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Vol. 76/No. 27      July 23, 2012

Bosses’ divide-and-conquer
‘blood money’ donated to party

Two recent donations to the Socialist Workers Party’s Capital Fund highlight the bosses’ drive to categorize more and more workers as “temporary” in their assault on our wages, working conditions and unions. The fund is used to help finance long-range work of the party.

An important source of regular contributions come from workers who send in money from so-called company bonuses. These workers commonly refer to the bonuses—in fact bribes to get us to accept speedup, not report injuries and sign concession contracts—as “blood money.”

Maura DeLuca, who worked for a staffing agency in Lincoln, Neb., sent in the note below with a check for $134.40.

“This is blood money from an ‘attendance bonus’ for three weeks. The agency doesn’t give raises, but they tout the weekly bonus that you get if you don’t miss any work and aren’t late.

“I make a little more than half of what permanent workers make doing the same job. We are required to wear the agency’s T-shirts, which cost $8 apiece. They give us one per month, but only if no accidents are reported. Since they raised the issue of safety, I asked for a protective welding jacket. They’d given one to a coworker, but I was told I was ‘not ready.’”

“I don’t plan on getting the attendance bonus every week. But when I get it, it’ll go towards building a movement that fights in the interest of workers.”

Jacob Perasso and Dave Ferguson in Atlanta work at a Yamaha plant. They sent in checks totaling $907.93 from a production bonus. Perasso included the following note:

“Blood money is designed to get us regular workers to accept lower status for temporary workers. There are more than 100 in the plant. They receive 50 percent less pay and no benefits. Some have worked for years as temps.

“In charts hung on the walls, the company boasts about profits being made by not hiring these workers into regular positions. A typical one this week listed 13 eliminated jobs at an annual savings of $400,000.

“Anyone who comes up with a successful proposal to eliminate jobs gets a special bonus, in addition to a possible promotion.

“I am glad there is a way to put the bonus to good use.”

Some 13 million temporary workers were hired last year, according to the American Staffing Association. “Since the beginning of 2012, temporary and contract employment has grown 24.2%,” reported ASA in May.

To make a contribution, contact Militant distributors listed on page 10.


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