Socialist Workers Party 2022 campaign: ‘All out Labor Day’

September 5, 2022

Socialist Workers Party candidates across the country call on our unions, co-workers and all those who want to fight against the drive of the bosses and their government to make us pay for the crisis of their decaying capitalist system of exploitation and war to join union-called Labor Day actions in early September wherever you are.

Join in strike-support rallies, marches, parades, picnics and other activities to show solidarity with fellow workers in combat — like the coal miners in Alabama who’ve been on strike for 16 months against the union-busting assault of Warrior Met bosses — and to build the union movement to fight more effectively to defend our rights, improve our wages, working conditions and safety on the job. The labor movement needs to champion the struggles of family farmers and all those who are oppressed by capital.

Our unions need to break from the two parties of the capitalist ruling families — the Democrats and Republicans — and build our own party, a labor party, to fight to take political power into our hands.

We can start with building union solidarity! The fight by hundreds of members of the United Mine Workers of America against Warrior Met Coal bosses in Alabama is crucial for the labor movement. The coal bosses are using the National Labor Relations Board to deal a serious blow to workers’ right to strike, and strike effectively. The Joe Biden administration NLRB has fined the UMWA $13.3 million in an effort to make the union pay the bosses for the security thugs they’ve hired, for income and profits the company lost because of the strike, as well as for damages to company property the bosses blame on the strikers.

The union will not pay, UMWA President Cecil Roberts says, explaining, “The right to strike in America must be preserved.” This fight is in the interests of all working people and needs and deserves widespread solidarity.

Some 115,000 railroad workers, including engineers, conductors, track maintenance workers and many others, are locked in a contract fight with Class 1 rail freight bosses, and are facing government interference. Rail bosses are awash in profits as workers jobs get worse and more dangerous. Today they confront the anti-labor Railway Labor Act, which makes it illegal for rail workers to strike, instead imposing on them government-mandated mediation and a Presidential Emergency Board. Many are chafing to strike. Freight rail bosses have slashed the workforce to bare bones, with unlivable work hours, and alarming safety conditions that threaten rail workers and those who live near the rail lines.

This too, “is a fight for the whole labor movement,” as Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Division of the AFL-CIO told a June 30 labor rally in Galesburg, Illinois.

A class-struggle labor program

In addition to acting to mount nationwide solidarity with these and other class battles, we need a program to mobilize our ranks and allies to defend our jobs, health and families.

Today we face the scourge of soaring prices. The Socialist Workers Party calls for escalator clauses in all union contracts, and in social programs like Social Security, covering all working people, that force bosses and the government to increase our wages regularly to cover the complete cost of inflation.

As the business press warns of recession on top of inflation, the labor movement must assure all who want them to have jobs. We say cut the workweek with no cut in pay — 30 hours work for 40 hours pay — to create jobs. And we demand a government-funded public works program to create jobs and build things like schools, daycare centers, medical centers, that working people need.

Our unions must take on the fight for workers control of production, to ensure working conditions are safe and put our class in charge of determining what is made and how to meet human needs. This will also allow us to expose the real costs of production, help bring down prices and protect the environment.

The working class needs its own foreign policy. The bosses take their profit-driven system overseas in search of investment, raw materials and markets. Whenever needed, they fight wars to defend and extend their profits and punish their rivals.

Workers in the U.S. have an interest in defending the fight being waged today by the people of Ukraine for their independence and against the murderous invasion by Moscow. Demand Russian troops get out of Ukraine!

To carry out a class-struggle program like this requires working-class political independence. This means our own party, a labor party, to take on the twin parties of the bosses and bankers, to fight to bring workers and farmers to power.

SWP candidates and supporters will take the discussion about the need for labor solidarity, and for this class-struggle program and perspectives to fellow workers on Labor Day. Join us!

Build the labor movement!

To build the labor movement, and advance the fighting perspectives it needs to make progress, it is important to not undercut this solidarity by encouraging any separate, ultraleft events as is being done by some self-proclaimed labor “leaders” and so-called socialist organizations such as the Workers World Party.

One example of this is the “The Hot Labor Summer Day March for Recognition,” being built by Chris Smalls, of the Amazon Labor Union in New York on his Twitter account. The poster for this event, with no sponsors listed, shows Smalls holding an Amazon package in flames, and calls for protests at the homes of Amazon Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos and Starbucks Chairman Emeritus Howard Schultz, as well as a Times Square rally on Sept. 5.

These actions are purposefully counterposed on the same day as working people and their families will be joining together at union-sponsored Labor Day activities where broad support can be won for crucial labor fights and social struggles.

They’re a dead end on the road to rebuilding the labor movement. All out Labor Day!