Wednesday, August 14, 2019


Politico New York has a story on the NYC chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America attempting to take over the unions and move them to the left politically. Infiltrating unions is a classic left wing strategy.

Here is the general introduction of the article:

NEW YORK — A left-leaning political organization that publicly backed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in her insurgent victory last year was also quietly plotting to penetrate another New York City power source — labor unions.
The New York City branch of the Democratic Socialists of America presented its members with a strategy last year to gain entry into some of the city’s most powerful labor organizations and ensure they are adhering to the “militant” principles that the group felt had been diluted over time. POLITICO obtained a previously unreported, 37-page memo laying out a follow-up plan that identified 10 unions to target.
The members approved zeroing in on six of those labor groups during a January meeting and have since begun pursuing the effort.
In its memo, the DSA makes clear its dissatisfaction with some of the same unions that were once regarded as a bedrock of left-leaning Democratic politics. The tension resembles the national strain between left-flank Democrats, who want to capitalize on the energy in their wing of the party, and centrists aiming for broader appeal.
“We will focus our branch resources on recruiting NYC-DSA members to take jobs in these sectors and on developing a strategy for militant, democratic, classwide struggles based in these sectors,” reads the introduction to the plan.
It goes on to detail what DSA sees as the shortcomings of each of the six unions and why each is ripe for a shakeup. The organization also identifies ways outsiders can access jobs that would allow them entree into the labor groups.
Okay so you know we are going to dive down to where they get to the UFT. Politico has a spot on paragraph prior to discussing the UFT on the lack of union democracy:

“Unions that aren’t democratic oftentimes fall into the trap of not being able to fight back against concessions that an employer is asking for,” Bianca Cunningham, co-chair of DSA’s city chapter, said in an interview Tuesday. “When you don’t have democracy in unions, they might endorse candidates that are not enacting an agenda that’s beneficial for most working people in the city.”

No problem here Ms. Cunningham but then Politico writes about the UFT and it's cringe time.
Another target is the United Federation of Teachers, a nearly 200,000-member union representing teachers, social workers, secretaries and other school employees.
“UFT is the largest local of one of the largest unions in the country. It has the potential to be extremely influential in electoral politics,” the group wrote. “It is extremely internally undemocratic, but there is a reform caucus, MORE, which has many active DSA members.”
MORE refers to the Movement of Rank and File Educators, whose website leads with a July post criticizing the union’s internal election process and calling for voting reforms.
The union “fails to exercise the full potential of its power” and ends up backing centrist or conservative Democrats, the group added.
“With more DSA teachers, we could bolster and significantly support the internal movement for democracy and militant organizing within the union but it will likely take years to reform the UFT,” it concluded.
Through a spokesperson, UFT President Michael Mulgrew said his union “has been fighting for students, teachers, families and progressive causes since the day it was founded.” He did not comment on anything else in the strategy memo, which references the prospect of school shutdowns over contract negotiations.
Mulgrew's words are a joke. Look at who the UFT has endorsed and given money to over the years, the Union's opposition to opting out from standardized testing and the UFT doing nothing in half a century to lower class size to see where the UFT is at politically. The critique of the UFT from DSA has plenty of validity.

While I have no problem stressing "democracy and militant organizing," those DSA folks in MORE are not going to have much credibility on the democracy issue until they clean up their own undemocratic house.

From our February 2019 endorsement of rival Solidarity's Lydia Howrilka for President of the UFT:

Another opposition caucus calls itself the Movement of Rank and File Educators. They will be running a slate in the 2019 election. I ran with MORE in 2013 and 2016. MORE talks about member involvement and making the UFT more democratic. Unfortunately for MORE, the caucus in the last year has not practiced what it preaches. An organization that calls itself a rank and file group must provide rudimentary due process and MORE badly fails the due process test.

MORE suspends people from their steering committee and caucus without ever giving them a chance to defend themselves. They practice totalitarian style steering committee show trials where people are convicted without ever being allowed to confront their accusers at a trial. The caucus does not respect basic rights. MORE Steering suspends members without even first interviewing or charging them.

MORE in their bylaws say they use Robert's Rules of Order. Here is what Robert's Rules says about disciplining members on page 656:

"A member or officer has the right that allegations against his good name shall not be made except by charges brought on reasonable ground. If thus accused, he has the right to due process--that is, to be informed of the charge and given time to prepare his defense, to appear and defend himself and to be fairly treated." Is it due process if someone gets an email saying they have already been sentenced before they have even had a trial? This is no way to run a caucus, let alone a union.

