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Minneapolis 1934
Minneapolis teamsters' strike 1934

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Labor’s Gotta Play
Hardball to Win




A Victory for Workers Solidarity
Flash: Wyatt McMinn Not Guilty!
At a trial today, June 27, in Clark County District Court in Vancouver, Washington, Wyatt McMinn, the vice president of Local 10 of the Painters Union and a class-struggle trade unionist, was found not guilty of first degree criminal trespass. He stood up to an anti-union lobbying outfit which under the phony slogan of “right to work” would take away workers’ right to unionize. This is a victory for labor rights, democratic rights and workers solidarity. Wyatt McMinn Not Guilty (27 June 2014)


Obama s Back-to-Work Order Is a Trap
SEPTA Workers: Strike Together to Win! 
Just past midnight on Saturday, June 14, over 400 unionized workers of the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority walked off their jobs, following four years of fruitless contract negotiations with the SEPTA administration. But within a matter of hours, the Democratic administration of Barack Obama issued an executive order forcing the strikers back to work and barring IBEW and BLET from striking for 240 days. Obama s back-to-work order was a body blow to SEPTA unions. Yet it was hailed by the leadership of the striking unions (BLET/Teamsters and IBEW). The union tops had repeatedly called for increased government intervention in negotiations with SEPTA. SEPTA workers have enormous power in their hands, but they are stymied by a leadership that divides the workers and looks to the bosses government rather than the power of workers solidarity. To overcome this, Philly mass transit workers should elect a joint strike committee and prepare for industrial-strength action against SEPTA and the federal straightjacket.
SEPTA Workers: Strike Together to Win! (June 2014)

Don t Fall for Democrats Campaign Promises
Fight Low-Wage Slavery, Mobilize Workers Power
For Class Struggle Against Capitalism, Build a Revolutionary Workers Party!
We are well into the sixth year of a capitalist economic crisis with no end in sight. The bosses are making money hand over fist, while we the workers pay the price low-wage workers most of all. The fight against poverty wages must be the fight of all working people and it must be waged first and foremost against the Democratic Party. In recent months there has been a groundswell of calls to raise the minimum wage to $15. That is still a poverty wage. Beyond the numbers, the rulers will use every trick in the book to whittle it down, delay it and load it up with all sorts of exemptions. Yet the various campaigns all focus on pressuring the Democrats. Even when led by ostensible socialists, they are basically electoral gimmicks. The strikes that have been called are purely symbolic. What s needed isn t appeals to elected officials but to mobilize union power. A class-struggle fight against poverty wages would seek to build fighting unions, beginning with assemblies of low-wage workers. It would insist on mass mobilization and independence from the Democrats and all capitalist parties and politicians, and would not limit itself to narrow bread-and-butter economic demands.
Fight Low-Wage Slavery, Mobilize Workers Power (June 2014)
Seattle s $15 Later Law A Historic Victory ? Hardly (June 2014)
Labor Activist Faces Jail for Protesting “Right to Work” Union-Busting
Drop the Charges Against Wyatt McMinn Now!

Portland Labor Activist Goes on Trial Feb. 6 – Join the Wyatt McMinn Defense Campaign
On September 5, Wyatt McMinn, vice president of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) Local 10 in the Portland, OR-Vancouver, WA area and a longtime fighter for the cause of workers’ rights and oppressed people, was arrested while taking part in a labor protest at a Vancouver meeting of the Freedom Foundation, an anti-union lobbying outfit that is putting “right to work” initiatives on the ballot in Oregon and Washington this year. Wyatt goes on trial February 6. Already a number of unions, labor councils and defenders of labor in the area and nationally have taken up his defense. A defense campaign meeting will be held on Portland on January 25. Find out more about this important case and join the Wyatt McMinn defense campaign. Drop the Charges Against Wyatt McMinn Now! (January 2014)

