Workers on strike have been running into an anti-labor outfit that calls itself the Socialist Equality Party. The group — which maintains the so-called World Socialist Web Site — claims to back the fight for better wages and job conditions. In reality everything it does is aimed at weakening the working class and our unions.
The World Socialist Web Site has been quick to write in their online-only publication about many of today’s strike battles and lockouts. But every article calls on workers to quit their unions — claiming that all unions are wretched and corrupt — a call that is music to the ears of every boss in the country.
An April 30 article on the strike and tentative contract at Volvo’s truck plant in Virginia claims that the United Auto Workers “is not a ‘union’ at all, but a well-financed arm of management.”
Steelworkers in a bitter strike against Allegheny Technologies Inc., and members of the United Mine Workers union on strike at the Warrior Met mine in Alabama, are getting the same treatment.
The uptick in hiring coming out of the COVID-19 lockdowns is increasing the confidence of workers to stand up to the bosses’ attempts to make us pay for today’s capitalist crisis. We’re seeing more strikes, resistance on the job, and rejection of takeback contracts.
Other unions, workers, farmers and young people are walking picket lines, contributing money and food, and joining solidarity rallies. That’s exactly what’s needed to strengthen our unions and our fights.
It’s no surprise that amid growing opportunities for real solidarity, the Socialist Equality Party has gone into overdrive to attack our unions. The group boasts that it has set up an international network of “rank-and-file committees” to target our unions, but there is little indication they exist anywhere but the pages of their website.
Working people face serious challenges. We have taken big blows over the last several decades, a consequence in part of union officials fostering reliance on capitalist politicians to “help” us, instead of mobilizing our own strength through our unions.
The Socialist Equality Party takes advantage of these real challenges, not to point a road forward that can build the unions, but to demoralize workers and undercut union power.
After learning what the group is up to, on some occasions strikers have told the Socialist Equality Party to leave the picket line. This anti-labor outfit’s provocative actions can place barriers in front of the Socialist Workers Party and others who come to bring solidarity, learn more about the strikers’ battle and help get out the word.
But one of the strongest weapons strikers have to win solidarity is telling their stories, the truth about conditions on the job, the depth of the take-backs the bosses are trying to impose, the importance of their fight for safety, better wages and working conditions, and respect.
The more solidarity we can organize, the less room is there for an anti-working-class operation like the World Socialist Web Site to ply their anti-union wares.