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Vol. 78/No. 27      July 28, 2014

Oppose boss assault on
Long Island Rail Road workers!

Long Island Rail Road workers have been without a contract since 2010, tied up by red tape under the federal Railway Labor Act. Workers could strike against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority July 20 when a federal “cooling off” period ends. Below is a statement by John Studer and Dan Fein, Socialist Workers Party candidates for governor and lieutenant governor of New York.

We call on working people to show solidarity with the more than 5,000 Long Island Rail Road workers facing a two-pronged assault from the railroad bosses and state and federal governments.

All working people have a stake in this fight. The rail bosses’ push to boost profits comes down hardest on safety — for rail workers, workers who use the trains and those who live and toil along the tracks. In the last year, workers have seen the consequences of the rail bosses’ profit drive: deadly train disasters from Lac-Mégantic in Canada to Metro-North in the Bronx.

Workers need to fight for workers’ control over our job conditions and build and strengthen unions so we have the power to shut work down when it is unsafe.

The bosses want LIRR workers to accept a two-tier contract, including steep cuts for new hires on wages, health care and pensions. Such a contract puts workers under more pressure, makes working conditions more dangerous, increases divisions among workers and weakens solidarity. Boss after boss has done this over the last 10 years.

In contrast to the bosses’ parties, the Democrats and Republicans, with their stacked labor boards and “cooling off” periods, the Socialist Workers Party candidates stand full-square in support of the LIRR workers’ fight to push back the bosses’ assault.

We would use the governor’s office to campaign to broaden support for all those who act to strengthen workers’ control over safety. These struggles can open the door to the fight to take political power out of the hands of the propertied rulers and for a workers and farmers government.
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