Page 13


THE TEXAS OBSERVER 31 A Public Service Message from the American Income Life Insurance Co.Waco, TexasBernard Rapoport, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer We reject this kind of phony cooperation. We have already made enough concessions at the workplace and in our communities. If corporations and political leaders are so eager to cooperate, let us first see some real management concessions. Is Demanding Management Concessions a Collective Bargaining Strategy? In our union, the oil industry has taught us that you can’t win just at the bargaining table. Because of their size, wealth and technology, the oil giants can withstand our strike tactics. But, they are vulnerable to public pressure. Therefore, to make progress on key issues like health and safety, we have been forced to develop broader programs that rally workers and their communities across the country. Proposals for management concessions do need to be raised at the bargaining table. But in most cases they will go nowhere unless we can back them up with a public campaign and achieve national legislation. Just as it took a mass movement to pass the Wagner Act and Social Security, it will take a mass movement to stop U.S. corporations from driving our economy into the ground. Is This a Full Program for Economic Recovery? No. Economic recovery requires more than management concessions, and OCAW District 8 fully supports other proposals to aid economic recovery such as full employment and plant closing legislation, tax reform and cutbacks in military spending. We also recognize that it will take time to mobilize for a full-scale economic recovery program. In the meantime, we need a movement which puts a moratorium on worker concessions. We should not pay the price for years of management failure and economic disorganization. We further believe that all programs for economic revival are doomed to failure unless they are built upon a foundation of management concessions. As long as management has the right and power to disinvest from our industries, misinvest in mergers, supervision and high executive salaries, and discriminate against women and minorities, there will be no economic recovery for U.S. workers. What are the International Effects of this Program? We are seeking to control U.S.-based multinationals in order to prevent runaway shops and wasteful mergers. By doing so, we are joining the common effort of workers’ organizations in both the developing and developed world to gain control of their labor and natural resources. The record shows that in country after country, multinationals have not been agents for progress. Instead, the net effect of their investments in developing nations has been more poverty, more inflation, more depleted resources, and more inequality. Multinationals also are key factors in the suppression of trade unions and the support of anti-democratic governments in Latin America and Asia. And they are pillars of the system of racial oppression in South Africa. By seeking to control multinationals we are not opposing our trade union brothers and sisters overseas. We are joining with them. If U.S. Steel won’t guarantee a good job in the U.S., what kind of job will it guarantee in South Africa? And for how long? Where do we Start? We start with education. We need to learn the facts and share them with our rank and file. In OCAW we are ‘holding educationals to stimulate a real discussion about the kind of management concessions we really want and need. We at OCAW District 8 do not pretend to have all the answers. But we are making our proposals known with the hope that you will study them and help us begin a dialogue. Only through such a dialogue will we be able to formulate a solid set of demands, and develop a new awareness of what we need to struggle for at the bargaining table and beyond. A booklet produced by the Workers’ Policy Project, “It’s Time for Management Concessions,” is designed to help begin that dialogue within the labor movement. It’s part of our educational effort to put management concessions on the agenda for the 1980’s and take worker concessions off. And Then?? As we struggle for management concessions, we will have to face the sad fact that both major political parties end up speaking for management. Despite our best efforts, we see most politicians stumbling over themselves to offer probusiness solutions to our economic mess. In order to widen the national debate on economic policy, the OCAW unanimously adopted a resolution at its 1981 convention directing the union “to support and participate with other unions in developing a new political strategy for labor in the 1980’s that will not rely on the Republican or Democratic party for success:” We at District 8 are vigorously pursuing this mandate by organizing discussions with other trade unionists on whether or not a labor party is needed at this time. We would like all our brothers and sisters in the trade union movement to join in these discussions. And we promise to keep you informed of any developments. OCAW District 8 welcomes your comments and suggestions, which may be sent to the Workers’ Policy Project, 853 Broadway, Room 2014, New York, N.Y. 10003. American Income Life Insurance Company EXECUTIVE OFFICES: P.O. BOX 208, WACO, TEXAS 78703, 817.772-3050 BERNARD RAPOPORT Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer