It Will Take Hard Class Struggle To Defeat “Right to Work”

From Bridge City Militant No. 4 (Spring 2017)

The labor movement in the United States is under full-scale attack, and its leaders are laying down and playing dead. They have no plans to fight the rightist capitalist onslaught spearheaded by Donald Trump. Worse yet, having been burned by their support for Democrat Hillary Clinton, top labor leaders are doing everything they can to play ball with labor-hater Trump.

In an interview with Fox Business Network, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka praised Trump’s cancellation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and his talk of rebuilding infrastructure. “If he does something that’s good for the economy and workers, we’re going to be behind him,” he summed up, adding lamely: if not, not. Others were totally positive. When Trump called construction union leaders to the White House in late January, the head of NABTU (North America’s Building Trades Unions) Sean McGarvey crowed, “The respect that the President of the United States just showed us… was nothing short of incredible…. We have a common bond with the president.”

Laborers’ International Union president Terry O’Sullivan issued a press release saying “LIUNA is ready to work with the new Administration in the coming years to strengthen our country.” Doug McCarron, president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, was downright fawning. After Trump declared “I love Doug,” McCarron gushed to the media the president’s inaugural speech was “a great moment for working men and women in the United States.” But behind the love fest, working people will get screwed by a president who has declared that wages in the U.S. are too high, has fought unions at his Las Vegas hotel and elsewhere and supports union-busting “right to work” laws.

Various commentators have argued that the construction union leaders are being played. For sure. But then they are also getting played when they regularly back the Democrats. Labor will always get screwed so long as it is chained to the parties of capital. But forging those chains is how the sellout labor bureaucrats got in office, and how they got where they are today: facing the abyss.

The paralysis of union tops in the face of threatened “right-to-work” legislation or a potential Supreme Court decision that would do the same to public sector workers, is a declaration of bankruptcy. It demonstrates again that their fundamental loyalty is to the capitalist system, not the working people they claim to represent. What’s needed is to build a fighting opposition inside the labor movement based on a program of sharp class struggle, against the suicidal class collaboration of the present pro-capitalist labor bureaucracy. There’s got to be a clean sweep, or the unions are going down.

“Right to Work” and Racist American Capitalism

A year ago, labor unionists breathed a sigh of relief as the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 4-4 tie vote, killed Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association by letting stand the ruling of the appeals court. Funded by deep-pocketed anti-union “think tanks,” the lawsuit sought to cripple the unions financially by outlawing the “agency shop,” the requirement that employees at an organized workplace pay union dues or an equivalent. The target was public sector unions (representing 35% of the workforce) which because of their political connections have been able to withstand the union-busting onslaught that has decimated labor in the private sector, where union membership is down to 6%.

Now anti-union forces are gearing up for another attempt with a new Supreme Court. Meanwhile, in January Kentucky enacted a double-whammy “right-to-work” law coupled with a “no-right-to-strike” provision for public employees. Missouri passed its “RTW” law in February (it already had a public sector strike ban). And on February 1, a bill for a National Right to Work Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by two of the most reactionary Congressmen in the country, Steve King of Iowa and Joe Wilson of South Carolina. If neither of them is formally part of the right-wing Republican Freedom Caucus it is because this pair stands even further to the right.

Wilson is a Tea Party asset and a virulent immigrant-basher whose main claim to fame was to yell “you lie” (about immigration reform) at Barack Obama during a 2009 presidential address in Congress. Steve King is, if anything, an even more unabashed racist, sporting a Confederate battle flag on his desk, claiming Obama favored blacks and saying that “white people” have a “superior culture.” He declares that Islam is “antithetical to Americanism,” says that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” and wants to eliminate citizenship for all those born in the U.S. in order to produce an “America that’s just so homogeneous that we look a lot [sic] the same.”

It’s no wonder that spewing out such garbage, King is a hero of fascist and fascistic “white nationalists.” He is not only opposed to gay marriage, but even to civil marriage. And it’s entirely predictable that such a race-hater would also be a labor-hater. The fact is that the campaign for open-shop “right to work” laws, now threatening a nationwide offensive, was championed from its beginning by racist ideologues who oppose unions because in order to be effective, the unions must organize black and white workers together.

