Marxists Analyzing Machinists’ Defeat In Lockheed Martin Strike Blast Union Leaders, Push For More Marxist Militancy
September 26th 2012 · 0 Comments
With fearless determination, the Machinists of Local 776 had voted overwhelmingly to take on the billion-dollar giant, with only $150 per week in strike pay. But decades-old antiworker labor laws crafted by big business, divisions in the internal structure of the union, and above all, the union leadership’s lack of a class struggle analysis, strategy, and methods of fighting back all impeded a victory for the workers.
After hundreds of Machinists had broken ranks, the union sat down with Lockheed and federal mediators and reached a deal: Lockheed’s deal. 2,300 unionists voted 81% in favor, ending the stoppage. This contract was essentially the same as the one workers had walked out on over two and half months before. Workers’ frustrations, therefore, will only continue to build up. And when this contract expires in April 2015 it will likely be amid a climate of rising strikes and unionization, and growing rank-and-file militancy as austerity strangles the world working class.
Solidarity strikes, mass pickets and blocking scabs from work are illegal today because they are precisely the tactics which could have brought a great victory to Lockheed Martin employees. These laws are written by the rich to defend their interests. But as tensions within capitalism begin to boil, workers in North Texas and around the world will need to learn and apply these class struggle tactics which defy the law, if necessary, to completely shut down production and hit the bosses where it really hurts. Through their own experience, more and more workers will recognize the dire need for union organization and for a political party of our own, based on the unions. Ultimately, a Marxist analysis and methods will be needed as well, as there is no solution within the limits of capitalism.
Apparently, these comrades don’t remember how well Marxism worked for (fill in the blank), nor do they realize that many rational individuals do not like the 19th-Century class warfare militancy of Marxists.