Corrupt Union Officials: Product of Capitalism’s Wage Slavery

End It with Communist Revolution

LOS ANGELES (USA)— “It is time to raid the castle. There need to be repercussions and consequences to his actions.”

This was an MTA bus operator’s reaction to the scandal about Andy Carter, the President-Treasurer of a SMART local, who was caught embezzling union funds. The operator and others want to replace corrupt union officials with honest ones. Others would like to decertify the union and vote in a different one – or not. None of this is any solution.

Corruption is a product of capitalism’s wage slavery. The wage system itself is the biggest thievery in human history. Capitalists keep most of the value workers produce, leaving them with only a wage, barely enough to survive. This is also the material basis for racism, sexism, borders and wars.

Communism will eliminate wage slavery and with it all these evils by destroying money, banks and the market. Nothing will be bought and sold, especially our labor power. With no special privileges for anyone, we will all do mental and physical work.

Union Bureaucrats: More Thieves

Communists and other radicals built the US labor movement in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They were dedicated and militant reformers and many had communism as a long-term goal. But they followed the mistaken line of leading millions not to fight for communism but for higher wages and benefits.

After World War II, the US rulers took advantage of this weakness to kick them out of the unions and replace them with anti-communist bureaucrats. A few communists and radicals were allowed to stay because they didn’t preach revolution and channeled workers into the dead-end of capitalism’s electoral charade.

Union bureaucrats all help perpetuate our wage slavery by restricting our struggle to the fight for the always elusive “best contract” while keeping us away from revolutionary communism. Their reward is lavish life styles at the members’ expense. In 2016 the average US union leader made over $250,000 plus perks. Many made over $700,000. This is big-time embezzlement and, like capitalist thievery, it is all legal.

Why the fuss about Carter?

In part, it reflects infighting among greedy bureaucrats and wannabes.

More important, it is to save their cozy jobs, salaries and benefits from an upcoming Supreme Court decision that threatens the existence of the union. This decision will allow workers in unionized workplaces to refuse to pay dues or “fair share” contributions to the union.

The bureaucrats know that most workers view them with contempt. They are afraid that workers will leave the union in droves when given the opportunity. Some want to sue Carter for embezzlement, pretending to clean house in an attempt to regain some respectability in workers’ eyes.

MTA workers don’t have any dog in this fight.

We don’t need union leaders, corrupt or honest. Trade union ideology is capitalist ideology. Instead of striving to end wage slavery, it bargains the terms of our exploitation.

As long as the capitalists hold state power, we have no protection. Unions limit our struggles to the capitalists’ courts, laws and judges. There everything is rigged against us. The capitalists make the laws to benefit them, not us.

We need to meet every capitalist attack by organizing communist class struggle. Let’s put forward the vision of communism and prioritize recruiting masses to ICWP for the communist revolution that will end capitalism.

Only then will we be able to create a different world. In a communist world we won’t have corruption or unions because we won’t have wage slavery.

We Need Communist Ideology

A comrade took Red Flag and a leaflet with this analysis to a union meeting. About a third of the workers took our literature. Later one operator reported:

“The meeting was full of it. Basically, Carter was given a pass. He can keep the money he stole and the raise he gave himself. He went from being a full-time union employee to a part time one but he is making more money now.

“Some workers were very vocal, speaking out against this farce, but the vice president has blind, loyal supporters who have been working there for decades.”

Some union bureaucrats have so much contempt for MTA workers that they think workers will put up with anything because they need the union. Instead of trying to reform the union, MTA workers should organize around our communist line.

Our best protection is to join ICWP to build for a communist revolution that will forever put an end to capitalism-imperialism and all its evils. Join ICWP, read Red Flag and distribute it to friends and coworkers. And recruit them to do the same, to accelerate the birth of a communist world!

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