“Right to work” as a deceptively-named political movement was launched in the 1940s in Texas by a prolific right-wing political organizer named Vance Muse. Muse’s modus operandi was to rake in funds from some of America’s most powerful capitalist families – the Sloans (General Motors), Pews (Sun Oil), and Duponts, along with leading southern grandees – while hobnobbing with fascist groups like the Klan and “silver shirt” leader Gerald L. K. Smith. Muse organized a Georgia convention of a “Southern Committee to Uphold the Constitution” in 1934 chaired by former National Association of Manufacturers president John H. Kirby and featuring Smith and other fascists.

Two years later, Muse launched the Christian American Association in Texas. According to the Texas State Historical Association’s Handbook of Texas Online, “The Christian Americans worked for passage of right-to-work laws in sixteen states,” starting with Florida and Arkansas. According to “Limiting Labor: Business Political Mobilization and Union Setback in the States” by Marc Dixon in the Journal of Policy History (Vol. 19, No. 3, 2007):

“The Christian American Association was the first in the nation to champion the ‘Right-to-Work’ as a full-blown political slogan. Vance Muse became intrigued by the use of the Right-to-Work term in a 1941 Labor Day editorial in the Dallas Morning News that called for an open-shop amendment to the constitution. After traveling to Dallas and consulting with the editor, Muse was encouraged to use and promote the idea of Right-to-Work. This became their primary cause and they campaigned extensively for Right-to-Work legislation throughout the country, and especially within Texas.”

Muse and the fascist forces he mobilized with industry backing opposed unions because, in Muse’s words, the agency shop meant that “from now on, white women and white men will be forced into organizations with black African apes whom they will have to call ‘brother’ or lose their jobs.” (Gerard Colby, Du Pont Dynasty: Behind the Nylon Curtain [1984]) Muse was joined in his efforts by his older sister Ida Darden, who was notable as the publicity director of the Texas Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage in 1916, and the editor of the Southern Conservative newspaper from 1950 to 1961, which campaigned against unions, civil rights, modern art and Hollywood movies.

Christian American lobbying led to laws in Texas limiting picketing and other union activities. But while far-right and fascist organizations such as Muse’s groups were early and strident advocates of open-shop laws, they were not alone. Dixon writes that by 1947, when “right to work” was made law in Texas, its major backer was the Texas Manufacturers Association, headed by Herman Brown of the Brown & Root construction firm. By this time, the TMA kept its distance from Vance Muse and allied far-right groups. And the anti-labor forces were not the only ones to make racist appeals. In opposing “open shop” laws, Harry Acreman of the Texas AFL “invoked race as an issue, arguing that Right-to Work would end segregation in southern workplaces,” as Dixon noted.

Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1930s New Deal, labor officialdom has been in the Democrats’ pocket. While the Republicans opposed unions outright, FDR sought to hogtie them with government control, from the 1934 Wagner Act to the WWII War Labor Board. The kept labor bureaucracy went along with its wartime no-strike pledge, while the government jailed the Minneapolis Teamster leaders and Trotskyists for opposing the imperialist slaughter. Since a mainstay of FDR’s “New Deal coalition” were the Southern Dixiecrats, in opposing anti-labor legislation the craven union misleaders appealed to these racists for support. That doomed the postwar attempt to organize the South (Operation Dixie), which could have succeeded had the CIO fought Jim Crow segregation.

That was when employers’ “right-to-work” drive could have been stopped cold. Instead, you got the “open shop” South, a bastion of anti-unionism. And under the Democratic administration of Harry Truman, the 1948 Taft-Hartley Act was passed outlawing the closed shop and banning communists from union leadership positions. Although the AFL and CIO tops claimed to oppose that “slave labor” law, they refused to strike against it, meekly submitting to the dictates of capital. Meanwhile, as part of the anti-Soviet Cold War, liberal Democrats purged the unions of the “reds” who had built them, laying the basis for the subsequent witch-hunting associated with Republican senator Joseph McCarthy. And McCarthy’s chief witch-hunter, Roy Cohn, was the mentor of Donald Trump.

