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

December 17, 2018
Susan Abulhawa
Marc Lamont Hill’s Detractors are the True Anti-Semites
Jake Palmer
Viktor Orban, Trump and the Populist Battle Over Public Space
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Fights Proposal to Keep It From Looting Medicare
David Rosen
December 17th: International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers
Binoy Kampmark
The Case that Dare Not Speak Its Name: the Conviction of Cardinal Pell
Dave Lindorff
Making Trump and Other Climate Criminals Pay
Bill Martin
Seeing Yellow
Julian Vigo
The World Google Controls and Surveillance Capitalism
ANIS SHIVANI
What is Neoliberalism?
James Haught
Evangelicals Vote, “Nones” Falter
Martin Billheimer
Late Year’s Hits for the Hanging Sock
Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail