25, 50 and 75 years ago

July 3, 2023

June 29, 1998

FLINT, Michigan — Hundreds of unionists and others gathered outside of the General Motors Delphi East plant on June 11 to greet some of the 5,800 union members expected to join the strike against the auto giant.

Just after 7:00 p.m. hundreds of members of UAW Local 651 came marching out of the plant to cheers, chanting, “U-A-W, U-A-W,” and “No Jobs, No Peace.” Present were scores of UAW Local 659 members carrying signs declaring “United We Stand.” They were among the 3,400 workers who walked out at GM’s Metal Fabrication plant on the west side of town six days earlier.

The official reasons for the strike are health and safety, outsourcing, and sub-contracting. But like the nine strikes at GM plants over the last two years, workers see the central question as jobs.

June 29, 1973

[June 19 is the 70th anniversary of the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, framed up in the middle of Washington’s anti-communist witch hunt on charges of giving atomic bomb secrets to Russia. The Militant headline June 8, 1953, was “Demand Witch-Burners Halt Legal Murder of Rosenbergs. Electrocution of Couple Designed to Terrorize Freedom of Thought.”]

Any unprejudiced observer who reads about the trial cannot help but conclude that [Irving] Kaufman acted as assistant to the prosecutor as well as judge. Kaufman’s frequent reminders to the jury that communism was not on trial and that it was permissible to use the Fifth Amendment to refuse to answer questions served only to suggest to the jurors that communism was in fact somehow involved.

June 28, 1948

The Chinese labor movement was silent for about 20 years after Chiang Kai-shek took power in 1927. The movement rose strongly again after V-J Day. With the defeat of the Japanese imperialists, a political vacuum existed for a while. The labor movement grasped the opportunity and emerged into the open.

There were more than 2,000 strikes from September 1945 to April 1946, involving FOUR MILLION WORKERS. The sliding wage scale was won the first time in the course of this strike wave.

The economic crises again came to a head in February 1947. The capitalist government announced an emergency law of freezing wages. The workers in Shanghai went out in a general strike. Over 200,000 workers from the main industries participated. The government was forced to retreat.