(Socialist Workers web site)
The AFL-CIO is trying to figure out its future. The Long Shoremen have voted to leave the AFL-CIO over Obamacare.
Those with a little more insight into the history of the Labor unions know that they grew in the United States specifically to try to keep blacks out of the work force. Henry Ford in particular employed a lot of black workers (and immigrants from Lebanon and Syria) in order to prevent his company from being unionized. The UAW was formed at General Motors which had been consolidating the various other car makers in Michigan. The ultimately forced Ford to have to cave to the UAW, putting the Arab American and black workers in conflict with each other – former mayor Coleman Young had been an UAW organizer at Ford.
But it wasn’t just the car companies – it was police and fire unions, construction workers, longshoremen… by taking the choice of who to hire away from the company, and putting an emphasis on relatives of existing union workers, and seniority (last hired, first fired), unions were very much focused on keeping black workers out of the work force. Those guys in KKK uniforms more than likely were carrying union cards – the areas with the highest activity by the KKK were areas in the North where blacks from the Great Northern Migration came in conflict with the White labor unions
It’s very ironic then that the NAACP is now discussing affiliating with the AFL-CIO. Have they forgotten the history or did President Obama just conquer the socialist labo[u]r movement in the United States?