Workers need our own party, a labor party

August 1, 2022

The labor movement should join rail workers in fighting President Joseph Biden’s intervention in contract talks between rail bosses and unions aimed at preventing the workers from using their union power, after they voted by 99% to strike against industry-wide attacks on wages, job conditions and safety.

Biden’s action is one more example that the government is never “neutral” in conflicts between employers and unions. It always sides with the bosses. The twin Democratic and Republican parties exist to defend the interests of the ruling capitalist families.

The U.S. is sharply class-divided. Politics here, as everywhere, isn’t a clash between left and right, or liberals and conservatives. It’s a class struggle. The bosses use all the powers of their state — its army, cops, courts, prisons, political parties, and government “boards” and regulatory agencies — to defend their profits against the vast majority, working people.

Today workers have no party of our own. And most of our union officials tell us we don’t need one, that “friends of labor” in the Democratic Party will serve our political needs and we should leave things to them.

Millions of workers recognize we need unions to fight for better wages and working conditions. But without class political independence, without our own party, we fight with one hand tied behind our backs. Building a labor party out of our struggles gives our class our own political instrument. Workers can’t choose a “lesser evil” between Democrats and Republicans. There is none. Both parties have decadeslong records serving the U.S. imperialist rulers in their wars against workers and farmers, at home and abroad.

Contrary to what the rulers try to pound into our heads from early on, workers have the capacities to join together and chart a course out of the oppression and exploitation imposed by dog-eat-dog capitalism. A labor party can fight for cost-of-living adjustments in every contract to protect wages from inflation; 30 hours work for 40 hours pay to combat unemployment; and a working-class foreign policy that defends the struggles of toilers not just here, but everywhere we come under economic or military attack — from Ukraine to revolutionary Cuba.

A labor party would unify working people and our allies for the struggles that lie ahead, to overturn capitalist rule and establish our own workers and farmers government. Join the Socialist Workers Party and our candidates fighting for this liberating perspective!