The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 68/No. 41           November 9, 2004  
SWP candidate for Senate campaigns
among cannery workers in Washington
YAKIMA, Washington— On October 2, Connie Allen, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. Senate in Washington, and campaign supporters joined the picket line of cannery workers striking Snokist Growers. The workers—who can apples and pears at this plant—are organized by the Western Council of Industrial Workers. They are fighting for their first contract after winning union recognition 18 months ago. October is the height of the canning season.

Rogelio Montes, a union organizer, used a bullhorn to introduce the socialist campaigners. “The Socialist Workers Party has supported many struggles here in Yakima, Toppenish, and Sunnyside,” Montes told a group of 60 strikers.

“What you are doing by standing up to Snokist is important,” Allen told the workers, as a campaign supporter translated her remarks into Spanish. “Like the Co-Op miners in Huntington, Utah, who are fighting for a union, your struggle shows the way forward for the labor movement. At the heart of the SWP campaign platform is joining workers like you fighting to organize unions and to make our unions more effective. Only through a stronger labor movement can we fight for a jobs program, for health care, for affordable housing, for solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the ‘Third World’ who are resisting imperialist domination and demanding economic development, and for making our gains long lasting by taking state power out of the hands of the capitalists.”

Allen pledged to use her campaign to build support for the strike. “I will encourage everyone I meet to extend their solidarity with you and join your picket lines,” she said.

During a lull in picketing, workers gathered around Allen to discuss more what she had talked about. After reading through the SWP campaign platform, Maria, a packing worker, commented, “That’s what we need, 30 hours work with no cut in pay.”

Two strikers subscribed to Perspectiva Mundial, the Militant’s sister publication in Spanish. A third renewed his PM sub he had first purchased while he was on strike several years ago at Washington Beef, a nearby cut-and-kill plant. During a visit to the picket line a week earlier, another three strikers had subscribed to the Militant.
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Firebombed SWP campaign hall in Pennsylvania reopened  
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