Rail workers contribute bonuses — ‘truly blood money’ — to the SWP

By John Studer
January 22, 2024

Over the last couple of months the Socialist Workers Party has received a number of special contributions to further its long-term political work. A number come from holiday, production and other “bonuses” from the bosses.

A more accurate description is “blood money.” These payments from the bosses encourage workers to risk life and limb for “our” company, and to discourage fights by workers and their unions against lousy wages, dangerous working conditions, hours that wreak havoc with family and personal lives, and for time for union and other activities, and the other insults the capitalist system lays on us.

Some came from rail workers. “I’m putting in the mail today two checks totaling $1,700 from myself and another rail worker I know,” conductor Naomi Craine wrote from Chicago. “They are ‘service bonuses’ we received from the railroad as part of the contract imposed by the government in December 2022. The bosses use the bonuses to try to sell a contract that includes work rule changes that will make already grueling schedules worse.

“At the same time they’re cutting maintenance jobs, trying to reduce crew sizes, and running longer and heavier trains,” Craine said, “leading to disasters such as the toxic derailments in East Palestine, Ohio, and Livingston, Kentucky.

“This is truly blood money, and we’re glad to put it to good use building the Socialist Workers Party.”

Some other rail unionists have told the party they expect similar checks to come soon, and look forward to sending them in. They provide an important opportunity for supporters of the party to explain this tradition to their co-workers, talk about the true character of these “bonuses,” and invite them to join in using them in the best possible way — strengthening the working-class movement and its vanguard party.

If you get the opportunity, consider following their example.