Labor strategy

Unfortunately for autoworkers, steelworkers and the rest of the country that works for a living, Doug Fraser did not linger long on his promise to return to the labor strategies and tactics of the 1930s.

The UAW turned instead to full-blown, dog-eat-dog, company unionism and conceded over a million of its members' jobs. And they are not done yet.

BUT, getting back to the sitdowns of the 30s, it's still a great idea:

"In July of 1978, Douglas Fraser, President of the United Auto Workers, resigned from John Dunlop's Labor-Management Group in a flurry of publicity. The committee had been set up under the Nixon administration to seek out cooperative solutions to labor-management problems and to pass advice along to the White House.

"Although the group was supposed to reflect the postwar consensus in labor-management relations, Fraser's public resignation and the press conference that accompanied it shredded the fiction of that consensus with brilliant rhetorical barbs that sent shudders of concern all the way to the Carter White House.

"I believe leaders of the business community, with few exceptions, have chosen to wage a one-sided class war today in this country—a war against working people, the unemployed, the poor, the minorities, the very young and the very old, and even many in the middle class of our society," he declared. "The leaders of industry, commerce and finance in the United States have broken and discarded the fragile, unwritten compact previously existing during a past period of growth and progress." Promising to forge a new social movement, he explained, "I would rather sit with the rural poor, the desperate children of urban blight, the victims of racism, and working people seeking a better life than with those whose religion is the status quo, whose goal is profit and whose hearts are cold. We in the UAW intend to reforge the links with those who believe in struggle: the kind of people who sat-down in the factories in the 1930's and who marched in Selma in the 1960's," Fraser declared."
- Jefferson Cowie


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