The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 73/No. 10      March 16, 2009

25, 50 and 75 years ago
March 16, 1984
Evidence is mounting that the Iraqi government has been using chemical weapons in its 42-month war against Iran.

Iranian officials have been charging for several months that its troops have come under attack from poison gas. Now even the Reagan administration—which has more and more openly sided with Iraq in the war—has had to recognize that “the available evidence” indicates that “lethal chemical weapons” have been used against Iran.

The Iran-Iraq war began in September 1980 with a massive Iraqi invasion of Iran. Washington and its imperialist allies welcomed the Iraqi invasion because they shared [Saddam] Hussein’s fear that the revolutionary upsurge in Iran could spread to Iraq and other Arab countries.  
March 16, 1959
The second-class citizenship forced on Negroes in the U.S. can be seen in its political and social forms by a glance at civil rights (or the lack of them) and such things as segregated housing. It takes only another glance at the unemployment figures to see the economic form of this second-class citizenship.

The unemployment rate among Negro workers is twice as great as among white workers. As the current issue of Fortune magazine puts it: “So far as Negroes were concerned, the ‘recession’ was a real depression.” In March, 1958, over 15 percent of male Negro workers were unemployed.

Firings, due to automation and layoffs, hit the unskilled and semi-skilled workers and the workers with the least seniority the hardest.  
March 17, 1934
The silk workers of Paterson [New Jersey] have been given a wage-cut.

The sorriest feature of the wage-cut is that it actually came about through the votes of the workers representatives themselves who were maneuvered by the bosses on the Industrial Relations Board to vote for it “in order not to break the contract.”

A great ferment has developed among the workers because of this. All along they have been expecting wage increases as the bosses promised when the strike was settled.

Against a solid, militant resistance, the tactics of the bosses would prove fruitless. But the union must first be consolidated. To this day there are rat shops in Paterson running 7 or more looms per man like the Maxwell. Every union in Paterson must be a union shop.  
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home