OAKLAND, Calif. — More than 500 members of United Steelworkers Local 5 at the Chevron refinery near here in Richmond have been on strike since March 21.
They have been receiving solidarity from area workers and need more. But one thing they don’t need is the repeated attacks being leveled against their union by an anti-labor outfit claiming to be a “rank-and-file workers” committee promoted by the Socialist Equality Party and its misleadingly named World Socialist Web Site.
This outfit calls on the oil workers “to break out of this straitjacket imposed on them by the USW,” falsely claiming that strikers aren’t getting financial support from their union.
This anti-labor outfit has a long history of similar attacks on unions precisely when they are involved in a struggle against the bosses. This was the case during strikes at Kellogg’s, Volvo Trucks and numerous other labor battles. Whatever difficulties our unions have today, workers need to use them to fight.
Recoiling from the anti-USW attacks, some strikers have assumed any group with “socialist” in its name is guilty of the same anti-union perspective. Members of the Socialist Workers Party, however, have walked the strike picket lines, brought others to the expanded picketing and rallies organized by the Contra Costa Labor Council, written for the Militant to get out the story of the strike and broaden support in the labor movement and to workers at their doorsteps across the region.