[OPE-L:2951] Re: Re: Re: working class

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Sat Apr 29 2000 - 11:04:45 EDT

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Dear Jerry,
Again I think you make a good point--we needn't take the standpoint of
proletarian exclusivism in determination of the social struggles we as
Marxists support. Yet it seems clear to me (and to the workers themselves
according to Greenhouse) that despite being formally petty bourgeois, they
(the port truckers) are actually exploited as *employees* of the shipping
companies. Unless this is recognized, any collective organization remains
illegal as anti monopoly practice--so it's neither here nor there whether
we Marxists are broad-minded enough to support non proletarian struggles:
unless this is recognized as a proletarian upsurge, there will be no
struggle to support. Even the Teamsters' answer to the problem seems not to
organize the collective power of the independent contractors, claiming that
they are really the employees of the shipping company, but to encourage
them to come to work for unionized trucking companies, knowing full well
that the shipping companies will bypass them due to their probable higher
costs (as a result of higher wages). It is interesting that the
collectivist union sentiment displayed by the port truckers seems quite
unusual behavior for the so called petit bourgeoisie.
It is obvious that by superficial inspection and the formal criteria
employed by you and the Feds, the port truckers seem to be petit bourgeois
or independent contractors. Indeed the shipping companies have taken
advantage of the law's formal criteria by which employee status is
determined in order (as it appears to me) to raise the rate of exploitation
of the workers through what has defacto been a tremendous wage cut.
Yours, Rakesh


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