source : www.wsws.org
While thousands demonstrated in Chicago on Thursday against Joe Biden’s support for the Israeli genocide, Biden and United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain held a joint rally two hours away in Belvidere, Illinois, to promote the sellout deal signed last week agreed upon by the UAW bureaucracy and the Big Three car companies.
The UAW-Biden event shed light on the two-front war the American ruling class is waging around the world.
Fain and Biden had nothing but praise for each other and for the tentative agreements, which perpetuate the hated system, block the transition of “part-time” temporary workers, fail to make up for decades of declining wages and pave the way for mass job losses due to the switch to electric vehicles.
Fain viewed this sell-off as a victory and thanked Biden for “the support the White House has shown throughout this fight,” adding that “now we move forward.” Biden returned the compliment to Fain, saying, “You’ve done a great job,” praising the contracts as “historic” and “game changers.”
In presenting the contracts as completed deals, both Fain and Biden forgot one small detail: the constituency.
Neither mentioned that the vast majority of the Big Three’s nearly 150,000 employees have not yet voted on the contract, or that major factories that have voted have voted down the contract in recent days, including GM Flint Assembly, Romulus Powertrain, Marion Stamping and Pontiac. Stamping/drivetrain.
The entire establishment disdains the most basic democratic rights of workers. Fain and the UAW leadership called off all strikes at the Big Three and ordered workers to return before even seeing the tentative agreements. As if there was any doubt about their goals, organizers of the Chicago rally hung a banner behind the speakers that read: “Auto Workers Back to Work.”
Never before has a sitting American president been as closely involved in pushing for the ratification of a labor contract as Biden has been with the UAW. Writing the car conversations, Politics reported that “Biden himself was informed about it daily, even after the war broke out in Israel.”
The US government – the executive committee of the US ruling class – sees the suppression of class struggle as essential to its war aims abroad. There are several reasons for this.
First, the ruling class views the auto workers’ struggle – and any working-class struggle – as a threat to the global financial position of corporate America, already destabilized by record levels of debt that are undermining the role of the dollar as the country’s main currency. further undermine the world. Wall Street’s solvency and its ability to dominate the global market depend on the increasingly intensive extraction of surplus value from the working class in the US and internationally.
Second, American imperialism regards the suppression of class struggle at home as a military necessity. Biden addressed the nation last month to demand an additional $105 billion for the US-led war against Russia in Ukraine and the US-backed Israeli genocide in Gaza. In doing so, he called for a return to wartime production levels not seen since World War II to “replenish” supplies of equipment and weapons.
Pentagon spokespeople routinely complain to the media about the difficulties in producing enough weapons and equipment for all of America’s wars, especially ahead of their plans for war with China. In his speech in Belvidere, Biden spoke about the need to develop a domestic electric vehicle industry to counter China, saying: “My administration will continue to work to ensure the UAW has everything it needs to to beat China and everyone else in the world.”
Third, the ruling class is deeply concerned about the political radicalization of the working class and views any social struggle as a potential threat to the survival of the capitalist system. The Biden administration and corporate media establishment have labeled pro-Palestinian protesters as anti-Semitic, with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre even comparing them to neo-Nazis. The US Congress condemned Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for using a pro-Palestinian slogan in an attempt to intimidate all pro-Palestinian expressions, while many imperialist governments around the world have outright banned protests.
But the mass resistance to the US ruling class’s multi-front wars – waged against the world’s working class – is coming to the surface.
The UAW bureaucracy’s dirty role in suppressing social opposition to war became clear during Biden’s speech in Belvidere. As Biden began to speak, he was interrupted by a protester who demanded a ceasefire and shouted: “10,000 Palestinians have been killed, a genocide is taking place in Gaza!” The UAW bureaucrats present began booing and shouting, “Throw her out!” and “Now is not the time for that.” They tried to drown out the anti-genocide protester with chants of “We love you, Joe!”
While the UAW bureaucracy in Belvidere cheered on Genocide Joe, thousands demonstrated in Chicago in support of the people of Palestine. Protests were organized in anticipation of Biden’s visit to the city Thursday evening for a fundraiser organized by multimillionaire, bipartisan megadonor Glen Tullman. After declaring himself a friend of “working people” in Belvidere, Biden passed the hat to Chicago’s super-rich at an event that cost $3,330 to attend and $200,000 to “co-host.”
The White House and the UAW bureaucracy will not succeed in their desperate attempts to build popular support for their actions. Support for Biden is declining, and even among Democrats there are increasing calls to remove him from the list in 2024. Fain was elected in a fraudulent election, winning votes from just 3 percent of the grassroots.
Will Lehman, a rank-and-file UAW auto worker, has received an overwhelming response to his demand that the UAW halt production of military equipment going to Israel, with full pay for all workers involved. A video Lehman posted of his call was viewed hundreds of thousands of times, with thousands of workers and young people leaving messages of support.
Although several UAW factories make equipment and ammunition for the Israeli military, Shawn Fain has rejected Lehman’s call. He did not refer to the ongoing carnage in Palestine when he praised Biden on Thursday as a hero of the working class. In a statement before the meeting, Lehman said:
Fain’s actions, and the actions of the entire UAW leadership, were to continue to support Joe Biden and keep production running while “made in the USA” bombs and missiles continue to rain down on the defenseless people of Gaza. I condemn this cowardly silence from the bureaucrats who run the UAW and all other major American unions. Their silence shows that the entire AFL-CIO bureaucracy has fully integrated itself into the imperialist Democratic Party, with devastating consequences for workers in the US and internationally…
If action is to be taken, it must be organized and prepared by us, the rank and file, both within the UAW and beyond, on an international scale. Anti-war movements of the past, led by the privileged upper middle class, have been housed in the Democratic Party, the graveyard of social movements. This anti-war movement must be based on the working class, the social force capable of putting an end to imperialist war and capitalist exploitation.
This call also receives massive support. Workers and youth, regardless of where they work, can join the grassroots movement and be part of the struggle to unite workers against imperialism, corporate exploitation and pro-imperialist trade union bureaucracies by completing the form below.
source : www.wsws.org