starts with the world’
SWP vice pres. candidate tours in Montreal
Maura DeLuca, SWP vice presidential candidate, second from right, joins striking Hyatt Regency workers on picket line, Aug. 26 in Montreal, to learn about and back their struggle.
BY JOHN STEELE
MONTREAL—“I told the locked-out Hyatt Regency Hotel workers on their picket line today that I would take what I learned about their struggle back to fighting workers in the United States,” Socialist Workers Party vice presidential candidate Maura DeLuca told some 25 people at an Aug. 26 citywide campaign meeting here.
The panel included Michel Dugré, the Communist League candidate in the Sept. 4 Quebec provincial election, running in the Laurier-Dorion electoral constituency. Before the forum, DeLuca and Dugré joined some 30 of the 300 hotel workers on their picket line. The workers were locked out July 25 after they rejected concessions in working conditions demanded by the bosses.
“When I told people in the United States I was bringing my campaign to Montreal some asked me why? I told them that our campaign doesn’t start with the United States, it starts with the world,” DeLuca explained.
“The capitalist ruling classes in every country have only one answer to the crisis of their system,” DeLuca said. “They keep pounding away at us, to lower our wages and working conditions, and attack our social and political rights. They try to divide us, to get us to view workers at other companies as our competitors, to turn those born within U.S. borders against immigrants, women against men, employed against the unemployed, Caucasians against Blacks.
“We call straight out for the legalization of all workers without papers,” DeLuca said. “You can’t build a strong labor movement without this starting point. The unions have to lead this fight just like they have to fight to defend the right of a woman to decide if and when to bear children.”
DeLuca explained that the SWP campaign proposes a fight for a massive government-funded public works program to provide jobs and rebuild the country’s infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, child care centers and other facilities workers and working farmers need.
“This economic crisis is more global than any previous capitalist crisis because throughout the world millions of toilers are being pushed into the capitalist labor market,” DeLuca said. She pointed to the response by workers to attacks from their employers in Korea, China, India and Bangladesh.
“Our campaign stands with Syrian working people fighting to overthrow the brutal Assad regime, for democratic rights and the political space they need to organize,” DeLuca continued. “We stand opposed to the efforts by the U.S. government to piece together a pro-imperialist regime there to put a lid on their struggle, the kind of government they are hoping to stabilize in Libya and Egypt.
“We raise the example of the Cuban Revolution in our campaign,” said DeLuca. “The Cuban workers used the political power they won in the 1959 revolution to launch a massive literacy drive, outlaw racial discrimination, uproot discrimination against women and more. Today Cuba’s workers and farmers are an example for working people around the world.
“This fighting perspective is the alternative to the bosses’ parties,” said DeLuca. “Whether Barack Obama and Joe Biden or Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are elected in the U.S., workers will go to the wall.”
Canada not exempt from crisis
One of these questions workers in Canada ask is whether or not it is exempt from the world economic crisis, Michel Dugré told the crowd.
“Even though the unemployment rate right now is below that of the United States and other countries,” Dugré explained, “the fundamental problems are the same. Over the past six or seven years, 20 percent of manufacturing jobs in Canada have disappeared. This is really evident in Montreal.”
Dugré reported that when Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of Canada, spoke to the delegates at the Canadian Autoworkers Union convention last week, he criticized Canadian companies for hoarding billions of dollars in cash and not investing in new production.
“But they have no choice,” Dugré said. “They don’t invest in production because the rate of return on their investment is not sufficient.
“They will have to step up their attacks on workers here as elsewhere in hopes of boosting their profit rates,” Dugré stated, and as a result we are finding increasing receptivity to what communist candidates raise.
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