The following editorial comes from Virginia Worker Editorial Board member Sal Rojo on the recent electoral victory of Democrat Jennifer McClellan and the support of union bureaucrats for Democrat politicians in general
After the special election for Virginia’s 4th Congressional District to replace Donald McEachin’s long-held seat, Jennifer McClellan has been declared the winner over Republican contender Leon Benjamin. The results are being hailed as “historic” since McClellan is the first Black woman elected to US Congress from our state.
Union bureaucrats from across Virginia offered their congratulations after endorsing McClellan – as well as spending union members’ dues to fund her campaign. The reality is McClellan’s victory is no victory for Virginia workers. Her victory is considered significant only to liberals who fetishize social identity as they continue with their anti-worker agenda.
How many times have Democrats shown they will throw workers under the bus when push comes to shove? Let’s not be so quick to forget that it was a Democrat President just several weeks ago – along with the support of “socialist” politicians affiliated with DSA – who scabbed on railroad workers and destroyed their ability to strike. This all right before the East Palestine train disaster, which railroad workers warned would happen as railroad companies cut corners by skimping on safety and labor costs (with the help of Democrats).
On the state level it was Democrats – having a majority in the house, senate, and governorship – who refused to abolish “right to work” laws, which ban strikes and unions for state workers, and prohibits union shops in the private sector.
Even on the municipal level we see the contradiction between Democrats’ interests and the interests of workers. ATU Local 689 in Northern Virginia has been waging a month-long strike against Keolis Corporation for better pay, compensation, and safety for both the workers and riders of their bus system.
Democrats have a majority on the Board of Supervisors in Loudoun County. They have the ability to enforce the contract between Keolis and the county, which can financially penalize Keolis for disruption of service, and could press Keolis to the negotiating table with ATU Local 689 over their demands. The union has even funded these Democrats on the board, only for the board to tell the union that they can’t interfere in this on-going labor dispute. Talk about a bad investment.
At every level we see how hollow Democrats’ support for labor is. We need to look to workers like those in VCORE who have called for establishing independence from Democrats in the unions and among the working class in general. Why should workers’ wages be wasted on supporting corrupt, capitalist parties and their candidates when they have always shown themselves to be loyal to business above all else? The lesser evil argument – which Democrats exploit to prop up Republican boogeymen – is garbage.
If we want our interests as workers represented we have to establish independence in the unions, and independence politically through the creation of a working class party with a socialist program, and which can hold its representatives accountable. Defaulting to the Democrats means perpetual impotence for working families.
We call on all union members to push for constitutional amendments within their unions to ban all funding of Democrat politicians, and all capitalist parties. As well as to pass resolutions in their unions calling for and endorsing an independent workers party on the state level.
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