People for a New Society letter to labor unions


Walter Petrovich
People for a New Society (PFANS),
August 2007 letter to labor union
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 09:51:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Boring from Within...
To: ...

I am sending this note to as many "local" unions as I can find addresses,...Not to the union headquarters where the bureaucrats reside... They will surely stuff it...Asking you to first make any additions or changes you think are better suited to the idea..., and then forward it to any Local you know..., OR send to me such addresses and I will do the forwarding..Wot you tink?

Wally Petrovich


August, '07

To all union and non union workers..., Listen up! It's your life!

Isn't it about time we let DEMOCRACY work for us ??? To do that, we have to stop watching and letting the politicians and the corporations do our thinking., while giving us the feeling that all that is going on is what WE want. Democracy is not a spectator sport. WE have to do our own thing to live in the kind of society WE want., and not this kind, with its periodic wars and poverty for million.., the society that has been created for us by this political system and this corporate owned and controlled economy.

We have all the Constitutional laws available for our use to change our necessary social institutions to work for we can live in a peaceful and prosperous society. Let's learn how to use them. Let's give DEMOCRACY a chance!

I worked as a union member in industry, and in education for many years. Now retired.

I know that our so-called unions are constructed so that the membership has no real voice in the operations... The union "officials" have their "private" relationships with the industrial owners..., and it's the same in the Education "industry," with Teacher union reps having their private "talks" with Bd.of Ed members, as well as with the district's politicians...The membership is always told what has been done and what will be done..., and the voting process is packaged in keeping with the union bosses plans..., AND worst of all..., the union bosses ACCEPT the UNDEMOCRATIC relationships Labor has with owners..., and we are always in a "begging" position when we negotiate for necessary wage increases and needed safety and other work conditions.

Fact is, as a majority..., we, of Labor, are being screwed whether we are white, black, blue of any color of our collar..., when it comes to having any measure of democracy in any real decision making..., in our dealings with those who buy and sell our labor power. And because WE have no real say in what goes on..., we never really get things done in our best interests.

Can you imagine a "real" union representative..., which is what our "leaders" are supposed to be..., allowing a TEN year minimum wage freeze? Our union bosses have been sitting their fat asses all this time doing what..., playing golf with the big boys? These guys are always "talking" with the politicians. They know what is going down. We never do until it happens.

The Sweeneys and the major party politicians are not really concerned with the rank and file as much as they are in keeping their own positions safe..., They're doing fine. Not most of us. As a class, we are in so much deep debt because our wages are never enough to keep up with all our needs ., and the latest banking laws recently passed by "OUR" elected representatives, are worst than ever for us. Now we are forced, by new laws, to pay big penalties for being even an hour late in making payments. Why such anti-Labor laws? Because the Banking and other lending corporations pay big bucks to the election campaigns of BOTH major parties.., the Republicans and the Democrats are on the same page in the same corporate book we are told is entitled, "Democracy in Action!" That's a real B.S. title if there ever was on!

Since retirement, I have been doing some heavy reading about my life's work days, and labor's role in this whole arrangement...My own experiences confirm my conclusion that this entire system is not for those of us who work for wages.., and "salaries," because we really have NO control over what we are told to do... I have become an American radical., all for democracy in all places where Labor is needed for the benefit of society and the personal freedoms of the individual. We can do it. The U.S. Constitution says so. Problem is, we don't use it.

I believe the system we have stinks for all workers... No democracy for us in our dealings with both the "union" bureaucrats and the corporation bosses..., the municipal politicians and the Boards of Education..., all our bosses..., and we never have a real decision making say in what goes on.

I have come to understand what it meant by being a "wage" slave without the rights of a individual in a society which is supposed to be a democracy.

I once questioned why the NJ State Parents/Teacher Association..., which is supposed to be there to work to improve educational processes..., never takes into account some of the lousy work and classroom conditions many teachers face each day all over the country, and I was brought up by the district's superintendent and questioned about my "motives..," as though was I part of some subversive group, like a " Soviet communist," trying to undermine the PTA !!!!!

