Union betrayals

November 30, 2016

From the November-December 2016 issue of News & Letters

Detroit—Coming from a union family for all our generations in this country, and coming from the house of labor myself, it is ironic to witness what has happened in this election cycle in Detroit.

The labor movement put up candidates against the duly elected school board. Not just any candidates. We on the school board worked for seven years under emergency managers without compensation, always in defense of voting rights like the white districts have, and in defense of teachers and students.


Labor put up Sonya Mays, who worked for Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr; Iris Taylor, who helped privatize the Detroit Medical Center for Mayor Mike Duggan, and other candidates in the same league. We worked for the people. They spent millions to defeat us, and thus to defeat public education.

The labor movement in Michigan also put up a proposal to defeat ballot measure Community Benefits so they could continue to discriminate and allow whites from outside Detroit to get jobs denied Detroit residents of color. That proposal passed, and they can keep driving in to Detroit to take jobs we pay for and do not benefit from.


Nationally, the AFL-CIO issued a press release in support of the Dakota Access Pipeline to ensure 4,000 “good paying union jobs.” DAPL will allow pollution of water and desecration of land in direct violation of treaties defending sacred land.

We need not wonder how many of these workers are Donald Trump supporters. The lines are clearly drawn. Which side are you on?

—Elena Herrada

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