Workers Of All Lands, Unite! Single Union of Miners in Canada, the US and Mexico being discussed.

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N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture
Workers Of All Lands, Unite! Single Union of Miners in Canada, the US and Mexico being discussed.

Unions Representing Workers in Canada, Mexico, and U.S. Explore Merger.

Quote:
he United Steelworkers (USW), which represents 850,000 workers in Canada, the Caribbean, and the United States, and the National Union of Miners and Metal Workers (SNTMMSRM), known as the Mineros, which represents 180,000 workers in Mexico, have announced plans to explore uniting into one international union. The agreement to begin exploration of a merger was signed on June 21.

This first step in the creation of a global union -- as opposed to a global federation of unions -- represents a significant new development for labor in the Americas with implications for workers around the world.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I hope my fellow workers in the mines can make this happen.  We need MORE international unions.  If capital no longer respects borders, why should labour?

Tinman

Will the vote on this by the rank and file be secret? And if it goes against what the Union leadership wants, will it be respected? Will we know the results and how close the margin of victory or failure is? Somehow I doubt it.

This has been the dream of the communists since Marx came up with the idea over a hundred years ago. It failed in 1917, and it has failed everytime it has been tried everywhere else since then. There is no reason to believe that it will work now. Your workers Utopia is nothing but a really bad idea that should be disposed of as quickly as possible.

Oh and Ken? When will membership in your union become voluntary? When will a members union dues not be used for partisan political agenda's that may or may not reflect the values of the member who pays them? Before you worry about respecting borders, you should fisrt worry about respecting the rank and file. It would b e a good place to start.

George Victor

Someone who objects to the Rand formula too, I'll bet?  Probably even more conservative than old Justice Ivan Rand.  :)  Librtarianism has taken deep root late in the mature union movement's battle with globalization.

Tinman

George Victor wrote:

Someone objecting to the Rand formula?  Probably even more conservative than old Justice Ivan Rand.  :)  Librtarianism has taken deep root.

Not nearly as deeply as I would like. We look to the state and to others to do what we should do ourselves far too frequently.

NorthReport

Good on Leo Girard.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

My thread title seems to have attracted a libertarian "tin-pot" tin bot. Has he been melted down yet? lol.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Tinman wrote:

Will the vote on this by the rank and file be secret? And if it goes against what the Union leadership wants, will it be respected? Will we know the results and how close the margin of victory or failure is? Somehow I doubt it.

This has been the dream of the communists since Marx came up with the idea over a hundred years ago. It failed in 1917, and it has failed everytime it has been tried everywhere else since then. There is no reason to believe that it will work now. Your workers Utopia is nothing but a really bad idea that should be disposed of as quickly as possible.

Oh and Ken? When will membership in your union become voluntary? When will a members union dues not be used for partisan political agenda's that may or may not reflect the values of the member who pays them? Before you worry about respecting borders, you should fisrt worry about respecting the rank and file. It would b e a good place to start.

Is there a reason you believe that

A)Most working people are still natural supporters of the capitalist status quo? 

B)The idea of an international union could ONLY be motivated by a desire to revive Soviet-style "Communism"?

C)There's a huge block of workers who wouldn't, under ANY circumstances, want to join a union?

 

Why do you assume that the way things are now still has any significant popular support?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Tinman wrote:

George Victor wrote:

Someone objecting to the Rand formula?  Probably even more conservative than old Justice Ivan Rand.  :)  Librtarianism has taken deep root.

Not nearly as deeply as I would like. We look to the state and to others to do what we should do ourselves far too frequently.

1)You assume that the wealthy "do for themselves", rather than gaining their wealth mainly from the labour of others, while being inevitably bailed out by "the state" whenever they screw up too badly to save themselves.

2)You assume that, in this world, it's actually POSSIBLE to "do for ourselves".  The reality is, the market system is gamed against anyone actually making it on their own from below.

Libertarians are usually arrogant young men who haven't faced the realities of life yet, in my experience, and at worst they're basically school bully types.  That's not a model of adulthood I'd shoot for if I were you, Tin.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Never mind, I didn't realize the Tinster had been banned.

Tinman 480

Ken Burch wrote:

Tinman wrote:

George Victor wrote:

Someone objecting to the Rand formula?  Probably even more conservative than old Justice Ivan Rand.  :)  Librtarianism has taken deep root.

