Monday, November 15, 2010

It's a declaration of WAR: Confessions of a Union Buster

I have been starting many posts in the past week and unable to finish them because my mind simply darts to another place. It's where I am at right now, I am swarmed with many many details of the daily organizing and many apprehensions. The retaliation came down full-force in a way I (naively) did not expect. It's a humbling experience -- I have a whooooole lot to learn about labor organizing on the job.

I have an amazing community of activists around me who have taken up our struggle and supported my coworkers and I in strategizing and anticipating what comes next. I thank everyone who is putting their time and resources out there to help us. I dont know if this round of organizing is going to succeed and it is very hard for me to accept that. One way to look at it is just, learn from the mistakes and move forward. The system was made for us to fail it so any victory needs to be built on many past lessons. The support from comrades around me definitely doesnt make the organizing less fearful and intimidating, but it makes it feel more purposeful. We have to remember that management is being such a jack-ass now because they thought we were stupid, dumb immigrants and could do no better than SUCK IT UP. Until now: they see that we are capable of a "slow-down", of organizing on the job, of coordinating among ourselves, of solidarity.

This is a video clip recommended to me by some labor organizers, a series of speeches drawn from the book, "Confessions of a Union Buster." "It's the same playbook that they will use." Right now those fuckers think I am a union organizer, even though I truly am not --- in the bigger picture yes, but not right now and definitely not for the business unions which they think I am a part of!!

Check it out:
Confessions of a Union Buster
Role of the Supervisor
How to beat the Union Buster [Fighting Back!]

Watching this is super-depressing. It is the most concrete ways in which capitalism and the bosses try to defeat the working class. Add the cops and the state to this -- it's an all-round warfare: MIND BODY SPIRIT HEART everything, they wish to grind up and destroy, and they will! To stop solidarity from fluorishing, to divide and conquer explicitly...

There is no false consciousness. There is no deluded worker. If workers believe the bosses it is because the bosses have managed to shape reality to reflect their material and ideological interests. Our glimpses of solidarity and teamwork feel like exceptions to a hard, cruel, brutal world that looks at $, that looks at rising food prices, rising educational costs and healthcare. What can solidarity buy you?

Yet it is exactly that kind of thinking we need to smash. We need to begin to show GLIMPSES of how material reality is also shaped by solidarity, love, support, teamwork etc and we need to imagine how things can change for all of us if these values thrived at the workplace and in society. We need to overcome the divisions they so deliberately, so wealthily, so forcefully, so brutally, enforce.

It's war time. Are we ready for it?
I am taken by shock into this and I don't feel prepared. I need to know my coworkers are on board for me to feel more confident about this.

Some things I have to do next:
-Innoculation: innoculate against the bosses' offensives
"when innoculation is put in force by the union, it translates into rage and solidarity: how can the company do this? solidarity instigated by rage is impossible to penetrate"

- Exposure: the most effective weapon is EXPOSURE to the point of over-exposure -- find out how much they are paying the union busters [re: LM 20 and LM10]

- Careful of the Supervisors and the language of race divisions they will use: Filippinos vs. Ethiopians

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