This particular article deals with the West Virginia teachers’ strike, which has been going on for quite a while now. I doubt that many of you have heard about this strike, since workers and workers’ rights are of little to no concern to the corporate and CIA owned and operated mainstream media. You can read the article, if you so choose, but what I am about to write really doesn’t deal with this particular union issue. I am writing this post to share my experience and views on American unions in general.
I come from blue-collar, union-membership stock. So, needless to say, for most of my life (during my completely asleep and unaware years), I was a rabid supporter of unions and unionization. In particular, during my working years, I belonged to five different unions: The Teamsters and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), when I was young, and then later, the Local Musicians Union, Communication Workers of America (CWA) and The National Education Association (NEA), when I was teaching. And all five of these unions would prove in the end, to be absolutely worthless, when it came to protecting and serving me and my fellow union members. The only thing these unions were good for was taking our dues every month. These unions had sold me and my fellow workers out to those who had all of us enslaved and at their mercy: the corporate-capitalist elite-swine.
Today, unions have almost been done away with. For instance, in 2017, only 10.7% of American workers were unionized (see here). And as the article above reveals, even this 10.7% of Americans have no clout, have no power, when it comes to dealing with the elite-swine who own the companies/corporations and the local, state and federal government. Hell, these days, Americans can’t even find a decent job worth having!
The problem with the unions is the same problem we the individuals have always had with the local, state and federal government: union workers agree to be represented by their ‘elected’ union officials, who always promise to represent (protect and serve) them with the powers that be. And then, as soon as these representatives are elected, they are immediately bought off by the very powers they were elected to protect their union brethren from. This is the same old shit, different day syndrome that has kept working-poor Americans enslaved and suffering at the hands of the elite-pigs at the top, since the beginning of this bald-faced, capitalist-pig lie.
As teacher struggles spread, unions redouble effort to suppress class struggle
By Jerry White
9 March 2018
Protests and demands for strike action by teachers and other school employees are spreading throughout the United States in the aftermath of the nine-day walkout by 33,000 West Virginia educators and public school workers.
Teacher struggles are erupting in Oklahoma, Arizona, Kentucky and other states, along with Jersey City, New Jersey. Later this month, 30,000 school service employees will vote for strike authorization in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest school system, serving 734,641 students.
The state affiliates of the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) betrayed and shut down the strike of West Virginia teachers after cutting a deal with billionaire Governor Jim Justice on Tuesday. The bill passed by the state legislature and signed by Justice does nothing to address strikers’ main demand: to fully fund the state’s public employee medical insurance program and end impossibly high out-of-pocket expenses. To add insult to injury, the meager five percent raise for teachers will be funded through deep cuts in social programs.
The West Virginia strike exposed the unbridgeable gulf between the teachers and the unions. The struggle began as a series of one-day strikes organized independently of the unions in the southern coal counties, which spread to all 55 counties. The unions called a two-day statewide walkout on February 22–23 and then were forced to extend it before suddenly announcing an agreement with Justice and ordering teachers back to work on March 1.
But rank-and-file teachers rebelled and voted to defy union leaders and continue the strike. This came as a shock to the governor and state legislators, with Republican state senate leader Mitch Carmichael calling the movement “more like an uprising.”
The unions shut down the strike just as it was gaining momentum and inspiring other sections of workers to walk out, including 1,400 Frontier Communications workers in West Virginia and Virginia…
And then there is this:
How the CIA Infiltrates Trade Unions
Published on March 6, 2018
by Olav Boye translated from the Norwegian by Terje Maloy
The CIA is the infamous, criminal intelligence agency which is the mastermind behind a long series of attacks on legal, elected political leaders and massive interventions to create chaos in countries are in the United States’ bad books. By creating conflicts with help of paid agents and assassinating political leaders, they have fomented violent regime changes in numerous countries, Now it has the reputation of being a violent organization which is in the service of the US political leadership. The list of its criminal activities is long, but no one is punished for these crimes.
The CIA is heavily involved in the area of organized labour. Their aim is to sabotage trade unions and to hinder their the battle against negative globalization and abuses from multinational corporations and global financial institutions. The main labour union in the United States, the AFL-CIO, is the backer of American Institute for Free Labor Development – AIFLD, an organization which has supported right wing unions and political organizations, especially in Latin-America. Amongst other things, the AFL-CIO cooperated with the CIA and AIFLD to subvert and overthrow Salvador Allende, the democratically elected president in Chile, and his leftwing government.
AFL-CIO is the backer of international ‘Solidarity Centres’ that exists in 60 countries around the world. My experience with this from Macedonia was an aggressive interpreter who misinterpreted and constantly interrupted my lecture to an assembly from the Cultural Workers Union. My lecture was an orientation on the market liberalism in the European Union and globalization, where my opinion was that this greatly harmed the trade union movement’s struggle for political and professional rights. The interpreter was employed by the Solidarity Centre in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, after her education in Florida. She claimed that people like me were communists and were destroying the labour movement. These claims were debated in the assembly, but the audience demanded a new interpreter. Solidarity Centres buy trust in the labour unions with amongst other things free computers and money grants. Here we can see the infiltration from the AFL-CIO – or the AFL-CIA, as some people like to call them.
During Ronald Reagan’s presidency the AFL-CIO was given substantial economic support from NED, the National Endowment for Democracy, one of CIA’s front organizations. In the Third World, they were better known for undermining activist trade unions than for their support of the labour movement’s professional and political struggle.
One example is the support to Lech Walesa’s Solidarity-movement in Poland. Human rights organizations both inside and outside of the US have accused the NED of «interference in other countries’ internal matters». There have also been accusations that entire organizations were created to legally continue the CIA’s support to political actors in countries where the agency was banned from operating, and that it therefore is the «heir» to CIAs covert work.
