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UAW Chief Fain’s Connections to Socialist Extremists Raise Concerns

Posted on Tuesday, October 17, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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23 Comments
UAW chief Fain and UAW logo
An “Eat the Rich” T-shirt is the sort of symbolism most often found at progressive campus protests or rallies of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). So why was it worn at a recent public appearance by Shawn Fain, the head of the United Auto Workers union, and what does that choice tell us about the inner circle of the man leading the most aggressive UAW strike in generations? Those are some of the questions critics are asking as they see continued economic fallout from a strike with no end in sight, seemingly powered by the radicalization of the UAW’s leadership led by Fain and his closest advisers, which contains self-avowed Marxists and ideologues so extreme they are defending Hamas terrorists. Fain has made no secret of his “social justice” politics. Rather than focusing on benefits and pay for his union’s members, he’s pushing his union to enter the broader political fray. “The UAW is back in the fight and we are ready to stand united to win economic and social justice,” Fain said in a Labor Day speech. “And I got a question for all of you. Are you ready to rumble?” Many union members are more than happy to “rumble” on behalf of better pay and shorter working hours, but are members of a traditionally blue-collar, midwestern manufacturing union comfortable with the extreme language of the Ivory Tower ideologues orchestrating their strike and managing their checkbooks? Interestingly, one of Fain’s closest advisers at the UAW today is Chris Brooks. Until recently, Brooks was a member of the New York DSA, which supported an anti-Israel rally the day after Hamas’ horrific slaughter of 1,400 innocent Israelis. Even America’s most famous New York City socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, denounced the rally and the rhetoric heard at it as “abhorrent and morally repugnant.” Brooks was even part of the national DSA’s openly Marxist Bread & Roses caucus, which self-describes itself as “militant.” The group is so extreme that its mission statement includes ending “the Democratic Party’s chokehold on progressive politics.” The group has a whole section on “internationalism” in its manifesto — but only specifically points to its alignment with “the Palestinian struggle against Israeli apartheid” and “support for the (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement.” Its message the day after Hamas’ mass murder? “All people have the right to resist occupation. We offer full solidarity to the Palestinian resistance. There’s no freedom for the working class of any country without freedom for Palestine.” It doesn’t stop there. Benjamin Dictor, counsel to the UAW and others across the country, has been aggressive online, writing that “trade unionists, people who dedicate their lives to working people and the oppressed, have a moral obligation to stand up and condemn the ethnic cleansing of millions of imprisoned and oppressed Palestinians at the hands of Israel.” Dictor has frequently opined on the conflict on Twitter but has reserved his condemnations only to Israel’s response to the attack, with no commentary on Hamas. That did not stop Fain from openly collaborating with him last week. Rhetoric like this would once be surprising for the UAW, but no longer: As journalist Jane Slaughter noted, Fain’s leadership at the UAW owes itself to radical DSA activism: “There are a lot of DSA members, not only in Detroit, but elsewhere working their butts off in an electoral campaign within their union to get Shawn Fain elected president of the union.” Fain has even stood by his radical advisers despite intense criticism from long-standing UAW members and leaders. After Fain fired his previously chosen chief of staff Joe Rioux, Rioux warned in a February 2023 memo to Fain that he and other fired leaders had concerns about Brooks’ influence over Fain, including Brooks’ “lack of transparency, his need for control over departmental discussions, his need to control access to you, and his apparent lack of ability to work in a real collaborative manner.” The following month, pro-union publication Left Horizons criticized Fain for firing Rioux and senior staff while “turning to those trendy ‘labour consultants’ for guidance, in this case, Chris Brooks.” The publication also chastised Brooks for previously using rhetoric that “lets the culprits at the top off the hook, blaming the members,” for issues that stemmed from management. Brooks has also been accused of racial insensitivity and minimizing the work of Black labor activists. These include angering prominent activists in the Chattanooga area in 2013 and during the 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstrations when Brooks wrote an article that was viewed as a “racist belittling of the accomplishment of black workers in the labor movement.” More recently, Brooks allegedly declined to meet with several Black and Brown activists willing to support Fain. Fain won an extremely close election for UAW president because he ran primarily on a promise to fight the union’s famous corruption, not because he championed politics so extreme they turned Ocasio-Cortez’s stomach. With more than 6,000 auto workers now laid off by the Big Three, tens of thousands more on strike, and billions of economic losses already tallied, it is fair to wonder if the UAW rank-and-file will continue to stand by their new president and his extreme cadre of advisers who are seemingly driven by ideology, not member interest. Reprinted with permission by DC Journal by Michael Graham.
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PaulE
PaulE
6 months ago

