Perhaps even more stunning than the Biden administration's announcement that it will side with the railroad barons over the workers being denied sick leave is its cavalier assumption that any blowback from congressional Democrats and their constituents will be minimal to non-existent.
In ramming the White House-brokered contract through Congress despite it being voted down by the railroad rank-and-file, Joe Biden tries to have it both ways, posturing as the most pro-labor president in history but nonetheless putting the profits of the owners and investors above the health and well-being of union members. His mild criticism of the greed of the owners and investors was not only unaccompanied by any demand that Congress provide paid sick days and guaranteed family time to the workers - it also came with the standard "divide and conquer" rhetoric. If the railroad workers do strike, he claimed, it will ruin Christmas for all the other hard-working families in the United States. Therefore, the railroad workers must sacrifice their own health and safety to ensure the health and safety of everybody else. Of course, his occult meaning is that the health and safety of corporate profits take precedence over all else.
He is not too subtly directing us to direct our ire at our fellow working class victims instead of right where it belongs: at the oligarchs and at craven politicians like him.
His actual mealy-mouthed words:
“As a proud pro-labor President, I am reluctant to override the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement. But in this case — where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of other working people and families — I believe Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.”
The New York Times itself gave loyal cover to Biden by dutifully framing the issue around the damage to the "economy" that a strike would do, and the dire trickle-down effects on everyday Americans, should this group of other everyday Americans persist in putting their own basic human rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness above the needs of their capitalist overlords.
Much to the apparent shock of all concerned, though, worker solidarity has raised its righteous head, not only in the more than 1,000 comments posted by a surprisingly outraged Times readership, but from criticism from all across the allegedly "polarized" electorate, very much siding with the rail workers over the corrupt political duopoly, the CEOs, and magnate Warren Buffett. As a result, the Times later revised the article, adding a hastily tacked-on promise from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
Late Tuesday, facing substantial frustration among progressives who demanded that the offer include paid leave, Ms. Pelosi said she would also bring up a separate proposal to add seven days of paid sick leave to the agreement. It is unclear whether Republicans in the Senate would agree to such an addition, but the plan to hold a vote illustrated the degree of discontent among pro-union liberals about the agreement Mr. Biden had struck.
Beware, however, of that cagey "separate proposal" language. As we have seen too many times before, Pelosi's shtick is to urge her caucus to first vote for the corporation-friendly legislation as the necessary prelude for any progressive add-ons. And then all it takes is for one useful idiot like Joe Manchin to break his promise to vote for the separate package. Oops.
The Democrats also persist in pushing the "greater evil" narrative of how much more cruel the slim Republican House majority would be to workers when they take office in January. Therefore, their tired old twisted logic goes, it is kinder to deny them their sick days and leisure time now, lest the GOP do something really awful, like reducing their wages on top of forcing them to be on-call around the clock.
According to Politico, even Senator Bernie Sanders has reserved his own ire for the railroad industry,, carefully refraining from criticizing his good friend Joe Biden for so cravenly doing the industry's bidding.
The most that Sanders or any other senator can do is slightly delay the enshrinement of this contract into law.
Congress and the Democrats will do nothing, even as Republicans like Marco Rubio gleefully attack them from the left for betraying the working class.
So it's up to us to shock the Democrats out of the complacency they're currently enjoying for the feat of not losing as badly to the GOP as had been forecast. Call your congress-critters, and express solidarity with the men and women whose very bodies are so shackled to their stressful jobs that the term "wage slave" is not hyperbolic when it comes to describing them.
It's long past time that the ruling class and their political servants and their media lackeys stop viewing us as mere consumers, whether it be of cheap electronics or of their own platitude-layered cruelty and cowardice.
That propaganda fabric wore thin a long time ago. Since the Emperor has no clothes, we should stop pretending that he does. I hope the railroad workers do go out on strike, and then we'll see how fast these naked overlords cave. A general strike might not be such a bad idea either.