Not nearly as deeply as I would like. We look to the state and to others to do what we should do ourselves far too frequently.

1)You assume that the wealthy "do for themselves", rather than gaining their wealth mainly from the labour of others, while being inevitably bailed out by "the state" whenever they screw up too badly to save themselves.

2)You assume that, in this world, it's actually POSSIBLE to "do for ourselves".  The reality is, the market system is gamed against anyone actually making it on their own from below.

Libertarians are usually arrogant young men who haven't faced the realities of life yet, in my experience, and at worst they're basically school bully types.  That's not a model of adulthood I'd shoot for if I were you, Tin.

Ok one at a time. You first Ken.

I don't assume anything aboout he wealthy. The facts are that most of them do for themselves and do not need the state to hold their hand from cradle to grave. Don't believe me? HOw many millionares are on welfare, food assistance or in social housing? I know a number of them and they all to a man, put intot eh sytem many times more than they ever take out. So enough with the class warfare.

Not only do I "assume" that it is possible to do for yourself, I am living proof. What ever I have, I have earned through the sweat of my brow and by aspiring to be better tomorrow than I am today. This used to be a common thing in this couontry, but after decades of being bouoght with their own money, Canadians in large numbers have forgotten this simple truth.

I couldn't care less what Libertarians are like, they at least don't try to run my life from on high as the government does through confiscatory tax rates and invasive regulations that govern every aspect of our lives. If that is arrogant, fine by me.

Tinman 480

Ken Burch wrote:

Tinman wrote:

Will the vote on this by the rank and file be secret? And if it goes against what the Union leadership wants, will it be respected? Will we know the results and how close the margin of victory or failure is? Somehow I doubt it.

This has been the dream of the communists since Marx came up with the idea over a hundred years ago. It failed in 1917, and it has failed everytime it has been tried everywhere else since then. There is no reason to believe that it will work now. Your workers Utopia is nothing but a really bad idea that should be disposed of as quickly as possible.

Oh and Ken? When will membership in your union become voluntary? When will a members union dues not be used for partisan political agenda's that may or may not reflect the values of the member who pays them? Before you worry about respecting borders, you should fisrt worry about respecting the rank and file. It would b e a good place to start.

Is there a reason you believe that

A)Most working people are still natural supporters of the capitalist status quo? 

B)The idea of an international union could ONLY be motivated by a desire to revive Soviet-style "Communism"?

C)There's a huge block of workers who wouldn't, under ANY circumstances, want to join a union?

 

Why do you assume that the way things are now still has any significant popular support?

[/quote

Ok you are next. Do I beleive they are natural supporters of the status qou? [ what ever that means ] Do you have evidence to the contrary? Why not make your memebership voluntary and find out?

When you consider the ramifications of a world wide uniuions with no respect to borders or nationalities, what other goal is there? is that not what communism is all about?

Large block of voters who wouldn't join a union? There may very well be, but you will never know until you make your membership less than mandatory and put control of where their dues go, back into the hnads of the rank and file, will you? I am not against unions, I believe in peoples right to assemble and associate. I just don't think they should be forced to do it just to work somewhere.

Stargazer

Okay seriously? Tinman, might I suggest you head on over to FreakDumbinion, where I am sure you will be more than welcome.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Dude...you do realize you aren't supposed to keep creating new identities(in this case several times in the same day)after repeated bannings, don't you?

 

And, really, I doubt that everything you have was solely through your own efforts.  That simply isn't possible anymore, due to the way everything is interconnected.   The days of Thomas Jefferson's "yeoman farmer" are gone.  And actually, they were a myth during Jefferson's own life(which, as I might remind you, was the life of a slaveowning millionaire).

Finally, you owe me an apology for insinuating that I'm a Communist.  I support a radical social transformation, but that doesn't mean I(or anyone else on today's Left)wants Stalinism back.  We want a democratized world, socially, politically, and economically.  Most major decisions affect everyone nowadays, therefore, we should all have a say in them.  You can't really argue against that.  If you do, it means you want yourself(and the rest of us)to live at the mercy of the rich.  Why should a handful of people who don't give a damn about most of the human race have power OVER the human race? 