Fain is of course doing an incredible disservice to the UAW members he supposedly represents. Rather than being honest with the union membership and explain that the reason their paychecks don’t go as far as they used to and why there will be far fewer auto assembly jobs in the future is because of the policies of the Democrats that their union dues keep funding election cycle after election cycle. Look at the economy under both Obama and Biden that has been driven downward by ludicrous economic policies of the left. The only reason the Clinton economy didn’t stink as bad was because the Republican led House of Representatives prevented Clinton from enacting the same socialist policies of Obama and Biden.

Which political party has always stoked inflation and diminished the value of the dollar? The Democrat party. Which political party has always been anti-fossil fuel and led America to experience either gasoline lines, higher prices or wide-spread inflation? The Democrat party. Which political party came up with the idea of mandating EVs and phasing out, by unilateral decree, the ICE vehicles that people actually want to buy here in the United States? Again, the Democrat party.

Fain is presiding over the final death kneel of the American unionized auto industry. Sure, he may extort one last big “win” for the UAW workers, but in 5 years 60 percent of them will out of a job after the so-called Big Three assembly plants are all as robotized and streamlined to the same level the Japanese, European and Chinese plants are. Then where will Fain be? Likely enjoying a lavish retirement, while his so-called membership are lining up for welfare.

David Millikan
David Millikan
6 months ago

We know he’s Socialist. Why do think that vehicles are made out of Styrofoam paper cups instead of being made out of U.S. Steel and don’t get totaled or burn and melt when a skeeter hits them and your loved ones are killed.
Why do you think he pushed for Communist China to build the electronics in your vehicles? Cause he is Anti-American and he will cave to Dictator Beijing biden and your New/Newer vehicles (Vastly OVERPRICED) will continue to be junk and a death trap.
ALL American vehicles must be Built here in the USA with ALL American made parts and American Steel only.
Remember, these COWARD Socialist are using Capitalism to make money off YOU while pushing their Socialist/Communism agenda.

anna hubert
anna hubert
6 months ago

When was the last time that pathetic puke actually worked if ever He lives of the sweat of his downtrodden brothers who are too dense to see it

Moses
Moses
6 months ago

Police, Fire, City workers, Union workers all would be better represented by the Republican Party. The left democrats have strayed so far off the path to represent actual working people. I understand the Federal Employees supporting the Union, they are all left leaning individuals that have been convinced the Constitution was written by old, fat, white men. That it does not apply to modern times. Nothing is further from the truth. We need the Constitution today more than ever before. If you think these democrats have a better form of gov’t for you, just ask yourself how the last 3 years have gone for you and your families.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago

Time to find a man of Mr .Reagans stature. He told the Commies no at every turn until their empire collapsed . When the air traffic controllers were screaming how bad it was and said we are striking . Mr.Reagan said you strike find another job . Very hard nowadays to find men with a backbone like that .

Garyk
Garyk
6 months ago

Fain is a loud mouthed flake whos hell bent on exploiting union members, holding businesses hostage and making himself feel important.
Any credible leader would seek to privately and honestly work with companies to achieve a win for all.
He totally ignores the foreign manufacturers who wage and benefits are less because he is weak and cannot pull the ignorant, childlike BS and have them pay any attention to him.
I wish people would wake up and think before allowing this clown fain to negotiate anything.

