The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

When Wal-Mart and union leaders agree, workers need to worry

Feb 19, 2007

Top officials of SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and CWA (Communication Workers of America) got together with executives of Wal-Mart, AT&T, Intel and temp staffing company Kelly Services to announce that they would work together to bring about changes in the U.S. health care system.

Our current system hurts America’s competitiveness and leaves too many people uninsured,” said Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott. SEIU President Andy Stern, who in the past has criticized Wal-Mart for denying its workers adequate pay and health care benefits, parroted him: “America can’t compete in the global economy when we ask our businesses to put the price of health care on the cost of their products.”

Can’t compete? Wal-Mart? AT&T? Intel? Ridiculous! These are three of the biggest, and most profitable, corporations in the U.S. – no, in the whole world!

No, these companies are highly competitive in maximizing their profits – by lowering wages, speeding up the work and reducing benefits, including health care coverage. So when these bosses talk about “health care reform,” what they mean – in fact openly say – is that companies should not pay for the health care coverage of their workers. But that means they want workers to pay for it instead, personally as well as through taxes.

This is nothing but a war – a ruthless, all-out war the bosses are waging against workers to squeeze ever more profit out of the working class.

And, in this war, who do these greedy bosses – including the notoriously anti-union Wal-Mart – have on their side? Andy Stern, the head of the biggest union in the country!

Stern, and other union bosses, call this a “partnership between business and labor.” It should more appropriately be called “collaboration with the enemy.”