Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 15 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/9/08

UE Local 1110-Think Like Them

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   3 comments
Become a Premium Member Would you like to know how many people have read this article? Or how reputable the author is? Simply sign up for a Advocate premium membership and you'll automatically see this data on every article. Plus a lot more, too.
Author 3318
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Ron Jacobs
Become a Fan
  (1 fan)

I have to be honest here. I don't understand all the stuff coming across the news media about short selling and bank collapses, but I do understand this: There is a lot of money somewhere in the world and it is produced by the people who work, not the people who own the places where we work. Another thing I understand is that the people who work (taxpayers) just had several hundred million dollars that they paid in taxes lifted from the treasury and handed to a few banks and corporations. Now, mind you, that money wasn't given to the people who work in those banks or for those corporations. No, it was given to the owners and top executives of those banks and corporations so that they could get the economy going. How I understand this little money motion is that banks loan money to corporations so they can make their payrolls and other such debts, which in turn guarantees continued production which in turn allows for continued consumption by people around the world who have money and credit to buy the goods produced.

Yet, for some reason the money isn't moving and people are losing their jobs right and left while the owners and executives of the banks and corporations are whining in the media and crying to Congress that they need more taxpayer dollars. Why isn't that money moving? Because the banks are holding on to it instead of lending it. So, after years of manipulating money and credit lines, the banks which got rich from the unregulated free market trough set up by Congress and the rest of the US government are now begging Congress for taxpayers' money so they can keep it in their vaults and make interest off it. Meanwhile, companies that operate because of money loaned by the banks are unable to make payrolls and are shutting down.

Fortunately for working America, some workers recently refused to leave after their company's last Friday closing time. That's right, around two hundred workers at Republic Windows and Doors are sitting in the factory that they work at--even though the company has shut down because Bank of America (the recipient of $25 billion in federal bailout money so far) refuses to lend Republic the money needed to continue its business. This action by the Republic Workers, who are members of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 1110, is the most appropriate response to the latest capitalist crisis manufactured by the capitalists. If the government is going to take workers' money and give or lend it to the banks and corporations, then those who made that money must demand that it reaches them. Otherwise, it seems to me that the banks and corporations (and the owners and executives that own and run them) will take the bailout money and keep it until the crisis runs its course. Then, they willnot only be sitting pretty, they will be even wealthier than they are now and control even more, thanks to interest earned and assets they will have received due to foreclosures and business failures. Of course, this assumes that capitalism has not reached its final crisis.

If capitalism has reached this rubicon, the possibilities for the future expand tremendously. Imagine working in a place where there is no owner and no management other than you and your fellow workers. If one recalls Argentina in 2001, they will remember television video of young people in the streets of the country's cities blocking traffic and liberating food and other supplies. They will recall a government collapsing under the weight of its own lies and belief in the IMF model of capitalism. They will also remember scenes of panicked middle-class Argentinians lining up outside banks in the hope that their money would be returned to them and that it would have some value if it was returned.

These scenes were only one part of the story in the wake of Argentina's economic collapse. There were other tales of people setting up their own methods of food distribution and resource management. There were tales of popular assemblies organizing the delivery of essentials like fuel and shelter. There were questions in the international capitalist media of how the global capitalists would recover their losses and if the collapse would spread to other nations that subscribed to the same debt-laden economic model. This same media had little sympathy for the plight of the working Argentinians, only concerns for the plight of the capitalists' money.

Or, as the Lavaca Collectiva writes in its poetic introduction to their book Sin Patron: "In ages favorable to impostors, it's prime time for business interests to masquerade as public opinion. Lobbyists honk their own horns in hopes of blocking news traffic.... And the media we have to help us interpret (these times) is really a pill that causes impotence." They continue writing, encouraging the reader to reject this formula. "The limit of all predictions," they write. "is what people are capable are doing." This is the crux of this book and the stories therein. Just as the Argentinian collapse of 2001 should have been a lesson for the capitalists on Wall Street and other money capitals, the response of the workers in Argentina and their brothers and sisters in Chicago's Republic Doors and Windows are equally instructive to those of us earning a living by working for someone else anywhere on the planet.

If you wish to write a message of support or financially support the members of UE Local 1110, please go to UE's homepage.


Must Read 2   Well Said 1   News 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Ron Jacobs Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Ron Jacobs is a writer, library worker and anti-imperialist. He is the author of The Way the Wind Blew: a History of the Weather Underground and Short Order Frame Up. His collection of essays and other musings titled Tripping Through the American (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

It's Only Rock and Roll-Why Leon Russell Still Matters

The Boos at the Ballgame Were Just the Beginning, Mr. Trump

The Conspiracy Continues-The Democrats and War Funding

They Call Me the Seeker: Review of Kendall Hale's Radical Passions

Banning SDS in Olympia-Politically Charged Suspension of Student Group by College Administration

No Colors Anymore...The Sixties Painted Black

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: