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It is something to think about!

HOW IN THE hell has the number of unionized workers in this country fallen from 49% in the 1950's to 15% today?  We face a steadily rising nation-wide unemployment rate.  At least 40 million Americans are living below the poverty line.  At least 45 Million are without any health-care coverage.  Over 2 million Americans are rotting away in our prisons. Over 1500 died from the poverty draft... What does everyone think we, should do about it?

I'll touch on this a little if I may. I'll do so from my personal observations of unions in this country over the last 3.5 years.

During the last 3.5 years, I've worked for three of the largest unions in the county. SEIU, AFSCME and NEA (not an AFL-CIO union) During that time, several things have jumped out at me. Most union members care nothing about their union. They disagree with its politics, they don't participate, and they don't want to hear from the union unless they have a problem. Usually they have joined for one reason that is personal to them. They have not joined to help their fellow workers, in many cases, they don't like their fellow employees. Probably the biggest reason they join is health care, and unfortunately, unions are not doing very well on that issue. SEIU and AFSCME both do not want a universal health care system. Why you might ask, because it would take away the number one issue used to organize new workers. I had a conversation with a member once who was active in her local. She was an officer, a steward, and actively participated in new organizing by doing house calls with us. When I started talking about a universal heath care system she could not believe me. She could not understand how they would be able to keep her local together if they did not have health care to rally around. She was completely against the idea and actually asked me what they would negotiate in their contract. Now, this is an active leader in her local. Imagine what the non active members would think.

I worked in locals in OR, WA, CA, MO and FL. In every local I worked at a majority of the members were conservative (most republican), the leadership and upper management were democrats (organizing director, executive director and elected officers) and the organizers (those like me) were mixed with Democrats, Socialist, Greens and Anarchist.(I knew one Republican ex navy SEAL organizer. I never could figure that one out) Many of the campaigns I worked on included Voter Registration drives. A good 75% of those people I registered did so as republican. These are not people who are looking for a working class revolution.

Unions can't even win when they support democrats. Just look at the last few years. Lost in CA recall election, putting an anti union Gov in office. In fact, numbers showed that most union members voted to recall the Gov. SEIU and AFSCME put millions in money, and thousands of members on the streets to support Dean. Results, loss after loss, and polls showing most members of these unions did not vote for Dean. They Support the Democrats for Pres, another loss. In fact, if I was running for election in a major race, I would not want the support of the local union, as they have lost over and over the last few years. The only major wins I know of were in the Gov office in Or (I worked that campaign as staff) and Washington (what a nightmare that was) The agenda of Union leadership is not the agenda of the workers. I have even had union members tell me that they wait till the union calls to tell them who to vote for, then they vote the opposite.

I'll say again, this is all information based on my personal observations and from the locals and national unions I worked for. I'm sure there are some very progressive locals, and maybe a national or two who are different. But I can't imagine where a working class revolution is going to come from when a majority of those who would benefit continue to vote for those who are taking everything away from them. When a persons religious beliefs come before the welfare of their family, When they will vote for a candidate who is sending their children off to war to die, I can't see them joining us in the streets to through those they voted for out of power.

All this talk about a revolution is, in my opinion, a dream. Unless major changes can be made very soon, none of us will see it in our life time. We should be talking about how to move the people, and not how we are going to punish the capitalist. We have a lot of work ahead of us before we really need to be worrying about the counter-revolution.

In Solidarity,

The opinions in this email are my own. They may or may not be shared by others. If you care to respond for or against the opinion expressed in this email, please do so with respect to everyone involved. We don't have to agree, but we should at least try to get along.

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