 

 

Tinman 480

Ken Burch wrote:

Dude...you do realize you aren't supposed to keep creating new identities(in this case several times in the same day)after repeated bannings, don't you?

 

And, really, I doubt that everything you have was solely through your own efforts.  That simply isn't possible anymore, due to the way everything is interconnected.   The days of Thomas Jefferson's "yeoman farmer" are gone.  And actually, they were a myth during Jefferson's own life(which, as I might remind you, was the life of a slaveowning millionaire).

Finally, you owe me an apology for insinuating that I'm a Communist.  I support a radical social transformation, but that doesn't mean I(or anyone else on today's Left)wants Stalinism back.  We want a democratized world, socially, politically, and economically.  Most major decisions affect everyone nowadays, therefore, we should all have a say in them.  You can't really argue against that.  If you do, it means you want yourself(and the rest of us)to live at the mercy of the rich.  Why should a handful of people who don't give a damn about most of the human race have power OVER the human race? 

 

 

Ok from teh bottom up, I do hereby sincerely apologize for assuming you a communist. My mistake. I alsoo do not argue with your point about having a say in things. I do disagree with many who would make some of teh changes I have seen discused here, but yoru point is well taken. I prefer to move towards more individual rights over property and wealth through lower tax rates and stronger property rights laws.

Everything I have, I have earned  by generating the means to purchase and pay for them, My horses, my home, my truck, car and boat. All of them and many other things as well are because my wife and I made personal sacrifices in order to obtain them. So I can honestly say that if I can do it, anyone can.

As far as changing identities seveeral times, that was predicated by those who don't like my world view. If they had let me say my piece to begin with, I would not have felt the need to come back over and over under a new [ but very similar I might point out ] nick in channel. I had no intention of being deceptive about who I am or what I believe in.

Now lets lay aside the pettiness and just discuss things as adults.

Stargazer

Aw..forget about it.

Stargazer

Ken, I suspect you're wasting your time.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Ok...discussing things as adults...why do you believe its ok for corporations to transcend borders but not unions?  If you don't have international labor groups to defend workers' rights, how do you avoid nightmares like the sweatshops in Southeast Asia and the brutal maquiladora plants on the U.S.-Mexico border?

At a very basic level, you need something with the power to stand up to multinational corporations at an equal level of strength...or else, economically, you reduce the world economic system to nothing but "rule by the strong".   None of the values of decent life can survive in such a world.  Not because CEO's are personally evil, but because the forces that drive the market system will always push them to make the ugliest and most brutal choices possible, all because, in the market system, nothing but short-term returns for shareholders matters anymore.

 

Also, why do you seem to assume that there's this huge block of people being forced to remain in unions(and requiring coercion to make them join unions if they're not members of them at present)against their will?  It's not as if workers anywhere, in recent memory, have had worse treatment from unions than they have from management.  The days of "union thugs" are gone, my friend, and so are the days of labor fatcats.  The days of arrogant corporate plutocrats, however, seem to be nowhere near ending.  Are you all right with that?

The truth is, there is a huge number of people who would LIKE to join unions(in the U.S. especially)but are denied the chance for union representation do to Reagan-era labour laws that make organizing in unorganized workforces almost impossible.  I've heard an estimate of 70 million people in this category in the States(a larger number than the total vote received by either major party in the U.S. in the last presidential election).

 

 

 

 

 

Tinman 480

Stargazer wrote:

Aw..forget about it.

Not so fast bucko. Youo jump into a conversation, and accuse me of being insulting, then expect to bow out without providing evidence? I don't think so. Put up or shut up. Your call.

remind remind's picture

you are not an adult  tinboy

Stargazer

My call? hahahahahahaha. Oh poor wee boy. My call? Let's play a game. The game goes like this:

- troll with far right tendancies posts on left wing forum

- troll actually believes it is being intelligent/smart/witty - whatever

- troll slams members of left wing forum with unintelligent banter taken from the pages of Atlas Shrugged

- troll knows he isn't wanted here but troll just keeps coming back - over and over again

- troll has serious illusions of grandeur and continues to non impress with its right wing talking points

- troll demands us to treat troll with respect while troll pisses in our sand box

- troll gets banned again

- troll keeps coming back hoping to change minds with unintelligent mainstream blather.

 

Repeat.

Dude.

