La Botz: Unions are Starting Discussions of How to Resist a Trump Coup

Labor News

Reprinted from Jacobin by Dan la Botz on October 18, 2020.

“From the bottom to the top of the labor movement, union officials and workers have begun discussing how to resist President Donald Trump should he refuse a peaceful transfer of power,” writes Dan la Botz in Jacobin. “Some unions are frankly discussing how to resist what they fear may be a ‘coup’; others are talking about a ‘general strike.’

“This is extraordinary. Most American unions have never talked this way before. But Trump’s refusal to say he would accept the results of the election, his call for his supporters to intervene in the polling places, and the recent right-wing plot to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan, and overthrow that state’s government have made us all wary.

“We can expect massive protests to follow the elections, probably mostly led by social movements. But unions will be taking a stand, workers will be mobilizing, and we could see strikes that paralyze some workplaces. Whether or not anything will come of talks of a political general strike, which is so contrary to the history and culture of the American labor movement, remains to be seen, but these discussions are worth our attention. …

Jacobin 10/18

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at