Nationalism and the union bureaucracy

Britain: Behind the disciplinary action in the Unison trade union

By Julie Hyland, 28 September 2009

The disciplinary action taken by the public sector union Unison against several of its members raises important issues of political perspective.

Britain: Nationalist campaign by Unite union bureaucracy over Vauxhall-Opel takeover

By Robert Stevens and Julie Hyland, 25 September 2009

The sell-off of General Motors’ European operations, Opel and Vauxhall, to the Canadian-Russian consortium Magna has elicited a poisonous “us first” response by the trade unions involved.

What is the AFL-CIO?

By Barry Grey, 18 September 2009

At its convention this week, the AFL-CIO chose a new president. One measure of the decrepitude of the union federation is the fact that the leadership change barely registered on the public consciousness, least of all among workers.

Vale Inco strike: Labour bureaucrats promote nationalism

By Carl Bronski, 10 September 2009

As the strike at mining giant Vale Inco enters its ninth week, union leaders continue to promote the illusion that the attacks launched by the transnational corporation on the 3,300 striking workers is due to the fact that the company is headquartered in Brazil.

Britain: Total Oil sacks 647 striking workers at Lindsey Oil Refinery

By Robert Stevens, 22 June 2009

On June 19, 647 construction contractors were sacked at the Lindsey Oil Refinery construction site, in Lincolnshire, England.

Britain: Van maker LDV sacks more than 800 workers

By Robert Stevens, 16 June 2009

Last week, administrators PriceWaterhouseCoopers announced that nearly all 850 workers employed by the Birmingham-based van maker LDV are to be made redundant.

Britain: RMT Tube workers face union busting and organised scabbing by drivers’ union ASLEF

By Paul Mitchell, 12 June 2009

Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union workers yesterday ended a two-day strike on the London Underground against plans by the company and its parent body Transport for London to cut over 1,000 jobs.

The Opel fraud

Opel: Magna deal means layoffs, wage cuts and splitting of the European workforce

By Dietmar Henning, 6 June 2009

The German government, the IG Metall trade union and company works councils are attempting to portray the deal struck by General Motors, Magna and the Russian state bank Sberbank as a success, although 11,000 jobs are to be slashed, a number of European GM plants closed down, and drastic wage cuts imposed on the remaining workforce.

New York Times on the UAW’s corporatism: a rewriting of history

By Tom Eley, 4 June 2009

A recent column by New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse portrays the UAW as an antagonist of the Big Three, capable of advancing the interests of its workers. The organization’s history over the past four decades proves otherwise.

UAW, Inc.

By Jerry White, 23 May 2009

The transformation of the United Auto Workers into a business entity is the culmination of decades of betrayals and degeneration in which the UAW apparatus developed material interests separate from, and hostile to, the “members” it claimed to represent.

The ETUC’s Days of Action—a cynical manoeuvre by Europe’s trade union bureaucracies

By Stefan Steinberg, 19 May 2009

ETUC protests on Saturday aimed at covering up their nationalist tracks. To this end, the union bureaucrats are quite prepared to utter denunciations of the finance markets, but these criticisms should not be taken seriously.

The Unite trade union “March for Jobs”

A PR stunt in the defence of British economic nationalism

By Robert Stevens, 19 May 2009

On Saturday, Britain’s largest trade union, Unite, organised a demonstration in Birmingham in the West Midlands which was attended by about 5,000 people.

Unions, Democrats sponsor reactionary “Keep it Made in America” rallies

By Jerry White, 15 May 2009

This week’s “Keep It Made In America” rallies were aimed at diverting popular anger over mass layoffs and concessions in the auto industry and channeling opposition down the reactionary path of economic nationalism and militarism.

Britain: RMT rail union launches nationalist platform for European elections

By Julie Hyland, 7 April 2009

The No2EU platform of populist nationalism is the outcome of the protracted degeneration of the labour and trade union bureaucracy and its incorporation into the capitalist nation state.

Britain: No2EU and its rightwing bedfellows

By Julie Hyland, 7 April 2009

While the specific origins of No2EU are unclear, its pedigree is firmly on that wing of the political spectrum associated with the Conservative Party and “little Englander” nationalism.

Report exposes false claims of British unions’ “Britons First” campaign

By Robert Stevens, 21 February 2009

A report from the industrial tribunal ACAS into the dispute at the Lindsey oil refinery in Lincolnshire has exposed union claims that British workers’ wages and conditions were being undercut.

German union seeks to divide European and North American GM workers

The reactionary politics of economic nationalism

20 February 2009

The actions of the Opel shop stewards and IG Metall bureaucrats exemplify the reactionary logic of economic nationalism.

Trade unions extend nationalist campaign to defend “British jobs”

By Robert Stevens, 18 February 2009

Recent unofficial strikes at power stations and oil refineries across the UK and an official walkout on February 11 were conducted on the basis of the nationalist demand of “British Jobs for British workers.”

The “Britons first” dispute: What constitutes a progressive defence of jobs?

7 February 2009

The Socialist Party and Morning Star have claimed victory in the “Britons first” refinery dispute. But at what cost?

Nationalism and the British trade union strike

5 February 2009

The strike at the Lindsey Oil Refinery in Lincolnshire, Britain, on the basis of a nationalist program of defending “British jobs for British workers” raises fundamental issues for the working class internationally.

Britain: Refinery dispute becomes focus of shift to protectionism within Labour

By Julie Hyland, 5 February 2009

The refinery strikes over jobs for “Britons first” have become the focus for a shift to protectionism by the trade union bureaucracy, which is also finding expression within the Labour government.

Socialist Party offers yet another apologia for “Britons first” refinery dispute

By Robert Stevens, 4 February 2009

The Socialist Party’s demand for “Union controlled registering of unemployed and locally skilled union members” is only window dressing for a “Britons first” policy.

Stalinists and Socialist Party defend “Britons first” refinery protest

By Julie Hyland, 3 February 2009

The Stalinist Communist Party and the Socialist Party are seeking to defend the demand for “British jobs for British workers” at the centre of the oil refinery dispute.

No concessions! No job cuts!

Canadian auto workers must join with US and Mexican workers to advance a socialist alternative

By Socialist Equality Party, 19 December 2008

Seventy years ago auto workers in Canada and the US joined forces to found the UAW because they recognized that to fight the giant auto companies they needed to unify their struggles across the Canada-US border. Today in the area of integrated global production--where the transnational corporations systematically seek to pit workers against each other, placing production wherever the greatest profits can be wrung from the workers--auto workers cannot take a step forward unless they consciously organize themselves as an international force, organizing industrial and political action across national boundaries and continents.

Why the UAW and the Democrats are pushing economic nationalism

18 December 2008

With anger among auto workers against the politicians, the companies and the UAW leadership growing by the day, both the Democratic Party and the union are attempting to whip up economic nationalism as a reactionary diversion.