Labor Activist Faces Jail for Protesting “Right to Work” Union-Busting
Defend Wyatt McMinn, Defeat “Right to Slave”!
No More Wisconsins! Defend Our Unions!
This past September 5, Cross Trade Solidarity, a labor group in the Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA area, called a rally to protest a meeting of the union-hating “Freedom Foundation,” which has launched a drive to enact deceptively named “right-to-work” laws in the Pacific Northwest in an attempt to strip away basic union rights. The labor-haters showed their idea of “freedom” by calling the police to kick the union protesters out, and within seconds Wyatt McMinn, vice president of Local 10 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), was arrested on charges of “trespassing” in this public meeting. Instead of forthrightly opposing the “right-to-slave” forces, the AFL-CIO officialdom has sought refuge in lobbying and pressuring Democratic politicians. The way to stop the union-busting assault is to organize the unorganized by using workers’ power to withhold their labor, defying anti-labor laws and defeating outfits like the Freedom Foundation. With a trial coming up early next year, we urge all supporters of union rights to take up the defense of Wyatt McMinn. Defend Wyatt McMinn, Defeat “Right to Slave”! (November 2013)

Mobilize Portland/Vancouver Labor – Stop the Lockout, Scabs Out!
For International Labor Solidarity – Defend the ILWU, Defeat the Grain Bosses!
Anti-Japanese Rhetoric Is Ticket for Defeat – Join with Workers Worldwide
The international grain cartel is on a union-busting tear. At the end of February, United Grain in Vancouver, Washington locked out Local 4 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). The bosses are now operating the terminal with scab labor and armed guards. In early May, Columbia Grain in Portland, Oregon locked out ILWU Local 8, using the same scab-herders. They must be stopped, by powerful union action. Union leaders have focused on denouncing the Japanese owners of the companies, while praising the U.S.-owned company that agreed to an interim contract” containing big concessions by the ILWU. Yet the entire grain cartel is behind the attack on the union. Flag-waving appeals undercut international labor solidarity which is key to defeating the war on the workers. For International Labor Solidarity – Defend the ILWU, Defeat the Grain Bosses! (May 2013) 

Scabs Loading Ships – Grain Shippers Declare War on Union
ILWU Locked Out in Vancouver, WA For Longshore Solidarity Actions!

Defend the Union Hiring Hall – No Concessionary Contracts!
Scab Cargo – Too Hot to Handle! For Mass Pickets on the Docks!

On February 27, the United Grain Corp., owned by Mitsui, locked the members of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 4 out of its Vancouver, Washington terminal and began operating using management personnel and scabs. This is the first time in decades that a West Coast port facility has worked a ship with scabs. Two months earlier, the grain shippers had imposed a union-busting contract. From that moment, there should have been mass pickets shutting down all the terminals of the grain monopolies, with the threat to close every port on the West Coast – as well as East and Gulf Coast ports – if there was any attempt to operate with scabs. Now that this has happened, a call should go out from the union for dock workers everywhere to refuse to unload the scab cargo. All Mitsui cargo ships must be treated as strikebreakers and union-busters! But instead, the ILWU leaders ordered the membership to work under the imposed contract, negotiated a concessionary deal with one of the shippers (Cargill/Temco) and now they are making flag-waving appeals against the Japanese-owned company. This is a dead-end. International workers solidarity and a class-struggle program are key to winning this crucial battle. ILWU Locked Out in Vancouver, WA – For Longshore Solidarity Actions! (12 March 2013)
 
There Are No Neutrals In the Class War on the Docks
Why We Defend the ILWU and All Workers
…Including Against the Sellout Labor Bureaucracy
In recent weeks, a showdown has loomed on U.S. docks between the shipping bosses and port workers that has rattled the capitalist ruling class. On the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, the International Longshoreman’s Association prepared to strike container shipping while the employers threatened to lock out 14,500 ILA members. On the West Coast, the grain shippers been demanding a giveback contract from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which would effectively bypass the union hiring hall, slash workers’ vital safety protections and gut union power. Yet in the midst of the Northwest grain battle, an Occupy activist Peter Little publishes an article vociferously arguing against the call to defend the ILWU. While posing as ultra-left, this policy if actually carried out would aid the employers who are hell-bent on destroying ILWU union power on the waterfront. And blaming sellouts on the nature of unions lets the bureaucrats off the hook. We in the Internationalist Group say: all those who stand with the exploited and oppressed must come to the defense of the ILWU in this fight. And that defense includes forthrightly opposing the capitulations and betrayals by the labor bureaucracy which sells out vital union gains in the vain hope of an impossible “cooperation” with capital, endangering the workers organizations they preside over. Why We Defend the ILWU and All Workers (5 January 2013)

