When Donald Trump refused to accept Joe Biden’s winning election results, the US union began discussing general strike ideas.
Such a move will be unprecedented in modern times. Since 1946, general strikes have not occurred in the United States and have been confined to Oakland, California.
The local trade union in Rochester, NY was the first union group to officially support this idea. The federal coalition of Seattle and western Massachusetts subsequently approved a resolution that general strikes should be considered if Trump attempts to overturn the election results.
Dan Maloney, chairman of the Rochester-Genesee Valley Regional Labor Federation, said AFL-CIO, a leading US labor federation with a group of 100,000 members representing more than 12.5 million from local unions. He said he had adopted a resolution to discuss ideas with people. Man.
On October 8, the Rochester Federation prepared for “Zenest of all workers, if necessary, to ensure the peaceful transition of power required by the Constitution as a result of the 2020 presidential election.” Voted to support the event. Union leaders voted to “resolutely oppose any effort to overturn, distort, misrepresent, or ignore the end result.”
Rochester’s move has spurred discussions and debates about the possibility of a general strike in a post-union union, even though some Labor leaders consider it a radical and difficult action to separate. It was. “This idea has won far more legs than I expected,” Maloney told the Guardian. “Our democracy is at stake for aspiring dictators. If he tries to maintain power against the will of the American people, it is counted and needed to drive him out of the office. It’s time to do anything. “
Maloney acknowledged that the general strike would be a special measure. “In extreme times, we need to take drastic measures,” he said.
A resolution of the Federation of Rochester states: “The extreme risks currently posed to the historic democratic institutions of our country may require broader and more intense resistance than at any point in recent history.”
Maloney said in a phone call with Labor leaders on October 22 that AFL-CIO president Richard Tormuka said the union would overwhelmingly focus on maximizing Biden’s turnout until November 3. He emphasized that he should guess. Later, Mr. Trumka said the union could focus on what to do if Trump resisted a peaceful transition.
On October 19, the AFL-CIO Executive Council approved the resolution as follows: “In the final analysis, democracy is not protected by judges, attorneys, reporters, and publishers. The survival of democracy depends on the determination of those who work to defend it. And the United States The labor movement is certainly determined to protect our democratic republic. “
Michael Podholzer, Senior Adviser to Torumka, said: We are not looking for a fight. I want you to respect the election results. If what he says doesn’t respect them, we’re ready. I believe this is a country where voters say it is important. “
Podhorzer, AFL-CIO’s Political Director, said: “What’s really impressive is that Joe Biden and the labor movement are doing everything they can to win the election, and Donald Trump is doing everything he can to defeat the election.”
“General strikes are a slogan, not a strategy,” Podhorzer added at this time.
But for many, it’s an exciting slogan. Sara Nelson, chairman of the Flight Attendants Association, incorporates the general strike idea into a national conversation after the federal government was closed in December 2018 as Trump and Congress clashed over funding the border wall. I helped that. In a speech on January 20, 2019, Nelson demanded a general strike to end the shutdown, and many people helped Trump finish the 35-day shutdown and forgive her for wall funding. I trust the call.
Nelson said a general strike could definitely help if Mr. Trump refused to respect the election results. “What we’ve seen is that people are working on our business during the day and doing large-scale protests at night. That’s not enough to move this president,” Nelson said. He said. “He will use those protests to further divide the country. We deprive government or corporate stakeholders of all power and control and put our labor into office for this person. You have to do one thing: withhold. “
Nelson said strikes to ensure that Trump respects election results “improve our work,” including “our work safety and workplace safety.” “If Donald Trump remains in the office, we’re all at risk,” she said. “This is directly related to our basic and financial safety.” Nelson has repeatedly criticized Trump for being too little to help the unemployed and sick aviation industry. Such a general strike is “firmly based” on what is best for workers, she said.
Nicole Grant, who heads the MLK trade union, which consists of 150 local unions in the Seattle area and about 200,000 members, responded to the “confusion and anxiety” that Trump said spurred on her. The group said it had approved a resolution facilitating internal discussions and planning. A resolution of her federation stated that “we will take the necessary non-violent actions up to the general strike to protect our democracy, constitution, law and the democratic traditions of our country.”
“This is the kind of demand we have in case of an emergency,” Grand explained. She said Labor leaders do not want to reach that point. “But at the same time, when we think about the possibility of a coup, that’s not what we support.”
Erik Loomis, a labor historian at the University of Rhode Island and author of A History of America in Ten Strikes, said: “Many of the conversations on the left about general strikes in this country are a kind of romantic thing. Stand up.” But Loomis added: “If there was a general strike in this country, it would probably come from an established labor movement. The only group that can do things is an established labor movement.” If a general strike occurs, union leaders States that college students, Black Lives Matter activists, women and environmental groups, and many others want to attend.
Nelson admitted that a successful general strike may not be easy. She said she needed “sparks to light the fire” and “people who lead the battle.” “Do you think the labor movement is ready to carry out a general strike? No,” Nelson said. “But can we do that? Can we organize it quickly? Can we define the urgency of the moment? Absolutely.”