Today, I am all for changing this entire system in which our majority electorate is primarily of wage workers..., Labor in all fields... We do all the work, even as managers..., yet, we have no democratic decision making authority to make things happen for our own benefits...And there is no political party out there helping us...In fact, both major parties USE us to get elected..., and then dump us for another few years until it's time for them to get our vote. Imagine., 10 years without a new minimum wage..., and when it finally happens..., it's little better than nothing! And we call this a DEMOCRACY???

I probably sound like it to some..., but I'm not one of those Soviet communists, or anything like that...But, if wanting to have a direct voice and a vote in ALL matters what affect my life labels me as a communist, then, OK, that's what I am... But I think we must all have such a voice...

Were we to have democracy in the industries our own working class forefathers built up to what we have today..., we would not ever be involuntarily unemployed..., nor would we allow poverty to exist anywhere in our country... But the way the market is used by the corporate owners and all the big time capital investors..., like right now when the economy is going down hill again..., people losing their homes to the banking corporations because their wages cannot support their mortgages., working families suffer, while the heavy "private" investors may lose some bucks, their affluent life style goes on.., and, so long as this system is in place, we, and our kids, and theirs, will always go through this rotten cycle. This shouldn't go on. We mustn't let it go on. We have all the necessary legal and peaceful ways to change it.

Point is..., we have to take control of our own unions..., kick out our union bosses..., and organize ourselves along lines that benefit our majority of working people. We can do it. We have the numbers..., but do we have the stuff?

This TV guy on CNN, Lou Dobbs, is always talking about the "War" on the Middle Class...,, and he is right...Isn't it a "WAR" when we have to go on strike for better wages and work conditions? Don't the corporate owners..., the Ceo's and the big investors know they are killing us by sending our jobs to India and China and all places where wages are cheaper...? Sure they do...but they do it anyway. They don't care about the country's people..., only the profits they can make by denying us a living. We have nothing in common with those people... They are of another class..., not our's. Their first loyalty is not to the health of our nation..., only to their own profits... Why else would they be sending our jobs all over the world??

The Middle class is working class..., and so is the "lower" class ., working class..., and so is the "Upper" class, guys making a hundred thousand or so .. , also working class because, while better paid..., all have little or no real decisions making voices in how the business is being run.

Our own working class managers are paid to manage us..., but they're in our class..., have no doubt about it. They can be fired any day..., just like the rest of us.

The different levels of workers' income does not mean we are of a different class. But the ones with the millions and billions, who never do anything in our places of work..., like the CEOs who make hundreds of bucks more an hour than the highest among our own wage earners..., are in a class all by themselves..., and we never hear about what "class" they are in.

That's how we have been divided, even in our own unions..., so that we never realize the potential, of our real political power. When we do, we will be able to transform this system to one in which we make decisions in all matters that concern our individual and society well being.

I have said too much already... Any comments? Or are you guys so stuck in the way this system has bottled you up that you can't think outside the box?

Wally Petrovich


I have a helluva lot more to say about all this.. Myself and some family and friends..., have put together some big ideas about how we get political action going...and make things happen for the better..., and I want this to happen before I kick the bucket, which is getting too close to my foot, and I don't have too much more time before it touches my big toe.

Who else but we, working people, have the best understanding of our own work places..., about the authorities under which we work..., and really know what I am talking about...It's all about democracy for We, the People... Without it, we're slaves..., wage slaves. John Adams said so even way back then.

When we get ourselves..., our rank and file, out of the clutches of the union bureaucrats and their corporate pals, we can make things happen. We can do it..., when we get together and organize to legally and peacefully change conditions for the better. This is serious stuff. Really think about it.

The only labor movement political party I know that is working for an economic democracy is the "Campaign for a Working Democracy " organization which can be viewed on the internet. But first things first. How can we start this from where we sit in our own work places?

We want to live in a DEMOCRACY in which We, the People, have real control of all matters that affect our lives?

Well, what about it? Is there anybody?

Wally P. (Pfans)