Labor Misleaders Bank on Democrats’ Flim-flam
The Betrayal of the NYC School Bus Strike
Needed: A Class-Struggle Union Leadership
Fighting for a Workers Party
On Friday, February 15, the month-long strike by the 8,100 school bus drivers and matrons of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 was called off by the union leadership. There was no vote by the members, the decision was announced in a 45-minute teleconference call. The media proclaimed a “win” for NYC mayor Bloomberg. Although relieved to be earning a paycheck again after weeks of watching bills pile up, many strikers were angry about being sent back to work with empty hands. ATU leaders said in “suspending” the strike they were honoring the request of a letter from the five Democratic mayoral candidates. Actually, the union leadership requested the letter, to give them a face-saving way to end the strike. The defeat of the strike is a bitter pill for the workers to swallow. Yet for union militants, this underlines the need to draw the lessons of this strike, in order to prepare a battle plan for victory in the future. There must be a fight within the mass organizations of labor, the unions, for a revolutionary program to wage all-out class war, which is what we are facing. To win this fight it will take solidarity action by teachers, students, parents, transit workers and all NYC unions to shut the city down. The key lesson of the strike is the need to build a class-struggle leadership to fight for total independence from the capitalist state and the capitalist parties. The Betrayal of the NYC School Bus Strike (February 2013) 
A Test for the Left (February 2013) 
Wildcat? (February 2013)  

Stop Union-Buster Bloomberg: Shut the City Down!
Mobilize Labor's Power to
Win NYC School Bus Strike!

Finally! New York City labor leaders have called for a “Union Unity March and Rally” for Sunday, February 10 to support the striking school bus drivers and matrons of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181. With the backing of major city unions, they could bring out tens of thousands of protesters, enough to really occupy Wall Street and shut down the center of international finance capital. But it’s no accident it’s being called on a weekend instead of a regular workday. The demonstration is clearly intended as a show of sympathy for the strikers rather than deploying labor’s power to actually win the strike. Moreover, the sponsors include the Democratic Party in various guises. The strategy of the union leaderships is to wait out Bloomberg’s final term in hopes that a Democratic successor elected in November would be more “labor-friendly.” To win, the school bus strike should be escalated. We have the power – “union power.” Now’s the time to use that power to shut the city down.Mobilize Labor's Power to Win NYC School Bus Strike! (7 February 2013)


School Bus Drivers, Teachers, All City Workers Are Under Attack –
For Mass, Militant Workers Action to Shut Down Wall Street!

Bust Bloomberg Union-Busting!
On February 1, the National Labor Relations Board rejected a complaint by New York City school bus companies to declare the strike by over 8,000 drivers and matrons illegal. But this didn’t faze Mayor Michael Bloomberg who is refusing to negotiate and clearly hopes to bust the union. That’s what this strike is all about. This strike is not just about the school bus workers, or even just about education, it’s part of a fight, nationally and globally, against the offensive against labor by the forces of capital. The claim that the strike is “illegal” is just a naked assertion of the “rights” of capital against labor. It has to do with the power of one class against another. This is a war, a class war. These attacks are coming straight from the top, it’s not only the Republicans like Bloomberg, it’s also coming from Democrats, from Cuomo, from the Obama White House. What’s necessary is to mobilize the working class, which needs to have a class-struggle leadership. Politically it’s necessary to break with the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, we need a workers party that fights for a workers government. Because right now we have the dictatorship of capital.  Bust Bloomberg Union-Busting!(2 February 2013)

Stop Union-Buster Bloomberg! NLRB: Hands Off!
School Bus Drivers' Strike: Mobilize NYC Labor to Win!

