More workers today find themselves locked in battles with bosses seeking to push down our wages, health care, work schedules and working conditions. Unions are the key weapons workers have to fight back. We need to strengthen the unions, join in the marches, rallies and other events on Labor Day.
The actions are an opportunity to meet fellow workers, to discuss what we face. Most importantly, they’re an opportunity to build much-needed solidarity with workers on strike resisting boss attacks.
The ruling capitalist families face greater competition for markets and profits today. Their answer is to target working people. We need to prepare to fight to prevent them from imposing even worse conditions that tear working-class families apart.
Bakery Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union members at International Flavors and Fragrances in Memphis, Tennessee, are on strike against boss moves to cut overtime pay, end paid lunch breaks and win the power to change workers’ health insurance on 30-days notice. Nurses organized by the United Steelworkers are striking at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, for more staff to ease backbreaking workloads and provide the care patients need.
Unifor-organized grocery store workers at Metro stores around Toronto are striking for better wages and benefits. Most are part time, with few benefits and no paid breaks. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Writers Guild of America members are on strike over wages and boss demands to own their images forever.
The contract of some 150,000 United Auto Workers at the “Big Three” auto companies runs out Sept. 14. The labor movement needs to be ready to come to their side.
These fights lay the groundwork for a fighting program for labor action: for automatic cost-of-living adjustments in all wages and benefits to combat price hikes; 30 hours work for 40 hours pay to combat layoffs by spreading the work available around; and workers control of production to combat life-threatening conditions imposed by the bosses in their never-ending drive for greater profits.
This means a united struggle against the class that exploits us. This brings to the fore the need for labor to break with the bosses’ parties and form our own party, a labor party based on the unions, that can fight in the interests of all those exploited and oppressed by capital.
Take action on Labor Day!