25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

March 28, 2022

March 31, 1997

The march in Brussels by tens of thousands of workers from across Europe protesting job cuts shows the broad desire among working people to unite internationally to combat the devastation wrought by the capitalist system in its death agony.

Far from granting reforms, the bourgeoisie in every nation in Europe is trying to find ways to slash workers’ wages, living conditions, and social gains in order to boost their profits. They are driven to do this by the fundamental laws of capitalism.

Only through a decisive struggle against the bosses and their system — regardless of the shifting economic, political, and military alliances among the different nation states — can the working class defend itself and forge the unity needed to overturn the wages system and open the road to organizing society to meet human needs and potentials, not those of big business.

March 31, 1972

LOS ANGELES — President Nixon assumed that the appointment of Romana Acosta Banuelos as Treasurer of the United States would persuade some Chicanos that they had a representative in his administration. He might even have thought that this would include the workers at her food plant in Gardena.

One thing is clear now. Banuelos isn’t likely to win votes for anyone among the workers at her plant. They’re on strike against sweatshop wages and working conditions. More than 200 workers at Ramona’s Mexican Food Products went on strike March 8, three months after their last contract expired. A major demand is the 40-hour week. The union is also demanding a wage increase, longer vacations, and dues checkoff.

Work is being speeded up considerably on the production line. The workers, mostly Chicanos, are determined to win substantial gains.

March 29, 1947

[President] Truman’s war of “democracy against totalitarianism” finds the first blow being struck against the American people themselves. Truman has launched a sweeping “anti-red” witchhunt to terrorize all persons and groups opposed to Wall Street.

The first stage of a vast assault on civil rights is outlined in Truman’s order for an unprecedented “disloyalty” purge among 2,200,000 federal administrative employees. This order sets the precedent for persecution and victimization that will extend into every walk of life and into the plants and workshops.

Among the investigating agencies is the notorious House Committee on Un-American Activities whose charges of “communism” and “subversion” have been hurled indiscriminately at anyone who is sympathetic to labor, supports democratic rights and opposes Negro-baiting and anti-Semitism.