EAST MOLINE, Ill. — The 10,000 striking members of the United Auto Workers at John Deere are setting an example for working people. They’re using their union to push back against decades of attacks by bosses, fighting to end divisive wage tiers, improve working conditions and win raises that keep up with inflation. They need and deserve as much solidarity as we can mobilize, as do other fighting union members on strike today.
What strikers don’t need is the anti-union campaign carried out by an outfit calling itself the Socialist Equality Party. Its online-only publication, the “World Socialist Web Site,” has a long record of trying to demoralize and divide labor struggles by calling on workers to quit their unions.
True to form, an Oct. 15 article claims that “the UAW, like all so-called ‘unions’ of today, is not a workers’ organization but a labor police force working on behalf of management.” The union, the website claims, “is working consciously and systematically to isolate and defeat the strike.” They call for workers to break from the union and join what they say is a “John Deere Workers Rank-and-File Committee,” whose only address is the WSWS website.
What a gift to the bosses and their government, who hammer away at the claim that the unions are corrupt and workers are better off without them!
This group’s provocative actions are used by some union officials to tell workers not to talk to the press. This undermines one of the strongest weapons workers have to win support — getting out our side of the story.
Workers face serious challenges, and today growing numbers are using our unions to fight. We need to build more solidarity to strengthen every one of these struggles. In the course of combating the bosses, we can rebuild a fighting labor movement.