The West Virginia teachers strike and the rebellion against the trade unions
6 March 2018
Every major social conflict reveals in the movement of masses of people the nature of political tendencies and organizations, while it tests out and evaluates the validity of political conceptions. Such is the case with the strike by teachers in West Virginia.
The walkout by more than 30,000 teachers and school employees in the state, now entering its ninth day, is expanding. Yesterday, thousands of workers descended on Charleston, with long lines of workers winding around the state Capitol. As further evidence of a developing movement of the working class, 1,400 Frontier telecommunications workers in West Virginia and parts of Virginia walked off the job Sunday morning.
There is growing sentiment throughout the state and beyond for a general strike, and the courageous stand taken by West Virginia teachers is being closely followed and supported by workers around the world.
The escalation of class conflict refutes all those who proclaimed the death of the working class and the end of the class struggle, supposedly replaced by conflicts centered on race, gender and sexual orientation. Not only does the working class exist, it is resuming its forceful intervention into the course of history.
The developments in West Virginia are particularly significant because the workers in the state, who are predominantly white, have been consigned by the Democrats to the “basket of deplorables” (in the words of Hillary Clinton). According to the proponents of identity politics, they are “privileged,” benefiting from a system of “white supremacy” and, if they happen to be men, the “patriarchy.” In fact, the concerns of these workers are the concerns of the entire working class, of all…