Rocky
Rocky
6 months ago

Fain is Vain!!! He shoves his venom down the throats of his members and sheeples follow not knowing they are being led to the slaughter. His tactics are Marxist as he scams millions of dollars of union monies to his own benefit. He is actually more than a small “s” socialist, he acts beyond Socialism and actually less Communistic than does Putin. Those who disagree with him, often find themselves in a “wooden box” thanks to his mafia “pals”. It is time for the UAW to overthrow him and they would be shocked how much better they would be off and actually be able to work with the various automobile companies’ management. If he were a group, he actually could easily be on the Terrorist Watch List with no problem.

BruceM
BruceM
6 months ago

“Eat the Rich” emblazoned on Shawn Fain’s T-shirt. Those nasty ‘greed hounds’ in the executive suits of the big 3, while the workers get ‘scraps’. Ever wonder what Shawn Fain gets? For 2022 he reported $187,259 a year leading a UAW non-profit training program and another $160,130 per year in his previous role of administrative assistant at the union, total last year of $347,389. And now as union President, his combined salary is expected to be around $450,000. Poor guy….struggling to get by!
How many ways can you say ‘HYPOCRIT’?

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
6 months ago

Unions are like the government: they exist to support themselves not the individual.

PapaYEC
PapaYEC
6 months ago

This isn’t news. By now, all informed citizens must know the major unions are all Marxist-owned.

Dr. C
Dr. C
6 months ago

Fain is more interested in, “social justice” than making quality automobiles that are overpriced malfunctioning trash. People are not equal like his hero Karl Marx falsely proclaims… We have different talents and abilities. What did Karl Marx ever achieve? Read about this loser’s life and find out what he was.

mikem
mikem
6 months ago

so just another liberal who wants to destroy america. just what we need.

patriot
patriot
5 months ago

It is disappointing that UAW members haven’t kicked Fain out as their union leader, he is leading them to permanent unemployment! A 4 day work week would be a 20% increase in pay from a 5 day week. On top of that, Fain is demanding a 40% pay increase in addition. That would be a 60% wage increase which is ridiculous and would make it impossible to stay in business. The only way to stay in business to make and sell cars ordinary people could afford, would be a large increase in automation of auto manufacturing. It is a cost/benefit issue, a person loads a couple widgets and waits for the next vehicle. Or, robots are good at repetitive tasks and can easily and more precisely do that job, . A union worker is paid per hour wages plus benefits, vacation time, sick days, health care, retirement benefits and a bonus etc. To stay in business Automation may be the only alternative. The union claim they just want to share record profits, is the same old union BS and it’s not true. The Big Two have each lost 2 Billion dollars and are struggling to survive. Unfortunately, instead of refuting Bidum’s EV edicts, GM and Ford did “tried to do as ordered” but it is now dawning on the CEO’s that most Americans do not want and can’t afford EVs and are not buying them. And they are stopping their production. Manufacture of EV’s totally turns the auto industry upside down and gives China large profits for the batteries, that would be used against America! The batteries are not recyclable and are a disposal problem, plus they catch fire and burn up the EV.

kevin
kevin
6 months ago

Should this really surprise anyone? Union equals disunion

Mike Failla
Mike Failla
6 months ago

Pretty sad…why dont the rank and file see through this clown?

Garyk
Garyk
6 months ago

Actually fain is a dismal failure to the uaw workers , the chinese and foreign manufacturers have just turned up their noses at him and continue to grow. Non- thinking,short sighted fain is destroying the companies that have provided decent jobs and benefits because of his failed marxist rhetoric. The companies will not sign on to self destruction and nobody will blame them for that.
All the while this moron keeps up his kiddy games the chinese become stronger players. He hasn’t the guts to go after them to unoinize.

johnh
johnh
6 months ago

Read the article twice & still wonder if Fain is a Socialist or not. What is the answer on this ?

Rik
Rik
6 months ago

Not for you anyway!

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