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is on a union-busting binge. The tycoon who proclaimed himself the “education mayor” is determined to eliminate any vestige of job security for any and all workers in the city’s school system. First in line on the mayor’s hit list are the 8,100 drivers and matrons of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, who were forced out on strike last week. Next up are the teachers who are being threatened with massive cuts and layoffs in an attempt to blackmail them into accepting management “evaluations” that will put thousands of veteran educators’ jobs at risk. Union-buster Bloomberg must be stopped, and we have the power to do it. But the school bus drivers today and teachers tomorrow can’t do it on their own. To win it is necessary to bring out city workers’ unions, backed by parents, students and supporters in a massive mobilization against union-busting to shut the city down.  School Bus Drivers' Strike: Mobilize NYC Labor to Win! (21 January 2013)
Class Struggle Education Workers: Bring Out NYC Labor to Support School Bus Drivers Strike (20 January 2013)

Internationalist video: Scenes from the NYC School Bus Drivers Strike, January 2013 (24 January 2013) 

Workers Must Rely on their Own Power, Not Capitalist Parties
Fast Food Workers Need a Whopping Raise And a Fighting Union!

Recently, some 200 workers carried out a first-ever strike at New York City outlets of McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Domino’s Pizza. Demonstrators chanted, “We can’t survive on $7.25,” the minimum hourly wage nationally, and in New York state. This was the kick-off of a campaign for a $15 an hour wage. Fast food workers are certainly not going to be unionized by the losing tactics the labor bureaucracy has relied on for years. But they won’t win by relying on legal gimmicks, favorable media coverage and “support” from Democratic elected officials. Organizing fast food workers to win a huge wage increase will take militant union action defying the bosses’ anti-labor laws. This requires total independence from the capitalist parties and politicians.  Fast Food Workers Need a Whopping Raise And a Fighting Union!  (5 December 2012)

It’s Showdown Time on the Portland Docks
We Need to Win This One!

Bring Out Workers Power to
Defend the ILWU!
The global grain cartel, made up of some of the world’s biggest, greediest and most secretive monopolies, is gorging on record profits while hunger stalks millions of poor and working people. Now these profiteers are gunning for the hard-won gains of the working class. Their target is the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and ground zero is the Portland docks. On November 29, the Northwest Grainhandlers Agreement between the ILWU and the agribusiness/shipping cartels expired. The employers are demanding huge givebacks from the ILWU, and they are preparing to use force to do so. They want to impose the terms of the concessionary contract at the new EGT grain terminal in Longview, Washington, which the ILWU bureaucracy and many on the left wrongly hailed at the time as a victory. Now we are seeing the consequences. This is class war: there are no neutrals here. Unions should prepare now to stand with the ILWU in building mass picket lines that scabs won’t dare to cross. In case of a lockout, all U.S. ports should be struck, and there should be solidarity action around the globe. All working people must come to the defense of the ILWU.Bring Out Workers Power to Defend the ILWU!  (29 November 2012)

Walkouts Show Potential for Class Struggle
Walmart “Black Friday” Strike Actions, Protests Called at Stores Across U.S.
Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States, Mexico, all of Latin America and the world, with a total of over 2 million “associates” around the globe. It is also almost completely non-union. Walmart management has been found guilty of systematically keeping women and racial minorities in low-paying positions, locking night-shift workers in its stores, bribing governments, exposing workers to serious health hazards, paying less than the minimum wage and keeping workers in part-time positions to avoid paying for health care. Life on the Walmart plantation is hell. Now on “Black Friday,” November 23, the day after Thanksgiving and the biggest shopping day of the year, protests have been called at up to 1,000 Walmart facilities around the U.S. The hidebound labor movement so far has failed miserably to unionize the retail giant. A real strike would aim at Walmart’s supply chain, and would require solid mass pickets that no one dares cross. You can’t do that playing by the bosses’ rules, and Walmart workers can’t do it on their own, but a class-struggle mobilization of union power can. Walmart “Black Friday” Strike Actions, Protests Called at Stores Across U.S.  (19 November 2012)

