Bosses at the railroad in New York state, where Jeffrey Patterson works, paid him an extra $243.93 of back pay as “an incentive to encourage workers to sign a new contract that cuts medical benefits, particularly for those with families or with long-term expensive medical conditions,” he said. Bosses use payments like this as bribes — what the Socialist Workers Party calls “blood money.” Their goal is to try to get workers to sign concession contracts and deter us from fighting against increasingly worse health coverage, low wages, grueling shift schedules and dangerous conditions.
SWP members and supporters refuse to be beholden to the bosses. They turn over the blood money to the party to advance its long-term work. And they urge co-workers to do the same, to turn the bosses’ efforts to weaken the working class into something that makes our class stronger.
Patterson sent in the bribe, along with a further $971.60 “hiring bonus” that he got because he had eluded being written up for any “safety violations” in the two years since getting hired. “Write-ups are arbitrary,” he said. “And those who report injuries are more likely to get investigated and written up.”
If your boss gives you a bribe and you decide to donate it to the party, contact the SWP nearest to you, listed on page 8. The party will put it to good use!