Statement by Róger Calero, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New York City Council, June 21.
Strike battles today, like those by members of the Writers Guild nationwide and Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Local 390G in Memphis, Tennessee, as well at the showdown between 340,000 Teamsters whose contracts at UPS run out July 31, call for a mobilization of widespread labor solidarity. An injury to one is an injury to all!
Bosses everywhere are looking to cut pay and divide workers with two-tier wage schemes, lengthen the workday and weekly schedules, chip away at health care we need for ourselves and our families, and more — all driven by the crisis of the capitalist system today.
A monthslong fight is being waged by rail workers and by workers, farmers and small proprietors in East Palestine, Ohio, to gain control of the cleanup from the toxic Norfolk Southern derailment there and for guaranteed, long-term health care. This must become a cause for workers and our unions.
Rail workers — who had their right to strike pulled out from under them by the Biden administration and a bipartisan Congress last fall — continue to fight against inhuman hours and working conditions. “The Class 1 freight railroads are doing whatever the hell they want to maximize their profits,” Tony Cardwell, president of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, said. And that meant the disaster in East Palestine was “a tragedy that was bound to happen.”
Help win your union to send a message of support to the Hall of Fame Central Labor Council there at HOFCLCAFLCIO@sbcglobal.net.
There are more openings to join union struggles today, as workers feel some momentum to defend their class interests. Maximizing solidarity with every fight increases the chances that workers can win. Every victory sets a powerful example.
If the employing class, with the connivance of the big-business media, succeeds in keeping union struggles unknown, it weakens our ability to be victorious. More bosses will be emboldened to take away more. Solidarity is a life-or-death question for workers and for all unions.
Real wages have declined for years. The drive by bosses and their government to dump the crisis of their system on our backs is not going away. It has broader social effects — including the drop in both life expectancy and child births, declining health care and the growing difficulties workers have starting and sustaining a family.
Union struggles for better wages and conditions are the foundation for change. They open the door to international solidarity — with working people in Ukraine fighting to defend their national sovereignty, Iranian toilers battling government repression and others. They also reinforce long-term social struggles to end racist discrimination, combat Jew-hatred and advance the emancipation of women.
Spread the word about today’s union fights. Build the labor movement!