Letters From the October 5/12, 2020, Issue

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Letters From the October 5/12, 2020, Issue

Neoliberalism doesn’t work

On “The strategy with 7,383 seats works” by Joan Walsh [September 7/14]: There is not a single word in this article on why the Democrats lost nearly 1,000 state races during Barack Obama’s presidency. Mainly because of the party’s neoliberal policies, which work against its traditional working class and middle class constituencies. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were both proponents of this policy, and the state-level impact on the party has been catastrophic.

Democrats are now taking seats over Donald Trump’s unpopularity and incompetent handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, as long as the democratic establishment avoids its progressive base (as the choice of speakers at the party’s national congress shows dramatically), this increase will only be temporary and, in the long term, may lead to renewed republican achievements. The neoliberals represent only a tiny fraction of the electorate and are only kept in power by big money and media influence.

C.Aleb M.elamed

The real Norma Rae

To “There is power without a union” by P.E. Moskowitz [September 7/14]: The iconic full-page photo in your article shows Sally Field as Norma Rae, standing on a work table holding up a hand-drawn sign that reads “Union”. in the The nationHowever, the version of “Union” is crossed out and replaced with “Workers United”. This is a joke on many levels. The working-class southern white woman who took this bold stance at a J.P. Stevens in Roanoke Rapids, NC, wrote “Union” for a reason. For the workers there is power in the union. For this reason, all employees in this department have switched off their machines.

For at least the last 25 years of her life, I was one of Crystal Lee Sutton’s closest friends, the real Norma Rae. Despite a bureaucratic union leadership that often worked with bosses and sold the workers, Crystal maintained over the decades until her death that “even being part of a union is better than no union at all”. She knew that the union was her vehicle to full human dignity – and the film about her life was excellent on both women and work.

Moskowitz’s “hero,” Adam Ryan, criticizes the current labor leadership, pointing to Occupy Wall Street, and the savage teacher crosses out 2018 as positive influences on him. The wonderful wildcat strikes, however, were started by organized union teachers – one of several cases in which Moskowitz has inadvertently demonstrated that even part of a union is better than no union at all.

Moskowitz claims that “a lot of Americans just don’t want to join unions” as an argument against organizing workers. Let’s remember that many Americans simply don’t want to wear masks either. Moskowitz should stop playing with the working class.

R.ichard K.oritz
Solidarity representative
American Postal Workers Union

greensboro, n.c.

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