Statement by Róger Calero, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New York mayor, March 31.
There are a number of important strikes and organizing drives today that deserve widespread support from workers and our unions. Join in bringing solidarity to striking Steelworkers at ATI plants in five states and locked-out Marathon oil refinery workers in St. Paul Park, Minnesota! Help get out the truth about their struggles, send messages of support and organize to go with your co-workers, fellow unionists, family and friends to visit their picket lines.
Invite these fighting workers to speak to your union, church or co-workers.
Safety on the job and for those living near the oil refinery is the heart of the fight by Teamster members at Marathon. “I told him do not back down,” Megan Christner said about her husband, Jason, one of the locked-out workers, when she joined the picket line. “You’ve got to stand up for what you believe.”
The Steelworkers at ATI are fighting to prevent the bosses from deepening divisions among the workers, with more and more “tiers” with separate wages and benefits. And they’re fighting against union busting, as ATI demands to bring more contract workers in to replace union members. At the same time, the company is shuttering union mills as they plough money into nonunion plants elsewhere.
The struggles at Marathon and ATI can’t be left to be isolated and blacked out by the bosses and their friends in the big-business press. For decades our union officials have told us to rely on Democratic Party politicians and they’ll “take care” of us. And they’ve done as little as possible to make strike struggles better known and to strengthen them. We say our unions should do everything they can to supplement the fighting capacity of the workers themselves.
Our power lies in our numbers and the fact that it is our labor that produces all wealth. When we fight together as a class against the class that exploits us we can make gains, gain support and win.
“You pick a fight with one of us, you pick a fight with all of us!” United Auto Workers Local 722 says in its solidarity message to Marathon workers. That must be the watchword of all labor.
Through joining all working-class struggles that unfold we will advance our self-confidence and class consciousness. This will enable us to build our own party, a labor party, to lead our class and all those exploited and oppressed by capital in our millions to take political power into our own hands.
Solidarity with the fights at ATI and Marathon!