Forge a Class-Struggle Leadership of Labor to Defend All the Oppressed

Today, the drive to roll back the remaining gains of the industrial unions that were born in the class struggles of the 1930s is intensifying in the context of a political crisis of U.S. imperialism. A bogus “democracy” elevates a fake-populist billionaire and woman-hating media personality into the Oval Office. Once ensconced, Donald Trump promises a skeptical Wall Street (which considers him unreliable and favored Democrat Hillary Clinton) mountains of golden loot from the federal treasury, while throwing a few crumbs to some gullible labor fakers. His arch-racist attorney general Jeff Sessions vows to ratchet up police repression. And whipping up anti-immigrant hysteria, he reinforces the key structural element of American capitalism since it was founded on chattel slavery: the division of American workers along race-color lines and the brutal racial oppression of black people.

So how do the AFL-CIO leaders plan to fight the threat of national “right-to-work” legislation or court-ordered “open shop” rules that would cripple unions? Answer: they don’t. There are no plans for mass mobilization, besieging Congress and the Supreme Court or jamming Wall Street to shut down the center of world financial capital. At most they talk of stepping up “education” campaigns to convince workers to join the union. Even at that level union leaders remain beholden to the bosses, relying on dues check-offs which give management the power to turn off the financial spigot whenever it wants. In New York City, the United Federation of Teachers won’t get union dues subtracted from salaries in January until March. A class-struggle leadership would collect the dues itself.

The only way to defeat this anti-labor onslaught is not to seek a new “New Deal Coalition” that would continue to subordinate the working class to one party of racist U.S. imperialism, but to drive out the pro-capitalist bureaucracy that chains the unions to the Democrats and forge a class-struggle leadership of labor that defends all those oppressed by capitalism.

In the Pacific Northwest, CSWP has played a leading role fighting the threat of “right-to-work” union-busting. In September 2013, Wyatt McMinn, vice president of Local 10 of the International Union of Printers and Allied Trades (IUPAT) and a CSWP spokesman was arrested and threatened with a year in jail for protesting a meeting of the union-hating Freedom Foundation. The class-struggle unionist, a founder of CSWP, was eventually found not-guilty, a victory for labor solidarity and the more than a dozen union and labor councils that endorsed his defense.

Two years later, in the fall of 2015, as Friedrichs loomed at the Supreme Court, members of CSWP, elected from their unions as delegates to the Oregon state AFL-CIO convention, brought a motion that “area unions should prepare a major region-wide stop-work action against this effort to impoverish workers.” The resolution won significant support but was shot down by the state AFL leadership, which has repeatedly refused to fight union-busting with industrial action, instead devoting itself to lobbying Democrats. One of their main arguments is that opinion polls show “the public” as being hostile to unions. But as the experience of the 2011 labor uprising in Wisconsin against an anti-labor governor showed, once unions began acting like defenders of workers, public support soared … and then plummeted when protests were called off in favor of voting for Democrats.

As we wrote in Bridge City Militant No. 2 (Winter 2016),

“Above all, every union needs to begin preparing to fight the coming union-busting onslaught in the streets and in the workplaces. We need to form committees in every local and every workplace to prepare to tie up metro Portland like the workers in Wisconsin shut down Madison in 2011 – but Wisconsin shows that we can’t let the fight be diverted into the dead end of electoral support for the Democrats or any capitalist party. We need a class struggle workers party: not just a vote-getting apparatus but a party to organize and lead the fight for the oppressed and exploited, using the powerful weapons that our class has.”

The AFL-CIO tops went on to throw millions of dollars to Hillary Clinton and her pro-“right to work” vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine. This set the stage for a demagogue like Donald Trump to reap protest votes from workers and the unemployed suffering the ravages of the capitalist economic crisis, and the bipartisan job-killing policies implemented by Obama that have devastated the industrial “rust belt.” Class-struggle unionists called instead to break the Democrats’ stranglehold on labor, and in August 2016 Painters Local 10 passed a groundbreaking resolution calling for “No Support to the Democrats, Republicans, Or Any Party of the Bosses,” and instead “call[ing] on the labor movement to break from the Democratic Party, and build a class-struggle workers party.” This, and not belly-crawling before Congress, the courts and the capitalist politicians, is the way to bust the union-busters! ■

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“Right to Work” = Slave Labor Laws

Reprinted from Bridge City Militant No. 2

Bust the Union-Busters – We’ve Got the Power, Use It or Lose It!

