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by Scott Greer
Marco Rubio now loves unions. “When the conflict is between working Americans and a company whose leadership has decided to wage culture war against working-class values, the choice is easy — I support the workers. And that’s why I stand with those at Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse today,” the Florida senator wrote in a USA Today op-ed last week.
Most nationalists would agree with what Rubio says in his op-ed endorsing the unionization drive of Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama. He castigates Amazon for attacking conservative values while expecting Republicans to defend its interests. The op-ed primarily supports Amazon unionization in the hope it impedes the tech giant’s woke capitalism.
This argument is attractive. Amazon is undeniably an evil institution that deserves to be crippled. Too much of our lives are built around the whims of Jeff Bezos. Amazon may provide convenient services, but these come at the cost of establishing an unelected oligarchy that wants to destroy the historic American nation. Republicans should look at ways to counter this menace.
Unions aren’t the way to do it. It’s stupid for the Right to ally with an equally pernicious institution in the hope it miraculously switches sides and blocks woke capitalism. That’s just as likely as Nancy Pelosi suddenly embracing nationalism.
Unions, by every metric, stand shoulder to shoulder with the woke left. They may quibble with giant corporations over wages and benefits, but nearly all union leaders share the same basic worldview as progressive CEOs.
This applies to every major union — the AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, United Auto Workers, Teamsters, United Food and Commercial Workers, UNITE HERE, etc. — they all endorse amnesty for illegal aliens and mass immigration. The AFL-CIO, which includes 55 unions under its umbrella, leads on this front. In 2017, the group declared that Donald Trump’s tough immigration enforcement put “our core democratic values and institutions at risk.” “When you attack immigrants, you attack workers. And we won’t stand for any of it!” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka proclaimed in a 2020 speech.
Some union leaders explicitly back open borders. “There’s no borders for labor. There’s no borders for working people, and we’re gonna stand together and solidarity is what gives us the power. It’s the antidote for environmental/ racial/ gender/ economic justice,” President Sara Nelson of the Association of Flight Attendants said in a recent address delivered to the Democratic Socialists of America. Miss Nelson’s Twitter avatar is ringed with a Black Lives Matter endorsement.
"There's no borders for labor. There's no borders for working people, and we're gonna stand together and solidarity, is what gives us the power. It's the antidote for environmental/ racial/ gender/ economic justice. Solidarity will help us win" @FlyingWithSara to @DemSocialists pic.twitter.com/U44gEE2XPj
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) March 7, 2021
Many conservatives have noted how nearly every corporation on planet Earth endorsed Black Lives Matter. But so did the major unions listed above. Some unions even threatened to go on strike on behalf of the radical movement.
Trumka wrote one of the most cringe op-eds of all time in service of Black Lives Matter. “All across America, the lives of Black transgender people and their bodies are being devalued and harmed,” he wrote in an op-ed that declared “Black Trans Lives Matter.” Bezos would probably wince at issuing such a statement.
The AFL-CIO was also at the center of the cabal that ensured Trump could not win the election. The union federation teamed up with Big Tech, Democrat operatives, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, ‘respectable’ Republicans, and the Chamber of Commerce to weight the scales against the people’s champ. Now the union conglomerate wants to further undermine our democracy by pushing lawmakers to eliminate the filibuster. The AFL-CIO claims the legislative procedure is “a creature of white supremacy.”
Many national populists will acknowledge these facts but insist that not all unions are like this. They will never mention a union that stands against woke capitalism, but rest assured, they’re out there! It’s like the supposed girlfriend who goes to a different school — that right-wing union doesn’t exist.
But still some on our side will persist in this delusion and will claim that the Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama are conservatives and so is their union. This is a complete fantasy. The available evidence on Amazon workers shows them to lean-left. Amazon employees were among the most common donors to Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. A group representing Amazon workers demanded the tech giant kick Parler off its services in January, and Amazon obliged. While Alabama is a deep red state, Bessemer is not. Hillary Clinton decisively won the city and the county it resides in back in 2016. It’s estimated that 85% of the Bessemer warehouse employees are black — a demographic that overwhelmingly rejected Trumpism.
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which the Bessemer workers want to join, is to the left of the AFL-CIO. RWDSU supports amnesty, Black Lives Matter, and “trans rights.” RWDSU’s president even credits BLM for inspiring the Amazon unionization drive. In a walkout the union staged against Housing Works last year, RWDSU complained the company didn’t adequately cover hormonal treatment for a transgender employee.
This is not a group that will challenge woke capitalism. It is woke capitalism.
In spite of all this, some may still support the unionization effort for the sole reason it may weaken Amazon. This could happen, but it’s unlikely. Amazon is worth nearly $2 trillion dollars and brought in $386 billion in revenue last year. It can afford to unionize, but it will likely come at the expense of its services and prices. The one who would pay is the Amazon customer, not the corporation. In any other scenario, this would help out the competition. The problem is there is no competition to Amazon. Millions of Americans would continue to support Amazon as it delivered inferior, yet more expensive services.
Rather than deflating a woke institution, the unionization effort would empower another. The real beneficiary would be the union that wants to stage walkouts for employer-funded gender reassignment surgery. This same kooky union could then organize around the country and count on thousands of Amazon workers to advance its far-left agenda. If you think Amazon’s censorship is bad now, just wait until the RWDSU gets a say. It’s almost 100% certain that the Amazon union would demand the erasure of many “offensive” books and movies. Bezos would likely cave in to their demands. There’s already a precedent for this with Parler.
The only friendly unions are law enforcement ones. They actually support America First policies and politicians. The rest of organized labor is not like them. Too many national populists maintain a fantasy image of union workers as the longshoremen from Season 2 of The Wire or Archie Bunker. They’re natural conservatives who would support the Right if only the Right supported them. The real world gives a different picture. The three largest unions primarily represent public sector workers. The largest is the National Education Association, a group that wants to indoctrinate our kids with BLM propaganda. Instead of a burly steelworker, the modern union member is a corpulent teacher reading “Antiracist Baby” to her first grade class.
Republicans should want to punish Amazon, but they need to avoid the union trap. The thing Amazon fears most is the zealous prosecution of antitrust law. Breaking up Amazon would do far more than unionizing it. Americans would finally have alternatives to the tech giant and small businesses could survive without Bezos’ shadow hanging over them. The deployment of antitrust law would simply empower the people to take down an evil corporation.
That’s real national populism.
Scott Greer is a proud alum of the Daily Caller, author of the acclaimed book “No Campus for White Men” and host the popular “Highly Respected Podcast.” You can find him on twitter at @ScottMGreer.