“I didn’t realize what was going on with the unions until I met the Militant,” Derrick McCrary told Susan LaMont Jan. 8 outside his home in west Atlanta. “I was surprised to read about the strike at Kellogg’s. Always thought they were a good company to work for. I was shocked!”
McCrary worked as a diesel mechanic at FedEx before he retired on disability a few years ago. “If you talked about a union there,” he said, “you could be out the door, but we talked about it anyway. They say that you have be on their ‘team’ or out you go.
“I think every job should have a union,” he said. “We shouldn’t be scared to have that discussion. It’s what we need.”
He subscribed to the Militant last year and had picked up two books by Socialist Workers Party National Secretary Jack Barnes then. This time he renewed his subscription for six months.
Supporters of the Militant are getting back in touch with new readers who subscribed in the fall. The international renewals campaign began Jan. 1 and runs to Feb. 15. We’re finding workers are interested in discussing what we can do together to fight bosses’ unrelenting attacks, and what lies behind developments in world politics like mass protests against the government in Kazakhstan, as well as the vital lessons for working people here and worldwide from the Cuban Revolution.
Discussion in person with subscribers is key to the success of the campaign. SWP members Dan Fein and Dean Hazlewood drove to St. Louis Jan. 8 to get together with subscriber Steve Coenen, who works at a pharmaceutical company. “The Militant is the only place to read about the important union strikes taking place not only in the U.S. but in other countries,” Coenen told them. “Solidarity is the only weapon the working class has.”
Hazlewood described the strikes and organizing drives by Teamsters in the Midwest that gave a powerful impulse to the industrial union movement in the 1930s, and the SWP’s participation and leadership of those battles.
“We need to rebuild the labor movement,” Coenen said.
Fein reports that “over dinner we discussed the history of the SWP and Cuba’s socialist revolution.”
Coenen renewed his subscription and bought four books, including Cuba and the Coming American Revolution by Barnes. “The greatest obstacle to the line of march of the toilers,” Barnes writes, “is the tendency, promoted and perpetuated by the exploiting classes, for working people to underestimate ourselves, to underestimate what we can accomplish, to doubt our own worth.”
The Cuban Revolution shows that with class solidarity, political consciousness and a revolutionary leadership like that forged in struggle there, it is possible to stand up to the capitalist class and seemingly insurmountable odds, and win.
While giving priority to convincing subscribers to renew and involving a growing number of readers in helping get it around, Militant supporters are continuing to win new readers to the socialist newsweekly.
“The biggest problem we face is job security,” Leon Lee told this worker-correspondent and Sarah Katz when we knocked on his door in the Bronx, New York, Jan. 9. “With the economic crisis and COVID-19 lockdowns, workers don’t know if they’ll have a job a week or a month from now.”
We showed him the Militant’s coverage of the devastating consequences of recent wild fires in Louisville, Colorado, pointing out that the capitalists build homes close together in areas known for wild fires — increasing the likelihood flames will spread — and without using sufficiently fire-resistant materials. Bosses and landlords, Lee said, “don’t care about us.” He subscribed to the Militant and got Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? Class, Privilege, and Learning Under Capitalism by Barnes.
Want to help introduce friends, co-workers, neighbors and relatives to the Militant and the Socialist Workers Party? See page 8 to contact the party branch nearest you, or reach the Militant at firstname.lastname@example.org.