RevoltForside nr6 page 001On International Workers’ Day, May 1st, thousands of people gather in Fælledparken in Copenhagen, as is tradition. But you have to look long and hard after the class struggle on this International Workers’ Day in Fælledparken. The union leadership has converted May 1st into a festival with draught beer and hotdogs, garnished with a couple of political speeches that very few people pay attention to.

For the union leadership May 1st is a day to pat each other on the back while filling union members with beer and liquor to keep them pacified. The leadership does what they have been doing for years. Meanwhile they have failed to notice that times are changing. But the most class conscious layers of the working class are starting to realize that times are changing, and a demand for a fighting labor movement is growing. They demand that the labor movement “does something new”. By “new” they mean that it’s time for the union leadership to get out of their offices and put up a fight against the employers.

For decades the union leadership and trendy consultant-types have brushed off strikes, blockades and class struggle as being outdated and old fashioned. But the “old fashioned” methods pay off. On April 1st DSB employees had enough and went on a historic strike. For 11 hours the rail traffic on Sjælland was completely shut down. After an 11 hour strike the train drivers got more concessions from the DSB leadership than months of negotiating between the DSB leadership and Dansk Jernbaneforbund (Danish Rail Union) had provided.

The DSB employees clearly demonstrated the power wielded by the working class — when they know how to use it. Without the consent of the workers literally not a single wheel will turn. What the employers really fear is taking a hit to their bottom line. This is a lesson that won’t be forgotten by the DSB workers or workers in any other trade. If you want concessions you need to struggle for them.

So what’s really outdated and old fashioned? The union leadership is living in the past. Mentally they are still living in the post-war boom — a period in time where class contradictions were weakened and class collaboration between the unions, employers and state were established. Even back then negotiations didn’t lead to improvement without a fight either, but during the post-war boom there were at least some reforms implemented that were to the benefit of the working class. Reforms like unemployment benefits, pensions, students’ benefits etc. The union leadership still live under the illusion that they can achieve results by sitting in their comfortable negotiation rooms and going on trips to exotic locations with the employers, which is common practice leading up to a collective bargaining.

But the post-war boom is long gone. Times have changed. Today there is austerity and privatizations on the agenda. Employers have been waging a war against the working class for a long time, without any genuine resistance from the labor movement. This is why the unions have been losing members these past years. The demand for renewal is not a rejection of the unions, on the contrary it is a demand for the unions to do what they were made for: fighting for the interests of the working class. There is nothing wrong with draught beer and hotdogs, but if the employers’ assault on the working class is to be stopped, there is only one solution: class struggle. The labor movement must wake up — out of their offices and to the barricades!

[Læs om hvorfor vi bygger en revolutionær organisation]

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