One fact frequently mentioned is that because the foundation is private, it is possible for it to operate freely where governmental agencies are bound by US laws. According to the Columbian journalist and writer Hernanado Calvo Ospina, this view was confirmed to a large extent by the foundation’s first director, Allen Weinstein, in an interview with Washington Post in 1991, where he stated that “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”
Through my work with the international labour movement, I have on several occasion been approached by people who directly or indirectly tried to recruit me to their negative activities. By this I mean CIA-agents amongst labour leaders in ITUC based in Brussels, and Germans from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), which we know was, and possibly still is, financed by the CIA.
We can also look at the Ola Teigen-affair in the late 1960s, when money from the CIA went to The International Union of Socialist Youth, the international organization the biggest political youth organization in Norway, The Workers’ Youth League, belongs to. Of course the money went via the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. It is commonly known that the George Soros’ Open Society Foundation is in the same business, to great harm for all communist and socialist trade unions.
After the so called Carnation Revolution in Portugal in the mid 1970s, when leftwing officers seized power from the fascist government, I was hired by the Worker’s Educational Association AOF to run seminars in cooperation with Portuguese trade unions. I lived in Portugal for several months, arranging seminars and meetings, and afterwards we jointly selected people for further education at the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions’ own school in Sørmarka. During a seminar in Porto, I noticed that two guys were sitting in the back of the room. They were not participants, and during the break I asked them who they were. They represented the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), and had the same mission as I, to train trade unionist cadres.
When I arrived in Lisbon a few days later, I was contacted by a representative from the Norwegian embassy, who informed me that I had been taken off the mission and was going home. Later I got to know why. During the meeting in Porto, a construction worker had asked me if they should organize a broad trade union movement for all political groups, similar to the Nordic countries, or if they should have an ideological split like in Spain, where socialists, communists and Catholics each had their own trade union. My answer was that a broad union movement is preferable. The guys from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation did not like to hear this, since they were in Portugal to fight communists and radical socialist. It has long been well known that FES was financed by the CIA and that their mission was to make sure the labour movements in Germany and other places in Europe did not get radicalized or would become obstacles to the imperialist policies of the EU and the United States.
After the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I, as secretary for the Nordic Graphical Union, was sent to Sarajevo to strengthen the Graphical Trade Union in this war-torn country. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation was of course also active here, to steer the political direction of the Bosnian trade unions. Here it was not a matter of cooperation, but of diktat from FES and the global trade union ITUC. They had an admitted CIA-agent, Rudy Porter, in their headquarters in Brussels, supposedly representing American trade unions. The representative of FES in Sarajevo, who was under Porter, was highly critical of my negative attitude to globalization and the EU’s market liberalism, which I freely discussed with my Bosnian colleagues. He claimed I was dead wrong and wanted me to join his team, to stop communists and socialist from getting any power in the labour movement in the former Yugoslavia. On commission from the graphical unions in the Nordic countries, I continued our positive work to rebuild the Graphical Union Organization in Bosnia.
In December 1999, I received a phone call from the leader of LO, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, who asked me if I wanted to accept a mission in Montenegro. It was on behalf of the general secretary of the ITUC, Bill Jordan, an splendid British trade unionist whom I knew previously from my work as secretary general of the Graphical International Union IGF. He wanted me to do some work in cooperation with the trade union in Montenegro. I asked for some time to consider the offer and called an American friend of mine in the ITUC. He went out to a phone booth on the street to call me back and tell me that I would be working under the CIA and the same Rudy Porter who I had met in Sarajevo. He was now responsible for the ITUC’s entire work in the Balkans and still got his payslip from the CIA, according to my colleague. I told the Norwegian trade union leader about this connection, and declined the offer to work with the trade union in Montenegro under such conditions.
CIA and the organizations which collaborate with it organize political criminal operations in a number of countries, including Norway. The trade union movement is an important target for the CIA and their political masters.
Their target is that trade unions won’t fight against multinational corporations, global financial institutions, powerful lobby groups and other opponents of trade unions. There can be no doubt that the CIA works systematically to subvert trade unions and political parties on the left, as more people than me can document. They have to a large degree succeeded – globally, in Europe, as well as in Norway.
Olav Boye is former secretary general of the International Graphical Federation. Translated by Terje Maloy.The article is Creative Commons for non-commercial purposes.
We the individuals of this world have no clout left, when we give away our power (‘our consent’) to a few to ‘represent’ us; whether the few be ‘elected’ political figures or trade union ‘representatives’. Our only power lies in our own individual strengths, which if were ever united together, would put an end to this worldwide, tyrannical system/order, this corporate-capitalist-fascist hell on earth!
But as I see it now, this will never happen; we the individuals will remain divided by religion, race, color, nationalities and varied, numerous political ideologies, none of which have ever served we the individuals, not for one moment. The political and religious ‘saviors’ (left, right and middle) all claim to have the answers to all of our problems, when in reality, all these religious/political types have is an opinion and an ego that would choke an elephant. Whether it be socialism, communism, capitalism, or any other ‘ism’, you name it, in the end, we the individuals will end up powerless, with little to no control over our own lives, our own destiny.
By continuing to play these mind-fuck games, we the individuals continually give up our universal/natural right to control our own lives, our own destiny. We the individuals continue to allow these religious and political hierophants to turn us into beasts of burden, gathered into manageable herds: nations, religions, nationalities, cities, states, etc, etc. The evidence for this is history itself, and this hell-on-earth world we exist in today.
Once again, there are no saviors coming. If we the individuals cannot escape this hell we have helped to create, if we cannot save our selves, then we are doomed.