Socialist Workers Party statement

Fight for jobs! Defend wages, conditions!

June 29, 2020

Alyson Kennedy, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for president, issued the following statement June 17. Malcolm Jarrett is the party’s candidate for vice president.

The biggest division working people face is between those of us working and those out of work. We need to join together in struggle to protect ourselves as bosses seek to use the division to attack wages and working conditions.

Joblessness is caused by the drive for profits that’s integral to capitalist exploitation. Competition among workers for jobs is used by the bosses to intensify every other division they foster — between Black and Caucasian, native- and foreign-born, women and men — to turn us against each other and weaken our capacities to unite and fight their attacks.

But a fight for jobs can strengthen workers’ unity and morale and boost fights for higher wages and better conditions.

  • That’s why my campaign urges workers and their unions to fight for a federally funded public works program to put millions back to work, at union-scale pay — to build the homes, hospitals and many other things working people need. The battle for jobs is central  to building a fighting labor movement to combat the effects of the bosses’ crisis-ridden system on our lives.
  • To strengthen the unity vital for organizing more workers into struggles to improve wages and working conditions, the SWP demands an amnesty for all undocumented workers living in the U.S. Lift the threat of deportation from millions of fellow workers!

The bosses and their government try to convince workers we should accept the many injustices the capitalist system inflicts on us because “we’re all in this together.” But that lie is being laid bare by the hundreds of thousands of working people and youth who have joined protests in big cities and small towns to fight police brutality, bred by capitalism,  showing in practice the fighting capacities our class can exercise. They stand on the shoulders of mighty gains won by the proletarian Black-led fight for civil rights that eradicated Jim Crow segregation.

The workings of capitalism inevitably drives workers to look for ways to fight.

  • As our struggles deepen more workers can be won to taking control of production out of the hands of bosses who are driven only by their thirst for more profit off our labor. Their control of production ensures workers continue to face life-threatening speedup and the bosses’ destruction of the soil, air and oceans. But as workers wrest control of production, we can expose the bosses’ decisions for planned obsolescence, their intolerable waste of resources and their efforts to grab more of the wealth that our labor produces. The fight for workers control of production is the first step towards workers and our allies running the entire economy in the interests of the great majority.
  • To lead that struggle workers need their own party, a labor party. A party that builds solidarity with strikes by fruit packers in Washington state and autoworkers in France and Spain for jobs, and for the struggle to charge and prosecute the cops who killed Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and countless others. A party that acts on the fact that working people have common interests that can only be defended in struggle against the capitalist exploiters and their Democratic and Republican parties.

A labor party would lead the fight to accomplish what workers and farmers in Cuba have proved we are capable of — waging a revolutionary struggle to replace the rule of the capitalists with a workers and farmers government — the greatest weapon we can use in the fight to end all exploitation and oppression.

Join us campaigning for this program!