Operating craft workers on the BNSF Railway — the second largest in the country -— are up in arms against the bosses’ unilaterally imposing a new and more onerous absentee policy, and are determined to take strike action. But the bosses got a compliant federal judge to use an anti-labor federal regulation to grant a restraining order barring the rail unions from striking, or taking any other action that could interfere with the company continuing to rake in profits.
This order follows a series of court rulings last fall restricting striking workers at Warrior Met Coal, Kellogg’s and John Deere from picketing effectively. These rulings blatantly aim to cripple workers’ use of a powerful weapon — our capacity to shut down production and transportation to defend ourselves from the bosses’ ruthless drive to maximize their profits off our backs.
Each of these orders shows the cops, courts and federal regulators aren’t neutral arbiters of “justice.” Like the rest of the capitalist state, they are the tools of the trade for bosses to use to go after working people.
Because of the worldwide stagnation of capitalist production and trade with sharpening competition for markets, both here and worldwide, the rulers are making preparations for conflict — wars abroad alongside assaults on jobs, wages and working conditions at home.
Without a course to organize independently of the exploiting class — at all levels — workers will run into insurmountable obstacles. Union officials urge workers to get Democrats elected, telling us we need “friends of labor” in office. But both parties rule for the bosses. This is the whole reason for the two party shell game, to keep us tethered to lesser-evil politics while guaranteeing profits for their capitalist masters.
Workers need to break out of this whole framework. We need our own party, a labor party. As union struggles grow, workers need to see ourselves, and to act, as a class. A labor party based on our unions would unify and mobilize labor’s ranks to fight for protection from inflation, joblessness and all attempts by the capitalist state to attack our rights. It would lead the fight against the capitalist rulers’ efforts to use workers and farmers as cannon fodder in their wars for markets, resources and domination abroad.
It would chart a course for our class to lead millions of toilers oppressed and exploited by capitalist rule to fight for political power and establish a workers and farmers government.
This is at the heart of the campaign being waged by the Socialist Workers Party in 2022. Join the SWP campaign!