The low point of labor resistance is behind us

By Mary-Alice Waters
May 8, 2023

Below are excerpts from the preface to The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us: The Socialist Workers Party Looks Forward by SWP leader Mary-Alice Waters. Copyright © 2023 by Pathfinder Press. Reprinted by permission.

The articles and documents here highlight the opportunities ahead for class-conscious workers, as a decades-long retreat by the working class and trade unions comes to an end. The intensified speedup, longer and longer hours, attacks on job safety, declining real wages, lack of steady employment, and spiraling social and moral blight — conditions produced by the ruling class families in the United States and capitalism’s dog-eat-dog social relations — are pressing more and more working people to say, “Enough is enough.” Workers have begun using our collective economic power and class solidarity in response. …

Asserting that “the low point of labor resistance is behind us” is not a prediction about coming struggles. Nor is it a promise about when or where new and more powerful class battles will break out. Instead, that assessment is based on the increased confidence and combativity, as well as the anger demonstrated by working people confronting very different conditions around the world.

We’ve seen it during the post-COVID economic “recovery” with strikes, organizing efforts, and other union fights in the United States by bakery workers, rail freight workers, coal miners, and other unionists, as well as by others organizing to establish unions where they work.

We’ve seen it in fights by public education workers and truckers in Canada, by rail workers and nurses in the United Kingdom, and by workers and unionists from Australia, South Korea, and Russia to Israel, South Africa, and Puerto Rico.

We’ve seen it in the mass revolt in China against the brutal, anti-working-class COVID policies of the Stalinist regime in Beijing.

In the hundreds of thousands of youth and working people who’ve taken to the streets across Iran in response to the death of Zhina Amini at the hands of the hated “morality” police.

In the determination of the toilers of Ukraine to roll back Moscow’s attempt to wipe them off the map.

In the steadfastness of Cuban working people in defending their socialist revolution in face of the mounting human and material hardships inflicted by Washington’s brutal, decades-long economic, trade, financial, and diplomatic drive to crush the revolution.