WASHINGTON — “This is a good time to run a socialist campaign for office,” Glova Scott, Socialist Workers Party candidate for City Council in Ward 4 here, told supporters at a Militant Labor Forum Jan. 10. Scott is a Walmart worker active in the growing movement for a union, $15 an hour and full-time work. She and socialist campaigners fanned out over the weekend in the working-class area in the northwest part of the city, knocking on doors, chatting in living rooms and talking with workers and shoppers at the Georgia Avenue Walmart. Over the last week 400 people signed petitions to put Scott on the ballot for the April 28 election.
“There is a lot going on in politics and the world that workers need to discuss,” Scott told the forum. “The fight at Walmart, the protests against police violence and the discussion on the attacks on journalists and Jewish people in France are only a few examples. They all point to the need to build a working-class leadership that can organize a fight for political power.”
“Home health care workers are fighting for the same thing as workers at Walmart — $15 an hour,” Rose Rogers told campaign supporters after inviting them into her house to warm up by the fireplace Jan. 10. “We finally got them up to $13.60, but then some of the agencies try to pay less.”
When Rogers read Scott’s campaign flyer, she pointed to its call for workers to break from the Democrats and Republicans. “The workers movement needs to organize its own political party, a labor party to champion the interests of working people,” the flyer says.
“Not a bad idea!” Rogers said.
The petitioning drive will continue through Jan. 18. Scott asked all those who want to see a socialist alternative on the ballot to join in the effort to turn in 1,000 signatures, double the requirement.
Ethiopian-born Atnafu Munde said he was interested in the campaign when Scott knocked on his door, saying he liked its support for the Cuban Revolution. When Ethiopia was invaded by Somalia in 1977, Munde said, Cuba answered a call for help with troops and heavy artillery that helped defeat the invaders. “In a hard time for my country, Cuba came, and not just with soldiers, but teachers too.”
“At Walmart we are not just fighting for wages and hours,” Scott, who recently participated in a three-day strike during the busy Thanksgiving shopping weekend, told forum participants. “We are fighting for dignity on the job. We are fighting for all workers.
“The conditions we face are not unique,” she said. “They are what workers face across the country as the ruling rich bear down upon us to increase their profits. They want us to produce more and more as we are paid less and less.”
“Every night on the news they say that there are a whole lot of jobs. But I ask myself why can’t I ever make it,” John Pimental told campaign volunteers when they knocked on his door Jan. 11. He noted the campaign program’s plank urging workers to fight “for a massive government-funded jobs program.”
“This demand for a jobs program is right,” Pimental said. “Especially the part that says it’s got to be massive.”
If you would like to get the socialist campaign flyer or join in campaigning, contact the SWP at (202) 536-5080 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Printer-friendly version of this article