 

Conclusion: troll is a lonely man with a serious case of braindeaditis ( I hear it is contagious!). Put down the Toronto Sun and read some books.

Tinman 480

Ken Burch wrote:

Ok...discussing things as adults...why do you believe its ok for corporations to transcend borders but not unions?  If you don't have international labor groups to defend workers' rights, how do you avoid nightmares like the sweatshops in Southeast Asia and the brutal maquiladora plants on the U.S.-Mexico border?

At a very basic level, you need something with the power to stand up to multinational corporations at an equal level of strength...or else, economically, you reduce the world economic system to nothing but "rule by the strong".   None of the values of decent life can survive in such a world.  Not because CEO's are personally evil, but because the forces that drive the market system will always push them to make the ugliest and most brutal choices possible, all because, in the market system, nothing but short-term returns for shareholders matters anymore.

 

Also, why do you seem to assume that there's this huge block of people being forced to remain in unions(and requiring coercion to make them join unions if they're not members of them at present)against their will?  It's not as if workers anywhere, in recent memory, have had worse treatment from unions than they have from management.  The days of "union thugs" are gone, my friend, and so are the days of labor fatcats.  The days of arrogant corporate plutocrats, however, seem to be nowhere near ending.  Are you all right with that?

The truth is, there is a huge number of people who would LIKE to join unions(in the U.S. especially)but are denied the chance for union representation do to Reagan-era labour laws that make organizing in unorganized workforces almost impossible.  I've heard an estimate of 70 million people in this category in the States(a larger number than the total vote received by either major party in the U.S. in the last presidential election).

 

 

 

 

 

Ken.

"...why do you believe its ok for corporations to transcend borders but not unions?..."

 

I never said that corporations should be able to transcend borders at the drop of a hat. I believe in an economic model built on most businesses being small and diversified when ever and where ever possible. But in order to make sure that the cmpanies who are successful and grow to become large, do not fly to places like China or Mexico, we have to stop giving them reasons. Things like high tax rates, unrealistic envronmental regulations, and ever increasing demands by labour make foreign shores look all the more attractive. I fyo uwant to win my support for unions and find out which one of us is right about how many actually want to belong, then make membership voluntary. I willl respond to teh rest o this at a later time. I have horses tooo feed and kids to put to bed. I look forward to more. Good night for now.

Stargazer

Hahahaha. You are so not coming back. Have fun tinman! We love you bro!

George Victor

I did have such great hopes for your post #20, Stargazer. That response might again be necessary for a fella  who is responsible for horses and kids. Maybe he's a Maggie Thatcher for whom "there is no such thiing as 'society'." 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Tinman is gone. Please stop flagging his posts. Smile

Sven Sven's picture

Because mining materials cannot be "outsourced", it seems like a (partially) international union in the mining sector could be viable.  In contrast, an international manufacturing union (say, encompassing Canada, the USA, and Mexico) probably isn't viable because manufacturing plants (in currently low-cost Mexico) could be shifted to a non-union geography.  I suppose the only way to create a viable transnational manufacturing union would be to have a truly global union (unlikely) or bar imports from non-union countries (also unlikely).  But, in mining?  That may be viable.

George Victor

Sven wrote:

Because mining materials cannot be "outsourced", it seems like a (partially) international union in the mining sector could be viable.  In contrast, an international manufacturing union (say, encompassing Canada, the USA, and Mexico) probably isn't viable because manufacturing plants (in currently low-cost Mexico) could be shifted to a non-union geography.  I suppose the only way to create a viable transnational manufacturing union would be to have a truly global union (unlikely) or bar imports from non-union countries (also unlikely).  But, in mining?  That may be viable.

What you have described, Sven, is the political economy of control by capital, which it has exercised in the suppression of unions and sovereignty and in the name of higher profits on the market since Ronnie Raygun took up the supply side of the Chicago School. 

International unions able to determine the outcome at the bargaining table still need the rest of the electorate onside.  And that means all of those market watchers - including the unionized - with their concerns for the old pension funds.  Can't see that depth of unity happening, since elections cannot be reduced to single-issue battles (as much as lots of folks  talk about that as a real possibility this side of Shangri La. But we could elect government at home that does not sell out all our major mining firms, like three years ago. Although, you may (or may not) recall that only the real Canucks objected enough to that sellout to even talk about it at election time.     

