Socialist Workers Party campaign statement

Why workers should fight for control of production

February 17, 2020

As part of strengthening the self-confidence, fighting capacities and class consciousness of working people, Socialist Workers Party candidates for president and vice president Alyson Kennedy and Malcolm Jarrett, explain why the fight for workers control of production is a key part of advancing our struggles against the bosses and their capitalist government.

It is our labor that creates all the wealth that the bosses take from us every day. Throughout industry they raise line speeds and cut corners on safety. The bosses and the parties that serve them have no concern about how their drive for profits endangers our lives and limbs, undermines our quality of life, nor how it destroys the environment and prevents us from conserving the earth’s patrimony for future generations.

From time to time workers are able to wrest some control over safety on the job from the bosses as we organize and build unions, the key defensive organizations of the working class, and extend solidarity and use union power. Such steps can make a real difference to our capacity to prevent injuries and worse. No worker has to die on the job!

As long as production, transportation and distribution remain under the control of the bosses, the productive capacities of human labor will be twisted to serve profits, not human needs. The bosses lie about all aspects of production — to keep us from learning about what we are being exposed to and, more importantly, when they lie about their real expenses and profits to press us for concessions.

“The immediate tasks of workers control,” explains Russian revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky in the Transitional Program for Socialist Revolution, adopted by the Socialist Workers Party in 1938, is to “explain the debits and credits of society, beginning with individual business undertakings; to determine the actual share of the national income appropriated by individual capitalists and by the exploiters as a whole,” and, “finally, to reveal to all members of society that unconscionable squandering of human labor which is the result of capitalist anarchy and the naked pursuit of profits.”

The fight for workers control of production is a school for the working class, as we uncover the bosses’ business secrets and reality of their economic relations. As we learn — and become more confident through our struggles — we fight for deeper and deeper inroads over all aspects of production.

It is a necessary and essential step along the road to reorganizing all of society, as we fight to take the planning and direction of the entire economy into our own hands, something only the overthrow of capitalist class rule and establishment of a workers and farmers government will make possible.

That liberating perspective is what the SWP’s presidential ticket and candidates around the country will be explaining. Join the campaign!