The mounting horrors that working people face as we use New York mass transit — from being trapped in packed, sweltering, stalled subway cars in dark tunnels, to risk of serious injury or death in derailments like the one that occurred on the A train in Manhattan June 27 — show the propertied rulers’ disregard for our needs and safety. They show what is more and more in store for workers as a result of the normal workings of the dog-eat-dog capitalist system mired in a deepening economic, social and political crisis.
Transit workers face attacks on their safety, wages, health care and pensions, and riders see mounting fares while never knowing what they’ll face each day
The deteriorating conditions in the New York transit system reflect the catastrophic impact of this decadeslong capitalist crisis on our lives, from long-term joblessness for millions, to increasing deaths from opioid drugs, and the impact on working people at home and abroad of Washington’s unending wars in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Paying the interest on the MTA’s skyrocketing $37.5 billion debt to wealthy bondholders comes first under capitalism, and the bosses and their government demand that workers foot the bills.
Workers in Puerto Rico — as well as the Virgin Islands and other U.S. territories — who live under the boot of Washington’s colonial domination, know through their own bitter experience how the capitalist system of debt bondage works. Under the dictates of a U.S.-imposed fiscal board, the Puerto Rican government has slashed pensions, wages for government workers, and closed schools and hospitals to pay bondholders on Puerto Rico’s $74 billion debt.
Working people in the U.S. are looking for a way to end the social devastation they face and to “drain the swamp” of bourgeois politics. They no longer have confidence in the two capitalist party shell game and are looking for a road to act politically in their own interests.
The Socialist Workers Party says unequivocally that low cost, safe, efficient, comfortable, mass public transit is a basic necessity for working people, here and around the country.
And transit workers must win workers control over conditions on the job to protect themselves and transit riders alike.
Workers need to organize and fight for a massive, government-funded public works program to expand mass public transit nationwide; rebuild aging infrastructure such as roads and bridges; and bring the New York and other subway, bus and commuter rail systems to safe, reliable and comfortable operation — a program that would put millions of unemployed workers to work at union rates of pay.
Working people need their own political party, the Socialist Workers Party. This means fighting to build a movement millions strong with the power and leadership capable of replacing the political power of the capitalist rulers with workers power. Along this road we can begin to reverse the social catastrophe our class faces and force concessions from the propertied ruling families.
Join the Socialist Workers Party in backing workers wherever they take up the fight against the bosses’ attacks, from Spectrum and AT&T workers here to food processing workers in California and striking silver miners in Idaho. Join the Socialist Workers Party!
Bondholders line pockets as mass transit crumbles
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