‘The ‘Militant’ lets me know what workers are doing’

By Maggie Trowe
February 22, 2021

CINCINNATI — “I want to keep getting the Militant. I generally don’t read newspapers, but the Militant is different — the articles let me know what workers are doing all over,” Rubeisha Gaines, a nursing student, told this worker-correspondent as she renewed her subscription Feb. 6.

I had stopped by her home along with Dave Perry, a supporter of the Militant and unionist here, when we were campaigning in the Bond Hill neighborhood. Perry, a member of Teamsters Local 100, is a production worker at a factory run by the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. He is blind and listens to the audio files of the Militant every week.

Perry and campaigner Ned Measel met a worker in the same neighborhood who said she doesn’t think workers are able to do anything to change the conditions we face. After Perry told her about the struggle against layoffs and for safer working conditions he’s been part of where he works, she subscribed to the Militant.

“I hate working from home. It’s work, sleep, work, sleep. I’d much rather be with co-workers,” Patricia Rivera, a customer service worker, told me at her doorstep. Rivera has worked from home since COVID hit.

“Workers need to be working together, so we can talk to each other and act together for better conditions and higher wages,” I said. I described fights by Walmart workers against speedup and unsafe conditions and said we need to win higher pay. She subscribed to the Militant.

A dozen Socialist Workers Party candidates in this year’s elections and campaign supporters are continuing to introduce the Militant and books by revolutionary leaders to working people in small towns and big cities on their doorsteps, at plant gates and picket lines. We discuss with them the way forward to defend our interests in the midst of the capitalist economic and social crisis.

Party members are also getting back in touch with those who subscribed to the Militant over the last year, to exchange views, win them to renew their subscriptions and find those who want to join together to build the workers’ movement.

Bernie Senter, SWP candidate for California State Senate in District 30 in Los Angeles, campaigned outside a busy Food 4 Less grocery store in that city Feb. 8.

In nearby Long Beach, the United Food and Commercial Workers union has protested the announcement by Kroger, the stores’ parent company, that it was closing a Food 4 Less and a Ralphs grocery store. Kroger’s proposal to cut some 200 jobs came in response to a Long Beach city government mandate that grocery store workers receive a $4 an hour pandemic “hazard” pay hike for at least the next four months.

The company blames the City Council for the job cuts. The city exempted Target and Walmart from the pay increase.

“Employers fight pay increases because they can cut into their profits,” Senter told Eric Alberto Martinez, who was shopping at the store. “Wages have been stagnant for decades but prices continue to rise,” Senter said.

“I’m with you guys,” Martinez told Senter. “We need unity. Alone we can’t do anything.”

To join a campaigning team, meet the candidates or make a donation, contact a party branch near you. See the directory.

Norton Sandler and Deborah Liatos in Los Angeles contributed to this article.