from my labor (at least not directly), I simply disseminate this knowledge for free to the human race. Further, my salary technically comes from the federal govt, although my “boss” (who is more akin to a mentor or guide) can choose to hire me or not. It’s basically obligated mentor ship.
All that being said others in my position are absolutely exploited, I am just lucky. The exploitation is done largely for career advancement for the “boss” and not for a surplus value. So unions could be useful. However since the federal government dictates our salaries striking at your workplace is virtually useless. The only thing we have are federal lobbies who do a decent job

So tldr its a tricky career which I have a difficult time understanding in a Marxist lens

I'm really interested in this topic. I think we need to unionize big corporations like Walmart. In the past they would close down departments and even the entire stores to stop unionizing. Is there a way to make liberals aware of this then getting them to help us? Imagine a nationwide Walmart protest. They can't shut down every Walmart in the USA.

We should focus here. Unionize the major companies like Amazon, Apple, etc.


Liberals and the unions, even “left” mainstream unions like 1199 and UFW, won’t touch Amazon or Walmart with a ten foot pole.
Actually good unions (UE, IWW) are too underfunded to work mass action, and they plus the ILWU have their efforts undermined by AFL-CIO.


Interesting post

Automation is a meme.
Let's take self service grocery store lanes for example.
The usual structure is 4 automatic lanes all next to each other. However, they require at least 1 person to monitor the process and help customers. Preferably it would be 2 employees.
What's going on is that the efficiency of 1 employee is being doubled. The capitalist answer to this would be to hire half tge staff, but there's a better way that we should pursue in policy and union collective bargaining: don't fire anyone, but cut the required working hours in half and double wages.

My dude graduate student organizing and adjunct organizing is some of the most promising union work being done today. Richard Wolff reports on it pretty reg.