The Socialists at WSWS have a theory:
The Teamsters are in leagues with the popular Northeastern supermarket chain Wegmans to injure Wegmans’ workers.
Why that would be the case, the socialists are a bit more vague.
Following several months of contentious negotiations over whether or not Wegmans would continue paying money into a severely underfunded Teamster pension plan, the company and the union finally reached an agreement.
However, it was an agreement that had been voted down twice previously…until, according to the International Committee of the Fourth International (aka Socialists), the Teamsters shoved it down Wegmans’ workers throats.
After the second rejection, the Teamsters quickly moved to have members vote again on a nearly identical contract just over a week later. At the same time, both the Teamsters and Wegmans made it clear to workers that rejecting the contract a third time would result in a loss of their jobs altogether. Seeing that the union would not mount a struggle against the company, workers accepted the contract.
After the ratification of the contract on its third attempt, several workers expressed anger toward the union on the “Wegmans Teamsters” Facebook page. On the page, one worker reported being denied voting rights since he did not attend a pre-vote union meeting. Another worker reported that the hours for voting had been reduced in attempt to keep “trouble-makers” from voting, while several workers reported the union kept them in the dark about the contract’s final terms until the day of each vote. The union-created page, which clearly documented the anger and frustration of union members towards a bankrupt and corrupt union leadership, was quickly removed after the contract’s approval.
Although the Socialists acknowledge that the Teamsters’ plan “has already cut benefit levels twice” because it is only 45.6% funded (and is projected to fall to only 34% funding levels), using rather bizarre logic, the Socialists admonish the Teamsters for not putting up more of a fight.
Rather than attempt to unite the working class in a unified defense against the corporate destruction of workers’ pensions, the Teamsters and other unions have responded by forming a “think-tank” calling itself the Partnership for Multi Employer Retirement Security. The group, which labels itself a “business-labor initiative,” seeks to alter existing laws to allow troubled funds to stay afloat. Its main efforts involve releasing reports on the need for pension “reform” and lobbying Congress to allow troubled funds to cut the benefits of current retirees, which is currently prohibited by federal law. In other words, the Teamsters would keep control of the pension fund while cutting benefits for the workers and retirees.
There’s a lesson here: Never doubt that the illogical meanderings of a Socialist are illogical.
It’s something Samuel Gompers recognized more than 100 years ago:
I want to tell you, Socialists, that I have studied your philosophy; read your works upon economics, and not the meanest of them; studied your standard works, both in English and German—have not only read, but studied them. I have heard your orators and watched the work of your movement the world over. I have kept close watch upon your doctrines for thirty years; have been closely associated with many of you, and know what you think and what you propose. I know, too, what you have up your sleeve. And I want to say that I am entirely at variance with your philosophy. I declare to you, I am not only at variance with your doctrines, but with your philosophy. Economically, you are unsound; socially, you are wrong; industrially, you are an impossibility.
Samuel Gompers, Founder of the American Federation of Labor, 1903