“Anti-Austerity” Protest in Portland
Capitalism Can’t Be Reformed: The Only Solution, Workers Revolution
No Vote for Obama, Romney – For a Revolutionary Workers Party
On Saturday, November 3, a “Solidarity Against Austerity” protest was held under the auspices of a number of Portland-area labor, community and left groups, including offshoots of the Occupy movement and several trade unions. The endorsers are politically diverse, some proclaiming “Our dreams don’t fit in their ballot boxes” wwhile many of the unions are supporting Barack Obama and other Democrats in the elections. But independent of their formal positions, the protest amounts to pre-election pressure on Obama and the Democratic Party. A favorite demand of the reformist groups is “tax the rich,” which is also the program of Democratic Party liberals and even multi-billionaires like Warren Buffet. Yet taxing the rich won't stop austerity, because the attacks on poor and working people and the oppressed have nothing to do with a lack of dollars in government coffers. Many also want to return to Keynesian Keynesian “welfare state” policies. But the source of the war on workers, the poor and oppressed is capitalism, not a set of economic policies that can be changed at will. The Internationalist Group calls instead for a class-struggle fight against capitalist austerity. Capitalism Can’t Be Reformed: The Only Solution, Workers Revolution  (3 November 2012)

UFT Censors Opposition to Obama Endorsement
On October 17, the United Federation of Teachers in New York City voted on a leadership motion to endorse Democrat Barack Obama for president. Randi Weingarten, national president of the American Federation of Teachers came in to explain why teachers should vote for a candidate who has been at the forefront of the attacks on teachers unions. But when a delegate and supporter of Class Struggle Education Workers attempted to present a resolution against the AFT/UFT endorsement, the bureaucracy refused to let the body hear the opposition motion, much less vote on it. Moreover, when the leadership motion was presented, no opposition speakers were allowed. The labor bureaucracy chains workers politically to the bosses’ parties, and union reform groups go along, underlining the need for a class-struggle opposition. UFT Censors Opposition to Obama Endorsement (October 2012)

Rip Up the Sellout Contract – Mobilize to Stop Layoffs, Racist School Closures
Chicago Teachers: Strike Was Huge, Settlement Sucks
Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama Are No Lesser Evil
Break with the Democrats – Build a Class-Struggle Workers Party!

The strike by 30,000 teachers and school personnel in the country’s third-largest school district electrified educators and union militants across the U.S. It was the first strike nationally against the teacher union-bashing corporate education “reforms” pushed by both Republicans and Democrats, from the White House and Congress on down to the state house and city hall. Teachers struck against the policies of Wall Street candidate Barack Obama and stood up to his former chief of staff, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. The outcome, however, is something else entirely. The reform leadership of the CTU agreed to a contract that caved in to the bully boy mayor “Rahmbo” and the education deformers on every key point, selling out vital union gains while preparing the way for mass firings and the loss of hundreds, possibly several thousand teachers’ jobs. The union membership should turn down this giveback contract. The rotten settlement underscores that union “reform” caucuses based on simple labor militancy and “union democracy” end up reproducing the bureaucracy they replace. Only class-struggle unionism that openly fights against capitalism can defeat the class war on workers and the oppressed. Chicago Teachers: Strike Was Huge, Settlement Sucks (23 September 2012)
Teacher Evaluations and Illinois Law (23 September 2012)
After 55 Days on Picket Line, a Solid Labor Victory Including Union Hiring Hall!
Hot and Crusty Workers Win With Groundbreaking Contract
After months of struggle, immigrant workers at the Hot and Crusty bakery/restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side have made big news for the workers movement. A solid union victory – including a union hiring hall and benefits virtually unheard of in the industry – has been achieved. Dramatic ups and downs marked the campaign from the start. But fed up with abuse and workweeks in some cases of up to 72 hours without overtime pay, the workers’ determination to stick it out, come what may, was crucial to winning this battle. A lockout and threats of migra action did not deter them. Instead, determined efforts were made to win support from NYC unions, as well as students. Hot and Crusty workers did not fight alone. The inspiring outcome has the potential to spark further, wide-ranging efforts to organize low-wage immigrant workers throughout the food industry in New York City, “the restaurant capital of the world.” Hot and Crusty workers showed what class-struggle unionism can achieve. 
Hot and Crusty Workers Win With Groundbreaking Contract

