I was among many who noted the perversity of the fact that G.E. got away without paying any taxes last year. That's right, zero. That's the company who Obama lauds as providing a viable way forward for America and the global economy.
Now it turns out that G.E. hasn't yet received enough concession from the majority of us. They want more. It turns out that they now want their workers to make serious concessions (via American Leftist) regarding their wages and health benefits. Richard over at AL explores the question of how unions fit into the picture of how we should resist this brutal class war from above. I myself think the "union question" is always a contextual one- in conjunctures in which the informal economy is quite large, it may turn out that traditional trade unions aren't the most effective immediate vehicle for resistance. But in the US, I think the position taken on unions associated with the Marxist (esp. the Trotskyist tradition) and class-struggle anarchist tradition basically should still stand. The position is that unions must be important sites of struggle, organization and resistance but they have limits. They constrict the horizon of possible political action to largely defensive struggles that respect the limits imposed by ruling class institutions. Also they can be parochial in their political aims- sometimes inclined to overlook struggles against oppression that may or may not have immediate impacts on the struggle for wages, contracts, and so on. This is why I'm convinced we need more than unions- we need a radical left organization capable of putting forward arguments within the labor movement for increased militancy and strike action, but also capable of keeping the long-term perspective in view (i.e. revolutionary transformation, anti-capitalism, etc.).
But in the present conjuncture, we should be doing everything we can to protect the meager labor organizations that exist. They are being placed on the chopping block- and it seems to me that organizing militant labor action in a right to work state is much more difficult than it is in a state with a history of unionization. The left has to orient itself toward the rank and file (as in past struggles, especially MN in 1934).