“We need a union where I work,” Stephanie Revill, 42, who has worked at National Beef for 11 years, told Rachele Fruit, Socialist Workers Party candidate for Georgia governor. “We work in the cold and never know when we’ll get off. We don’t get paid enough for the conditions. The supervisors are always telling us to hurry up, hurry up. But they get the bonuses, and we get nothing.”
Fruit knocked on Revill’s door Sept. 15 as SWP members were introducing themselves to workers in Moultrie, an agricultural town of 15,000 some 200 miles southeast of Atlanta. Meeting workers and farmers on their doorsteps is the central activity for the SWP and the Communist Leagues in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
These face-to-face exchanges in cities, towns and rural areas offer party members and supporters the opportunity to share experiences and discuss and debate the key political issues facing workers today. They give the best platform to respond to developments in the class struggle, on the job and in social protest actions.
“We need to build the labor movement. The unions are our basic instrument of defense, and can become leaders of broader class struggles,” Fruit said.
“With the growing economy and more hiring workers are a little more confident today to organize for better conditions and wages,” Fruit told Revill. “We see steelworkers, hotel workers, retail workers and others standing up against the bosses.”
Revill decided to subscribe to the party’s paper, the Militant, and make a contribution to the SWP campaign.
The party speaks out as a tribune of the people against all the capitalist rulers’ assaults — on jobs, wages and working conditions; on women’s right to choose abortion; the debt slavery forced on working farm families; and police brutality. The SWP also calls for amnesty for immigrant workers living in the U.S.
Members and supporters stress the need for the labor movement to chart a class-struggle course independent of the capitalist rulers, their state and their parties. The heart of the discussions is what will it take for working people to gain the confidence and experience needed to overturn the capitalist system and take political power. And why they should join the SWP to pursue this course.
Do workers need our own party?
Steve Warshell, SWP candidate for U.S. Senate from Florida, and Cindy Jaquith visited Lake Worth in Palm Beach County Sept. 8. The area is home to many farmworkers and is surrounded by sugar cane fields, vegetable farms and nurseries.
“We met immigrant workers who wanted to talk, but requested we not use their names, because some don’t have papers the authorities consider proper,” Warshell wrote.
A worker originally from Peru asked if Warshell would vote with the Republican or the Democratic bloc in the Senate if he was elected, and whether he supported President Trump or the “resistance.”
“We aren’t either Democrats or Republicans — they are both parties of the propertied rulers. The president is a member of the boss class. We say workers need their own party, a revolutionary party, to overturn capitalist exploitation, oppression and wars,” Warshell replied. “Some of Trump’s actions, like the negotiations with North Korea, have reduced war tensions — and that’s in the interests of all workers, here and in Korea.
“The so-called anti-Trump ‘resistance’ is a hysterical response of fear of the working class, who the liberals think are racist and reactionary,” he said.
Amnesty for all immigrants
“A lot of immigrants only make minimum wage,” child care worker Venecia Acosta, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, told Beverly Bernardo, Communist League candidate in the Oct. 1 Quebec provincial election. Acosta invited Bernardo to her house Sept. 17 after they met the previous week when Bernardo was knocking on doors in Acosta’s neighborhood.
“The bosses pay immigrants less to lower everyone’s wages and divide workers born here from foreign-born workers,” said Bernardo. “The Communist League calls for amnesty for all immigrants here without papers to unite the working class,” she said.
“About eight years ago my son was arrested by the police in Ontario and framed up for drug trafficking, and then deported back to the Dominican Republic, even though he grew up in Canada,” said Acosta, who is still fighting for her son to be able to return.
“Working people need to make a socialist revolution and take political power,” Bernardo said, pointing to the example of the Cuban Revolution, where the July 26 Movement under Fidel Castro’s leadership organized the working class and its allies in a broad popular struggle that overturned the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship there in 1959. Cuban workers and farmers built their own government and have extended the hand of solidarity to toilers worldwide.
Acosta signed up for the Militant and purchased the Spanish-language edition of Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power by Socialist Workers Party National Secretary Jack Barnes. It’s one of five books on special with a subscription.
To join with the party in door-to-door discussions with fellow workers, or learn more about our program and activities, contact the SWP or Communist League nearest you.