“Hot and Crusty Workers’ Fight Is Every New York Worker’s Fight!”
NYC Unions Back Hot and Crusty Workers at Labor/Immigrant Rights Solidarity Rally
On Thursday, October 18, one hundred union, immigrant rights, student and community activists came out to the “Labor/Immigrant Rights Rally in Solidarity with the Hot and Crusty Workers.” The immigrant workers have been on the picket line for 50 days after the old owner closed the restaurant on August 31 in reprisal for the workers organizing their union, the Hot and Crusty Workers Association. In line with an agreement signed with a prospective new owner early last month, the workers are fighting to win their jobs back with union recognition and a union hiring hall, crucial to their job security. The event featured speakers and delegations from some of the city’s largest and most powerful unions, including TWU Local 100, Utility Workers Local 1-2, CWA Local 1101, AFSCME DC 37, UFCW Local 1500, PSC, LIUNA Local 78, as well were delegates, organizers and activists from the UFT, UAW, ROC-NY and other labor groups. Activists from community, immigrant rights and left groups also made up a key part of the rally. The impressive turnout showed that the workers have broad support, and reflected the growing recognition that the Hot and Crusty workers’ struggle is a key battle for New York City labor.  NYC Unions Back Hot and Crusty Workers at Labor/Immigrant Rights Solidarity Rally  (19 October 2012)

Defeat Lockout, Win Union Recognition... and Agreement to a Union Hiring Hall
“Hot and Crusty” Workers Show the Way
A groundbreaking and potentially historic step forward has been taken by immigrant workers in NYC’s food industry with the announcement by the Hot and Crusty Workers Association (HCWA) that bakery workers on Manhattan’s Upper East Side have prevailed against an employer lockout. A statement by the HWCA on the tentative agreement with the store’s new owners reported: “The Union announced that the company has agreed to recognize the union immediately and commence negotiations towards a collective bargaining agreement. In addition,the union has negotiated the institution of a hiring hall through which all employees must be referred by the Hot and Crusty Workers Association.” Workers at today’s rally expressed their determination to consolidate a solid union victory that can serve as an inspiring example to the many thousands who face starvation wages, employer abuse and anti-immigrant discrimination in “deli-sweatshops” throughout the city. Activists from several area unions participated in the daily pickets, as well as a number from the Occupy movement. The CUNY Internationalist Clubs, Internationalist Group and Class Struggle Education Workers have also been working with the HWCA and Laundry Workers Center activists. “Hot and Crusty” Workers Show the Way  (8 September 2012)

Victory to the Electrical Workers! No Wisconsins in NYC!
Turn Up the Heat on Con Ed!
Bring Out Workers' Power to Knock Out the Lockout!

The lockout of 8,500 workers by the Con Edison utility monopoly is a crucial battle for all New York City labor. A lockout is always a threat to break the union. Con Ed has assigned 5,000 managers to work as scabs and brought in strikebreakers from Virginia and elsewhere. The profit-hungry Con Ed bigwigs may think they can imitate Wisconsin governor Scott Walker in ripping up labor’s hard-won rights. We need to show them that there will be no Wisconsins in New York. The union has been looking to the state Public Utilities Commission and to federal mediation, and to Democratic Party politicians to rein in Con Ed. But bourgeois politicians will not win this fight for Con Ed workers. Democrats from Barack Obama in the White House to Andrew Cuomo in the State House on down have repeatedly sided with the bosses. The fight at Con Ed is a key battle against the capitalist assault on the unions. If the unions are to survive to fight and prevail in the sharpening class struggle it is urgently necessary to break with the Democrats and build a workers party to fight for a workers government. Bring Out Workers' Power to Knock Out the Lockout!  (17 July 2012)

Portland “Community Assembly to Create a People’s Budget”
Why Negotiating the Bosses’ Budget Doesn’t Work for Workers
By the Portland Trotskyist Study Group

Often in protests you hear the chant, “Workers are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back.” But the question is how, and here there are big differences. In late May, teachers in Reynolds, Oregon struck for five days and won; teachers in nearby schools who didn’t walk out got stuck with concessionary contracts. Earlier, a number of labor unions, community groups, trade unionists and leftists organized “Community Assembly to Create a People’s Budget.”  The notion of a “participatory” budget process is based on the false concept that “the people” can all get together, that the solution is more democracy, when in fact there are fundamental class issues at stake. Suggesting to the bosses’ government how to raise money or what its priorities should be is a dead end. It’s not “our” government but theirs. By accepting budget “constraints,” various sectors try to defend their mouthful of bread. This sets one group of workers against another and makes them complicit in cutbacks.  Instead what’s needed is a program of demands going beyond empty reforms in order to turn defensive struggles into a workers counteroffensive against the collapsing capitalist system.Why Negotiating the Bosses’ Budget Doesn’t Work for Workers  (July 2012)