Nope, we have a laid-back electorate, I'm afraid.  It all comes down to whose ox is being gored, eh?     (Is that from Ecclesiastes?) 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

So, Tommy, out of interest, what led you away from libertarianism?

(And I hope you don't think I'm calling YOU arrogant, for the record).

George Victor

And another question please, Thomas.  What political party banner were they/you flying?

George Victor

Thank you...Tommy.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And I hope you stay with us a long time, Tommy.  You sound like you have a lot of interesting things to say.

Daedalus Daedalus's picture

Tinman 480 wrote:
I don't assume anything aboout he wealthy. The facts are that most of them do for themselves and do not need the state to hold their hand from cradle to grave. Don't believe me? HOw many millionares are on welfare, food assistance or in social housing?

Nonsense. Those are just the portions of state activity concerned with the poor; of course they don't use those, they aren't poor. They selectively attack those portions they don't personally make use of - "selective" being the operative term here. They certainly like having an educated workforce to hire (education paid by the taxpayer), they like having police to protect their wealth, they like having four-lane highways subsidized so they don't have to ride a train or take a bus with the riff-raff - or, Heaven forbid, actually get to work under their own power by walking or biking. That would be too much like actual physical work.

How one can say this while we are watching the state shell out a billion dollars to facilitate a conference for the interests of the wealthy is ridiculous. That's on top of the past few years of bailouts, rock-bottom loans handed out by the dozen, and so on.

In fact, the entire generation of their wealth depends not only on the sort of civil society maintained by the government, but on government maintenance of a system of ownership which allows them to expropriate the fruits of labour from the people who actually produce things and do actual work, in the form of profits. Which are essentially a private tax on workers.

Quote:
I know a number of them and they all to a man, put intot eh sytem many times more than they ever take out.

Bull. Raising a middle class kid with enough advantages to compete at a level that guarantees a middle-class future already costs the parents somewhere between a quarter million and half a million dollars - more than a lifetime of welfare payments! And that is going to public schools and whatnot. We can presume that the upper class child probably costs five to ten times this amount. So much for "self-made".

The "self-made" myth comes from the fact that most of them, existing in a bubble, have not mentally progressed past age 16 or so; they're still busy telling themselves how unfair their parents were and how much better they would have been without their interference. Only out in the real world, government is the new parent.

Quote:
Not only do I "assume" that it is possible to do for yourself, I am living proof. What ever I have, I have earned through the sweat of my brow and by aspiring to be better tomorrow than I am today.

 

See above, this is, quite frankly, nonsense. Before you could even earn anything by the sweat of your brow, investments had to be made in you. Unless you got rich wittling forks from scavenged bits of lumber somehow.

 

More Dick Whittington nonsense!! A mythic legend that never really happened, but has been adopted as some sort of iconic symbol of how the wealthy got the way. Richard Whittington is, in the vast majority of cases, the truth; Dick Whittington the fantasy.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

You put that better than I ever could, Daedalus.  BTW, what's your prediction on the NEXT name the Tinster will use to try and sneak back in here with?

My Cat Knows Better My Cat Knows Better's picture

Although it seems like a good idea, I am not sure how well it would work due to the wide variation in labour laws across the various jurisdictions.  On the other hand there is a good deal of cooperation among the unions internationally now. Not perhaps as much as there should be but the seeds of cooperation have been sown. In 2000 when Mine Mill-CAW, Local 598 struck Falconbridge in Sudbury, NKIF representing the workforce in Kristiansand, Norway went out on a sympathy strike for a week. Mine Mill has also attempted to maintain contacts with SUTRAFADO in the Dominican Republic. They along with the national union, CAW, have also developed contacts with the leaders of  idigenous populations in New Caledonia who are attempting to put environmental constraints on mining operation in there country.  Similarily, the USWA at Vale Inco have been working with their counterparts at the company's Brazilian operations during the current strike. Granted most of the links forged are during times of crisis, and more work needs to be done to keep the ties active during times of relative labour peace, but they exist. It is also notable that these international links seem to be most vulnerable when key people in the Union Movement retire and new leaders step in.

Both the Mine Mill-CAW and USWA have held international conferences with trade unions active in other juridictions both in Canada and abroad.

 

Tommy B

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Tommy B

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Tommy B

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Tommy B

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Tommy B

 Smile