Socialist Workers Party Statement

Defend jobs, wages, working conditions!

June 15, 2020

Alyson Kennedy, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for president, issued the following statement June 3. Malcolm Jarrett is the party’s candidate for vice president.

From strikes by thousands of autoworkers at Nissan in Spain fighting to keep their jobs, to walkouts by fruit packers over wages and safety in Washington state — working people more and more are finding ways to stand up to the bosses and their government.  

These strikes and protests reinforce the countless on-the-job actions in factories, big-box stores and other workplaces to resist the bosses’ attacks and speedup. They are an example to millions of other workers. 

And the mass protests worldwide demanding prosecution of the cops who killed George Floyd in Minneapolis inspire workers to redouble their efforts to take on the bosses.

Bosses are pushing for the government to lift their lockdowns to enable them to boost production and trade to compete for markets. At they same time, they look to cut their workforce to the bone, and squeeze remaining workers harder to maximize profits. Then they use the competition between the growing number of unemployed workers and those still on the job to deepen their attacks on wages and safety for all.

To advance our interests we need a fighting program to mobilize the entire working class and all its allies among farmers and small proprietors to win protection from depression conditions and the widening divisions they try to use to pit us against each other. 

The starting point for such a program is joining in every fight that develops. Use the Militant to spread the word about these struggles!

  • The SWP urges workers to fight for a government-funded public works program to put millions back to work at union-scale pay, building things working people need — schools, hospitals, child care, public transit and more. This would reduce the competition among workers for jobs, putting us all in a stronger position to organize, build unions and resist the employers.
  • As bosses cut the hours of millions of workers to protect their profits — slashing our wages as they do so — we need to fight for 30 hours work for 40 hours pay. Such a struggle can both help share the jobs around while preventing the bosses from cutting our pay.
  • Bosses use the fear of deportation hanging over millions of immigrant workers to weaken the efforts to organize and to lower the wages of all workers. To unite against the employers’ attacks, workers need to fight for amnesty for all fellow workers without papers. 
  • Production cannot be left under the control of bosses, who keep their profit-driven plans, books and practices hidden from workers and consumers alike. They have zero concern for what they make, for workers’ health and safety, nor what they do to the land, sea and air. 
  • The fight by workers to wrest more and more control over production, including power over line speed, work conditions and what is produced and how, are necessary steps toward workers running the entire economy.
  • We need to break with the bosses’ two-party shell game and build our own political party, a labor party, that speaks and acts in the interests of the working class and all those oppressed and exploited by capitalism. This party will lead a course of working-class struggle to strengthen us for the revolutionary battles necessary to overturn capitalist rule and put in power a workers and farmers government. 

Join the SWP campaign!