FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Labor, the Environment and the Occupy Movement

For many of us that have been involved with the Occupy movement from its onset, we find it questionable that the UAW is attempting to co-opt the movements language.

The leadership of much of organized labor has proven to be almost completely out of touch with the Occupy movement and its rank and file members from day one in Zuccotti Park and more beholden to its 1% bosses.

I would suggest that the UAW send representatives to the General assemblies and take part in the May 1st international call for a General Strike. This would be adding some real world relevance to a labor movement that is sorely lacking in leadership.

We are well aware of the corrupt politics that control your union as well. The suspension of the constitution to ratify a terrible contract with FIAT/Chrysler for example, and the undercutting of the skilled trades workers.

If organized labor wants to play a role in this movement and we know that some elements do, then the leadership is going to have to look beyond paychecks to human and ecological issues.

For the occupy movement both nationally and internationally some things are not negotiable — Wars based on lies, Tar Sands, Nukes, The corporatization and modification of our food supply, Fracking, and Coal are all non negotiable.

The UAW does not oppose any of these on ecological grounds or idealogical grounds. Therein lies the problem. The UAW of Toledo supports a political machine tied to WAR spending that is sucking trillions of dollars out of our local economies to be spent on foreign wars based on lies.

Yesterday Obama announced that he is fast tracking the southern portion of the keystone xl pipeline, another grave sell out to the planet in the face of drastically rising temperatures. The UAW of Toledo backed a regressive congresswoman that supports this pipeline, tars ands in general, nukes, coal and fracking.

The UAW supported a congresswoman who is anti-choice, opposed to marriage equality and doing nothing to champion real health care reform which would be Universal Single Payer healthcare.

Occupy is calling on you to look beyond these constructs of the 1% to a peaceful, safe and green renewable future.  Organized labor risks compromising itself out of any relevance and out of existence.

Joining the Occupy Spring on MAY DAY can change that. Joining the general strike that has been called for is the only hope for a desperate planetary situation.

The time to act is now and that means making a real break from the 1% that have been pulling your strings for decades. Whether it be the Defense contractors that finance our congresswoman, or the new Mafia bosses of Chrysler, or the Oil and Nuclear cartel, this movement is not about compromise, it is based on principles — something it would be good for organized labor and activists that claim to care about social justice should try to find again.

Michael Leonardi lives and works in Toledo, Ohio and along Ohio’s North Coast. He can be reached at mikeleonardi@hotmail.com

More articles by:

Michael Leonardi lives in Toledo, Ohio and can be reached at mikeleonardi@hotmail.com

Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
David Yearsley
Bollocks to Brexit: the Plumber Sings
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail