Cut workweek with no pay cut to save jobs!

May 3, 2021

Statement by Gerardo Sánchez, Socialist Workers Party candidate for Dallas City Council, District 1, April 21.

Millions of workers remain out of work today, facing mounting hardships and uncertainty and isolation from fellow workers on the job. That is the one place where we can join together as a class, discuss the road forward together and fight for what we need. 

Neither Democratic nor Republican administrations have acted to reverse this crisis. The Biden administration’s “jobs act” wouldn’t create a single job. It just pumps more money into the coffers of the bosses and government bureaucrats to do with as they please. 

It will take workers and our unions, organizing and fighting to change these conditions. We need to fight for a shorter workweek with no cut in pay to spread the available jobs among us. This is needed now to prevent more layoffs and keep millions on the job without anyone losing a single cent in take-home pay.

Our unions need to mobilize our ranks — and tens of millions of unorganized workers — to fight together for a federally funded public works program that can provide jobs at union-scale pay to build houses, hospitals, schools and other things working people need. 

And we need to fight for workers control of production to prevent crippling speedup, understaffing and all manner of danger to life and limb. This would open the door to the working class — not the bosses — taking charge of how and what things are made in the factories and mills, to meet the needs of working people. 

Fighting for such demands would advance the unity of the working class and every union struggle workers are organizing today — from coal miners striking for improved pay and conditions at Warrior Met in Alabama, to locked-out oil refinery workers fighting for safety in Minnesota, to steelworkers battling ATI bosses’ job cuts, and the countless other daily battles workers organize on the job to defend ourselves. 

Only through working-class struggle against those who exploit us can workers win what our class needs and change ourselves — to develop our fighting capacities and class consciousness. This is the road to a battle-tested working-class movement, one that can forge our own political party, a labor party, capable of leading millions of the exploited and oppressed to take political power into our own hands. 

There is a living example today where working people carried out exactly the kind of revolution we need here — in Cuba, where the July 26 Movement led a mass popular uprising that overthrew the U.S.-backed Fulgencio Batista dictatorship and announced the socialist revolution in our hemisphere. 

As Fidel Castro said in 1961, “There will be a victorious revolution in the United States before a victorious counterrevolution in Cuba.”