Socialist Workers Party statement

Put SWP on the ballot! Fight for workers control of production

August 3, 2020

Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party candidate for president, issued the following statement July 22. Malcolm Jarrett is the party’s candidate for vice president.

Join the campaign to put the Socialist Workers Party presidential ticket, Malcolm Jarrett and myself, on the ballot in 2020!

Campaign volunteers are introducing the party and its program and signing people up, so the only party defending working-class interests will be on the ballot. Supporters are campaigning to win ballot status in Washington state and Tennessee, after meeting requirements in Colorado, Louisiana and Vermont. Ballot fights are taking place in other states as well. The party has been on the ballot for president since 1948.

As they campaign, SWP candidates and supporters are building solidarity with striking shipyard workers in Bath, fights against cop brutality across the country and explaining that through struggle our class has the power to change history.

As bosses start up production and pack working people into mines, mills, plants and retail outlets, looking to bring profits flowing in, my campaign explains why fighting for workers control of production is decisive for all working people.

Work can be organized safely, but bosses organize production — and all social relations — to maximize profits. To them, workers’ lives and livelihoods are expendable. Our starting point is no worker should have to die on the job!

Only by workers fighting together to wrest ever greater control of production can we be in a position to set line speeds, decide how closely workers should be to each other on the job and what other safety measures are needed to stop coronavirus infections, injuries and deaths.

When workers exercise control of production, we determine how many workers are hired, what should be produced and safety protections while monitoring quality and design — so never again are aircraft like the deadly 737 Max manufactured.

The fight for workers control of production is tied to the fight to get more workers back to work. Millions have been thrown on the street as governments ordered shutdowns of production and trade, and companies closed down — many for good.

That’s why my campaign also says workers and our unions need to fight for a government-funded public works program to put millions back to work at union-scale pay to build the housing, hospitals, public transport and other things working people need. Reducing the competition for jobs forced on workers by massive unemployment puts us in a stronger position. We can come together and fight efforts by the bosses to make us pay for the economic, political and moral crisis of their capitalist system.

To make our workplaces safe will often require construction — more floor space, new facilities and more. This too can create jobs. Where bosses threaten layoffs, we should fight for a shorter workweek with no cut in pay to keep fellow workers on the job.

As workers fight, and begin to gain control over aspects of production and safety, we find more confidence in ourselves and can see that our class and its allies should organize the entire economy. The line of march of the working class toward replacing capitalist rule and taking power into our hands will grow out of the fights we wage today and in the revolutionary struggles in the years ahead.

If this sounds good to you, join SWP members campaigning and fighting to put the party on the ballot in as many states as possible!