“Right to Work” = Slave Labor Laws

Madison, Wisconsin, February 2011: over 100,000 unionists surround the state capitol to block Right to Work. A general strike was discussed, but local AFL-CIO tops called off protests in favor of electoral support for Democrats. Result: Wisconsin is a right-to-slave state. Labor’s got to play hardball to win! (Photo: Yuri Keegstra)
Madison, Wisconsin, February 2011: over 100,000 unionists surround the state capitol to block Right to Work. A general strike was discussed, but local AFL-CIO tops called off protests in favor of electoral support for Democrats. Result: Wisconsin is a right-to-slave state. Labor’s got to play hardball to win! (Photo: Yuri Keegstra)

A major attack is coming down on our unions. Last year, the Supreme Court took a case from a small group of right-wing ideologues, Friedrichs et al., against the California Teachers Association. The case seeks to crush the unions financially by overturning the “agency shop” rule. If the unelected life-term hangmen on the Supreme Court hand down a verdict for the business lobbies against the teachers union, it will give a green light to governments and bosses across the country to go on a union-busting, contract-shredding campaign against a weakened union movement. A decision is expected this spring.

Meanwhile, in Oregon, the anti-union “Freedom” foundation has brain-trusted and bankrolled a lawsuit that seeks to eliminate the agency shop for home care workers in SEIU Local 503. (“Freedom” for who? They are against our right to strike. Someone should remind them that the North won the Civil War.) And every election season in Oregon and Washington, as in states across the country, we see ballot initiatives that would implement these and other anti-union measures, going under the deceptive banner of “right to work.” In 2015, the initiatives were put on hold when the Oregon Supreme Court gave them a title that doesn’t jive with the slick marketing plans of the union-busting lawyers. But they’ll be back again next year.

2016 could be the year of a decisive struggle here and nationwide over union rights and union power. Union militants need to prepare our ranks for battle now. If the unions lose, we could be headed back to the bad old days before the mass struggles in the 1930s that founded the industrial unions in this country. Poverty wages, no job security, no health care (don’t count on ObamaCare – see “Obamacare Screws Workers, Windfall for Insurance Companies”), no retirement (they’re going after our Social Security, too), and unions reduced to ineffective guilds representing only the most privileged crafts.

But we can win. In every opinion poll, the big majority of workers say they would join a union if they had the chance. While the economic crash of 2008 never really ended for the working class, especially for black and Latino workers, the “recovery” is starting to make workers feel more confident about standing up for long-delayed raises and other improvements after decades of belt-tightening. Minimum-wage, non-union workers in fast food and retail are courageously rising up, even though the union leaders do little to actually organize them or defend their jobs. And although the established unions are much weaker than they ought to be, they still represent millions of workers in strategic industries that can shut this country down. We need to use that power before we lose it.

The union leaders know that this attack is coming. “Right to work” would put a big dent in dues collections. But as in everything else, these “labor lieutenants of the capitalist class” won’t lead the fight back. By relying on their Democratic Party “allies” and on desperate attempts to play the media spin game in the capitalist press (they call this “education”), while opposing any militant labor action, they are giving up before the fight even begins. We can’t let this happen.

It’s true that the Democrats are happy to take millions in campaign contributions from union political action committees, and the “Right to Work” hard-liners are mostly Republicans. But the Democrats won’t fight the union-busters. On the contrary, they are a capitalist union busting party just as much as the Republicans, and if the “Right to Work” holy warriors win their lawsuits or referendums, Democrats from City Hall to the White House will enforce the new laws against the workers. Who called out the Coast Guard against the locked out ILWU on the Columbia river last year? Democratic President Obama, endorsed by the ILWU leaders. Who is gearing up for another showdown with the Chicago teachers union? Obama’s right hand man, Democratic mayor Rahm Emanuel, whose cops are famous for assassinating black kids and running a CIA-style torture center at Homan Square. Who will be de-funding and attacking public workers in Oregon, from Laborers to teachers to SEIU, if Friedrichs wins? Labor’s phony “friend,” Democrat governor Kate Brown.

San Francisco newspaper Bloody Thursday ILWU
The capitalists will always try to chain the workers with anti-union laws. If we play by their rules, we’re bound to lose, but militant workers action can win. July 1934: the National Guard is deployed in San Francisco against an “illegal” general strike. Three strikers are gunned down, but the strike gives birth to the powerful International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).

