Green Night Out, on June 2, welcomed Jim Moran, member of the Communication Workers of America, Local 38010 and founder of Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health (PHILAPOSH), who lead a discussion about why unions are losing the class war.
While consuming a delicious meal, Moran told the diners, "Union membership peaked in 1979. We should look at what unions have been doing wrong." Moran pointed to the repression of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) in 1981 by President Ronald W. Reagan as the beginning of the end for organized labor. The AFL-CIO did not support the PATCO strike. This allowed Reagan to fire 11,345 PATCO members and to ban them from all federal jobs for life.
Moran explained, "The American people have very little class consciousness, and they often do not support labor struggles." The reasons for this are many, according to Moran: the corporate media, echoes of McCarthyism, a cultural idealization of the "middle class," and the absence of a political party representing the interests of labor.
Moran thinks that much of the problem was caused by poor leadership of the labor movement. "There was nothing to prevent the labor movement from building a labor party," said Moran, "just as there was nothing preventing labor from building a mass movement for better wages, a shorter workweek and single-payer healthcare."
Green Night Out takes place monthly at Singapore Kosher Vegetarian Chinese Restaurant, www.singaporevegetarian.com , in