25, 50, and 75 Years Ago

February 20, 2023

February 23, 1998

ST. PAUL, Minnesota — About 300 Teamster strikers and supporters rallied Feb. 10, across from Honeywell’s plant in Golden Valley, Minnesota. This factory, which employs 1,500 members of Teamsters Local 1145, and two other area plants of the aerospace controls manufacturer have been shut since the strike began on Feb. 2.

The first speaker was John Senum, who last August was a local rank-and-file leader of the Teamsters strike at United Parcel Service. “We’re proud of your fight against the two-tier,” Senum said. One of the central issues is the company’s demand to pay new hires a substantially lower wage. “We’ll stay with you on the picket lines ’til we win.”

Gary George, a valve assembler, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “The more Honeywell downsized, the more work we had to do. I went from 800 parts to 1,200 parts (per week).”

February 23, 1973

Feb. 13 — “Devaluation of the dollar … is at best only a temporary solution … trade legislation must follow.” These remarks by President Nixon emphasized the escalated stage of international trade and financial warfare that surrounds the second devaluation of the dollar in 14 months.

This is a struggle where no matter which competing capitalist power temporarily gains the edge, workers always lose. The aim of the monopolists is to shift the problems of world trade and finance onto workers’ backs.

The uncontrollable need to expand markets means that what one power gains — under the prevailing conditions of saturated world markets — another power loses. This irrepressible competition is the cause of the financial crises, and the increasingly harsh measures against workers’ wages and standards of living the world over.

February 23, 1948

The Italian working class, once freed from the fascist dictatorship, has shown an admirable fighting spirit since 1943. The Italian workers are fighting today in the vanguard of the European working class.

The workers of a metallurgical plant in Milan set the example by occupying the factory in the latter part of November. Workers were following the example of the Milanese workers in one city after another. At cities where factories have been occupied, the slogan of workers control of hiring, firing and production heads the workers’ demands.

Nothing is so indicative of a ripening revolutionary situation as a powerful movement involving progressively all layers of the population. These last few weeks have successively witnessed powerful movements of soldiers and peasants, as well as beginnings of unrest among the women and the youth.