Socialist Workers Party statement

Demand jobs! Fight for public works program to create jobs

June 8, 2020

Alyson Kennedy, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for president, issued the following statement May 26. Malcolm Jarrett is the party’s candidate for vice president.

The bosses and their governments tell workers “we are all in this together” as they have shuttered factories, farms, retail stores and small businesses of every description, throwing millions of us out of work. They say that we should count on them to protect the livelihoods and future of “all Americans.”

But there are two very different classes in the U.S. — the America of the ruling families, who own the factories, the banks and the land, and that of working people, who have no choice but to sell our labor power to the bosses in order to survive.

Working people have nothing in common with those whose wealth comes from exploiting us. Everything they do has only one purpose — to maximize their profits on our backs. That’s why where we are still working, they’re cutting our hours and wages, and attacking our working conditions. As they move to restart their capitalist economy to compete against rivals at home and abroad, they will squeeze the working class even harder.

As we fight to defend ourselves, workers increasingly see through their rhetoric that “we are all Americans,” and stand with all those who face exploitation, oppression, and attacks from cops and vigilantes.

Striking workers at fruit packing plants in Washington state are showing that workers can take action against the bosses’ attacks. Their resolute struggle provides an example to emulate.

My party, the Socialist Workers Party, is campaigning on an action program against the anti-working-class offensive of the bosses and their government.

  • First and foremost, workers need jobs, to be working in order to join with our co-workers and others to fight to defend our wages, working conditions and social rights.
  • My party urges workers and our unions to fight for a massive government-funded public works program to put millions to work now, at union-scale pay, to build the things working people need — hospitals, affordable housing, schools, day care centers, and to rebuild crumbling infrastructure.
  • Workers need to fight for a sliding scale of wages and hours, to cut the workweek to prevent layoffs without any cut in pay.
  • And workers need to fight for amnesty for the millions of undocumented workers in this country to lift the fear of deportation. This is the road to strengthen the unity and fighting power of the working class.
  • The SWP explains workers need to wage a struggle to take control of production out of the hands of the bosses. Taking steps to gain control of all aspects of production will allow workers to control line speed, shut down production whenever conditions are unsafe, open up the bosses’ books for all to see, and to take control over what we produce to assure it’s useful and doesn’t fall apart after a few months. We can reorganize production to meet the needs of the vast majority.

This is a necessary step in learning how to run all of society — something that becomes possible as workers deepen our struggles, develop more self-confidence and break politically with the capitalist rulers.

  • In our millions we will construct our own party, a labor party, that the working class and our allies can use to put an end to capitalist exploitation and abuse once and for all and establish a workers and farmers government.

Join us!