“They give us this money to make us feel happy for one week,” a co-worker at a bag factory in upstate New York told Alonso Hernández after their boss doled out a small Christmas bonus. Hernández and Emily Barnett, another worker at the plant, told co-workers they were turning their bonus over to the Socialist Workers Party. “We’re glad it can be used to help build the party,” Hernández said.
Communist workers use the term blood money to describe production, attendance, safety and other “bonuses.” Bosses use these as bribes to discourage workers from resisting exhausting hours, speedup, lower wages and dangerous working conditions. SWP members and supporters explain how this undercuts workers’ ability to fight for better wages and conditions. Instead of taking the bribe, they turn this money over to the SWP’s Capital Fund, to strengthen the party’s long-term work.
The party also received $20 from retail worker Sheila Lawrence. She was given this “reward” during a “safety meeting.” The bosses hope rewards like this will get workers to identify their interests with the company and acquiesce to speedup and other unsafe conditions.
Three retail workers in Oakland, California, turned over $205 from bosses’ bribes. Carole Lesnick said management at the store where she works tries to make workers feel dependent on these bonuses and turn them against each other when they’re lowered. Bosses told workers that “poor customer service” by some was responsible for the declining amount of bonuses workers received.
In December SWP members gave $2,891.60 in blood money to the party. If you’d like to turn your bosses attempted bribes into something that advances the strengthening of the working class, contact the SWP in your area listed below.