25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

September 4, 2023

September 7, 1998

At 6:00 a.m. Aug. 14, members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees struck Conrail. The system-wide strike was called after Conrail broke an agreement with the union and contracted with a nonunion outfit to construct track in Marysville, Ohio. The BMWE represents about 3,400 track maintenance workers throughout Conrail.

Like all rail unions, the BMWE is constrained by the National Railway Labor Act. This anti-labor law trammels union power, especially the use of strikes. In this walkout, U.S. District Judge John Giles issued an order demanding the workers return to the job.

Nonetheless, the nine-and-a-half hour strike gave a picture of the power of rail labor and a glimpse of the discussion and spirit of resistance in the rail industry, where workers are feeling the results of years of substantial crew cuts.

September 7, 1973

A number of former FBI agents and officials admitted last week that the FBI has been carrying out illegal burglaries for more than 30 years. This evidence confirms assertions by the Socialist Workers Party and Young Socialist Alliance that such illegal spying and harassment has been directed against them.

In a statement, Norman Oliver, SWP candidate for mayor of New York, said: “This is not news to my party. We have already filed suit in court against President Nixon, the director of the FBI, and other government officials for infringements of our democratic rights.”

The disclosures prove that Watergate tactics have been standard procedure for both Democrats and Republicans. The New York Times  lamented, “The saddest side-effect of Watergate across American society is the degree to which respect for the processes of government has been tarnished.”

September 6, 1948

The entry of Socialist Workers Party candidate Grace Carlson in the vice-presidential campaign has a particular significance for the women of America. To be able to develop their personal talents in the social and economic fields, as well as in the field of bearing children, women must be freed from the fear of insecurity and want.

The solving of the problem of women’s rights can only be done by women organizing themselves to fight for their rights and aligning themselves with the great progressive movements in our society. But no more than other oppressed groupings can they win these rights by supporting the parties of capitalism.

Grace Carlson is a symbol and a banner-bearer of this struggle. Voting for Carlson will be voting for a candidate who symbolizes the fight for women’s rights and a new mass party of the working people.