MORE voted against working with any other opposition group in 2019. It appears they are more interested in pushing their political views than in changing the UFT. It is impossible to defend MORE's indefensible lack of fairness. While I can still work with members of MORE on individual issues like opposing the contract, it is very difficult to support their candidates for union office under these circumstances. I don't want my union to be run like this caucus.

We stand by those words. MORE's vote totals for President in the 2019 UFT election fell off a cliff compared to 2016 from 10,743 to 2,700. Karma justice? Perhaps.

If the Democratic Socialists of America want to be taken seriously inside the UFT, they should work on having their people live up to that democratic part of their name. 


Peter Zucker said...

Wow, look at this DSA meeting. I doubt they can do anything

Anonymous said...

This is apparently real footage of the Democratic Socialists of America conference and the entire stream plays like a 2015 parody. It's beyond anything I thought possible. Somebody. Literally anybody. Please. Tell me this is a troll. This is an elaborate joke. It needs to be.

ed notes online said...

MORE should never utter the word democracy without turning red with embarrassment. The by laws and steering committee that they couldn't control are in the witness protection program.

Anonymous said...

That video is hilarious. I’m often suspicious that half of the weirdos at DSA meetings are just FBI cointelpro plants sent to make DSA look too ridiculous to achieve broad appeal. But, the reality is probably just that they are pampered NYU grads whose parents paid a lot of cheddar to have professors kiss their precious fannies and tell them the diary pages were sufficient term papers. . . Yeah, they probably will get far in the UFT. Somehow, they stumbled onto a good plan. The UFT and DoE are packed with nutballs and goofs who like to talk about themselves.

Anonymous said...

It looks like a MORE meeting too.

Anonymous said...

You mean a bunch of white people lamenting why there are no black people interested in them? Both DSA and MORE fundamentally controlled by white men with a cover of a few white women.

Anonymous said...

No, that’s not what I mean. It’s a bunch of people obsessed about identity politics. The organization is supposed to be about socialism. But, socialism is largely about economics. Miles and Topher in that video said economics triggers their math anxiety, so, they would feel more comfortable if everyone talked about race. If someone would volunteer, they can draw a diagram on chart paper to illustrate how all of their races and genders intersect and form a pattern. That’s socialism, right?

Anonymous said...

I am deeply triggered; since reading your authorotative/bullying statement I have spent a sad day in my safe space and missed my appoinment at the DMV.

Just because a person "looks white" or "male" in your biased eyes doesnt mean they identify as such. I for example identify as a black woman, though you would probably not recognize me as such due to your implicit bias/fascism, gender stereotyping and projection, and ingrained allegiance to Western/imperialistic reality models. You really need to learn that you are both a victim of social contructs as well as an oppressive offender given your adherence to them.

Please educate yourself. Free yah mind! Resist! One Love!

Anonymous said...

Please remove the word 'penetrate' from this article. It is a triggering word which reinforces white male rape culture and imperialism.

James Eterno said...

Penetrate is from Politico, not me. I just copied. Norm is probably going to kill me online for publishing the 1:22 comment but I find some of it to be satirically funny.

Anonymous said...

It's really refreshing and healthy when leftists can have a sense of humor and refrain from silencing dissent and satire imho. Quite unusual in the echo chamber of sjw righteousness these days...and anyhow Norm seems really angry about many things; it's not commonly seen as an attractive characteristic; it's also unlikely to draw more people to the cause of smashing the system...or whatever the cause is now. Maybe he should be red flagged (like Fredo lol).
Saul Alynsky, one of the modern Left's gurus, from his present perch in hell, I'm sure applaudes the rampant identity politics so common in academia and the media today. We have all been reaping the rewards of cultural nihilism for as long as I can remember.
Nihilists of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your pensions...

Anonymous said...

Is @1:22 being serious? Wait, he is a white man identifying as a black woman? He just uses the jargon so convincingly.

Anonymous said...

At 1:52 .. Serious? No it doesn't. The use of this word doesn't reinforce anything and if anyone is triggered by it they ought to take their ass down to the Dr, and get some meds. Not all opioid use is bad, you know.

ed notes online said...

Norm is not angry but as happy as a clam - Tier 1, retired for 17 years and free to say anything he wants. I know this because I spend way too much time handing out with Norm.

Anonymous said...

Norm is a cool guy, he’s helped many members and mentored many CLs. It’s good to have someone like that on your side when you need support. Sorry, but, a lot of folks in MORE seem in it for themselves. I’d much rather turn to someone who knows what they’re talking about and is motivated for the right reasons. We need MORE Norms, not, MORE MOREs! : )