Union leaders say that our ties to the Democrats give us “influence,” but it’s really the other way around. Look at what happened in Wisconsin in 2011. The Republican governor, Scott Walker, tried to ram through a “Right to Work” law. Tens of thousands of union supporters surrounded the state capitol in Madison, physically blocking the meetings from going forward. The local Central Labor Council even talked about a general strike, which was possible and needed to kill the anti-union law. But at the last minute, the “labor lieutenants of the capitalist class” opted for an electoral approach, a petition to recall Scott Walker, presumably in favor of a Democratic successor. The workers were demobilized, and they lost. Now Wisconsin and neighboring Michigan, the birthplace of the mighty United Auto Workers, are “right to work” states. In Michigan, the union leaders’ usual “smart” tactics of lobbying and begging failed completely, and “right to work” was imposed without a fight.

The policies of the union tops fail because they are based on class collaboration with one wing of the party of capitalist property, the Democrats. But what we’re facing is a bipartisan, one-sided class war as Wall Street seeks to squeeze ever-higher profits from our labor and eliminate “unnecessary” expenses like education, health care and basic health, safety and environmental protections. To fight “right to work” we need to prepare to wage the class war. It’s a struggle that labor can win because it’s a struggle of millions of working people, without whose labor “not a single wheel would turn,” against a tiny class of parasites who produce nothing but misery and oppression for the vast majority of humanity.

“Right to Work” seeks to end the “agency shop.” The agency shop itself is a rotten compromise that was imposed on the unions in exchange for anti-labor laws that outlawed the closed union shop. Under the agency shop, workers at an organized company or state agency don’t have to join the union, but they do have to pay a portion of the union dues, often called “fair share fees” or “agency fees,” and everyone gets the benefits and wages that the union negotiates from the employer. The big majority of workers do sign up for the union, because they understand that it stands for their rights and welfare. But this arrangement still weakens the union, and encourages the natural tendency of the union bureaucrats to run the union like an “independent,” “neutral” welfare agency rather than the fighting self-defense organization of the workers.

The other arrangement that leaves the unions vulnerable to the “right to work” attack is that most unions have allowed the bosses – private companies or government agencies – to collect their dues through paycheck deductions. We never should have allowed the class enemy to get their hands on the finances of our organizations. Dues should be collected directly by the union. This is not just an elementary self-defense measure, it’s a boost for union democracy and a check on out-of-touch bureaucracy in our unions.

Above all, every union needs to begin preparing to fight the coming union-busting onslaught in the streets and in the workplaces. We need to form committees in every local and every workplace to prepare to tie up metro Portland like the workers in Wisconsin shut down Madison in 2011 – but Wisconsin shows that we can’t let the fight be diverted into the dead end of electoral support for the Democrats or any capitalist party. We need a class struggle workers party: not just a vote-getting apparatus but a party to organize and lead the fight for the oppressed and exploited, using the powerful weapons that our class has.

To defend the unions where we have them, and to encourage workers at non-union shops to go union, we must fight for the union shop no matter what the bosses’ laws or the bosses’ courts say. Workers fought and died to have a collective organization against the bosses, because as individuals we are “free” just the way the “Freedom Foundation” would have it: free to work under the bosses whim, or free to quit and starve. We shouldn’t allow freeloaders and suckers who’ve been duped by anti-union propaganda to undermine our power.

At the 2015 Oregon AFL-CIO convention, class-struggle militants brought this perspective to the floor in the form of a resolution to fight Right to Work. As expected, it was shot down by the union leaders, who are planning to lose this crucial battle. The labor bureaucrats who sit on top of Oregon unions are so loyal to their Democratic Party masters that they even endorsed a poverty wage ballot initiative designed to undercut efforts to get a $15 minimum wage initiative on the ballot, then, in an act of disgusting hypocrisy, they “endorsed” the $15 initiative too. Thanks a lot. If workers want a big raise we can’t rely on the rigged electoral game or the sellout union leaders. We are going to have to fight for it the class-struggle way, by unionizing low wage workers and shutting down businesses that don’t pay our minimum wage demand with solid strike action.

The perspective we outlined at the AFL-CIO convention garnered strong support from rank and file delegates, ranging from teachers to laborers and postal workers. The leaders of organized labor have learned nothing and are preparing to sell out big time, with disastrous consequences for the working class. They need to be replaced by a class-struggle leadership. Every step we take to prepare for a real fight against “right to work” union busting is a step to rebuild workers power and organize the unorganized. CSWP supporters will continue our efforts to defend our unions, and we urge fellow union members to join us. ■

Bridge City Militant No. 2

Bridge City Militant No. 2, Winter 2016
Click for a PDF of this issue.

