On its website the Newspaper Guild blew a kiss to OWS even after some of its journalist members had tense run-ins with the occupiers. The union acknowledged in a blog post that the protesters “have been known to turn on anyone who seems to represent ‘corporate media’ — most likely a media worker, sometimes a union member, trying to do a job,” but then makes excuses for the occupiers. (Aren’t unions supposed to represent the interests of their members?)
Jim Weitkamp, a regional vice president for the Guild’s parent union, Communications Workers of America, blamed police for the troubles in Oakland. “Clearly, by all accounts I have seen and read, the police leadership on the ground lost both perspective and control,” he wrote in a letter to Oakland’s clueless Mayor Jean Quan. Bernie Lunzer, president of the Guild in Washington, D.C., tipped his hat to the occupiers. “The Occupy movement is about justice … Our effort is to ensure just treatment for all journalists and media workers as they cover this story that’s playing out in the streets.”
United Steelworkers (USW) president Leo Gerard embraces OWS. “You’re damn right Wall Street occupiers speak for us,” he said. The Left needs to start a “resistance” movement. “If Wall Street occupation doesn’t get the message, I think we’ve got to start blocking bridges and doing that kind of stuff,” Gerard said.
The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) endorses Occupy Wall Street. “We stand in solidarity with those protesting Wall Street’s greed,” said AFSCME president Gerald McEntee. Rattling off Marxist boilerplate, McEntee said the banks’ “reckless pursuit of profits, at the expense of working families’ pursuit of the American dream, must come to an end.”
AFSCME has also thrown its lot in with the most violent of the occupiers in America, the arsonists and rioters of Occupy Oakland, CA. The government employees’ union, along with United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW), International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), UNITE HERE, SEIU, and the California Labor Federation even donated food for a cook-out, serving hot dogs, veggie burgers, beans, rice, and cupcakes for more than 3,000 Occupy Oakland supporters.
Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) walked off the job at the busy Port of Oakland to support Occupy Oakland’s demand for a “general strike.” ILWU spokesman Craig Merrilees said his union and others “are supporting the concerns raised by Occupy Oakland and the Occupy movement to speak up for the 99 percent and against the corporate greed that is wrecking America.”
Of course the limitless avarice of the labor movement, especially of public sector unions, never finds its way into union communiqués.
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