The second issue of our newsletter, Bridge City Militant, is out! To get your union-printed copy, contact us.

In this issue:

Resolution for 2015 Oregon AFL-CIO convention

MOBILIZE UNION POWER AGAINST “RIGHT-TO-WORK” UNION-BUSTERS

WHEREAS, unions are required by law to represent all employees in a bargaining unit, whether they are union members or not; and

WHEREAS, at least two “right-to-work” initiatives, allowing workers in unionized public sector jobs to avoid paying for their representation, are in the process of becoming ballot measures in Oregon; and

WHEREAS, the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a main sponsor of misnamed “right-to-work” initiatives in the Pacific Northwest, financed by union-bashers such as the Koch Brothers and Wal-Mart, is pushing lawsuit against SEIU Local 503 which represents over 20,000 home care workers in Oregon; and

WHEREAS, the unionization of the largely minority home health care workers in the state has raised their wages by more than two-thirds, as well as providing medical and health coverage; and

WHEREAS, unionization has boosted the wages and job security of all workers and particularly of African American, Latino, Native American and immigrant workers; and

WHEREAS, the anti-labor ballot measures are designed to undermine and financially ruin public sector unions which are vital to the welfare and living standards of all workers; and

WHEREAS, ballot measures in Oregon are part of a national campaign by corporations and their political supporters to destroy unions and wipe out the gains won by organized labor; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court last July agreed to hear a case that could eliminate “fair-share” fees paid to public sector unions, in effect creating a national “right-to-work” law by judicial fiat; and

WHEREAS, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, after eliminating collective bargaining rights for public sector workers in 2011 and now ramming through a state “right-to-work” law, is campaigning for such a law nationally; and

WHEREAS, the same forces backing these union-busting laws such as Illinois governor Bruce Rauner want to eliminate the minimum wage entirely rather than raising it to a living wage; and

WHEREAS, support for these measures in Oregon comes from big lumber, including Freres Lumber Co. and Stimson Lumber Co. and right-wing politicians such as Washington County Attorney, Jill Gibson; and

WHEREAS, workers in “right-to-work” states earn substantially lower wages, have less employer-sponsored health insurance or pensions and significantly higher workplace death rates due to weakened union protections; and

WHEREAS, the experience of Michigan, where anti-union forces pushed through “right-to-work” laws with a stealth campaign while organized labor did little to stop them, shows the danger of complacency; and

WHEREAS, backroom deals with legislators and state officials will not stop a determined employer offensive; and

WHEREAS, the union-bashing offensive that began even before the 1981 PATCO air controllers strike, which many other unions failed to support, shows that a failure to fight has disastrous results; and

WHEREAS, the powerful labor mobilization in Wisconsin in 2011 demonstrated that the public will enthusiastically back unions when they fight, despite anti-labor media campaigns; and

WHEREAS, the failure of Wisconsin unions to call a state-wide strike at the crucial moment, even after preparing for one, led to a devastating defeat while the strategy of a “recall” and voter turnout campaigns predictably failed to repeal “right-to-work” legislation in Wisconsin; and

WHEREAS, the power of our unions rests in our ability to use our economic strength in defense of our rights as workers, and failure to use that power only emboldens the labor-haters; and

WHEREAS, we have had enough of the one-sided class war waged by profit-greedy bosses,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that this body expresses the determination of Oregon workers to whatever it takes to defeat any such union-busting laws, including using our right to strike to defend the union shop; and be it further

RESOLVED, that we urge Oregon and Washington unions and their supporters to mobilize at “right-to-work” events with rallies, marches and other means to expose the drive by cutthroat employers to drive our wages to the bottom while they make billions in profits from our labor; and be it further

RESOLVED, that area unions should prepare a major region-wide stop-work action against this effort to impoverish workers by using the courts and the rest of their legal arsenal; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Oregon AFL-CIO will encourage and support any affiliated locals collecting dues from represented workers directly, in order to stymie employer attempts to cripple labor financially; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that in defending union independence from the bosses and standing together in defense of all those threatened by the employers’ assault, WE HAVE THE POWER TO DEFEAT THE WAR ON WORKERS, BUT WE MUST USE THAT POWER OR LOSE IT.