Gofers for the ILWU Bureaucracy 
SL’s Wrong Lessons of Longview

In a recent article, the centrist Spartacist League joined reformists including the International Socialist Organization and Socialist Workers Party in acting as apologists for the bureaucracy of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The SL goes even further, defending an attack by ILWU bureaucrats against ILWU speakers at a January 6 Occupy forum in Seattle to build solidarity with Longview longshore. We warned that the ILWU tops had made major concessions in the contract that capped that key struggle. Now that the terms of the concessionary contract (which has never been voted on by the Local 21 membership) have become known, it is even worse than feared: it allows the company to choose its workers, and a key clause threatens the very heart of ILWU power, the union hiring hall. SL’s Wrong Lessons of Longview (March 2012)

Bloody Bogalusa, 1919:

When Four White Unionists Died Defending Their Black Comrades
In November 1919, black and white workers joined in struggle for their rights at the Great Southern Lumber sawmill in Bogalusa, Louisiana. The company, founded by Northern investors, was determined to defeat unionization at all costs and keep the predominantly black workers down. When a posse of lynchers came for the leading black organizer, Sol Dacus, he escaped and the next day marched down the main street of town accompanied by two white unionists with shotguns. The company dispatched a horde of 150 gunmen from its private army who attacked the union offices, killing four white members of the Carpenters union, J.P. Bouchillon, Stanley O'Rourke, Lem Williams and Thomas Gaines. The company won, but the example of black-white labor solidarity set the background for the rise of the Deacons for Defense and Justice in the 1960s and continues to inspire today. Labor cannot unionize the South without rooting out the bloody legacy of slavery and the Confederacy. Honor the heroes of Bogalusa 1919!! Bloody Bogalusa, 1919 (February 2012)

Scabs Are Out, But ILWU Concessions

Longview: EGT Union-Busting Beaten Back, At a Cost

The drive to break International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) jurisdiction on Pacific Coast grain shipping has been beaten back after months of explosive labor struggle. A multinational consortium, EGT, built and began operating a new $200 million grain terminal with scab labor. Last week, EGT recognized the union as bargaining agent and on Thursday the membership of ILWU Local 21 approved a contract. But this has come at a cost, as the union leadership made significant concessions in the bargaining. This could set the stage for future battles as other shippers demand similar terms. Nevertheless, ILWU workers are in the plant and the scabs are out. Credit for this is due to the militancy of Longview and other longshore workers and their supporters who would not be intimidated by the capitalist courts and cops. The showdown in Longview is a harbinger of sharp class battles to come. Longview: EGT Union-Busting Beaten Back, At a Cost (12 February 2012)

Open Letter to Supporters of the ISO
“Socialist” Excuses for Disruption of Labor Solidarity Forum

“Socialist” Excuses for Disruption of Labor Solidarity Forum The January 6 furor in Seattle has highlighted the increasingly charged relationship between the Occupy Wall Street movement and the official leadership of trade unions. The violent disturbance by officials of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) was directed not only against Occupy Seattle but particularly targeted ILWU militants speaking at the forum. Outrageously, several self-described socialist groups took up cudgels for the pro-capitalist labor bureaucracy. The egregious apology for the bureaucratic disrupters by the International Socialist Organization (ISO) has caused an uproar, including inside the ISO. Basically, there was a clash of opportunisms: two different “constituencies” the ISO was tailing after (Occupy and labor leaders) came into conflict. The ISO came down on the side of the labor bureaucracy. From Wisconsin to Washington, these social democrats seek to push the bureaucrats ever so slightly to the left. But when the capitalists and the pro-capitalist bureaucracy crack the whip, the ISO obeys. “Socialist” Excuses for Disruption of Labor Solidarity Forum (February 2012)

ILWU Bureaucrats Target Union Militants, Attack “Occupy” Solidarity Meeting
January 6: An Outrage in Seattle

On January 6, 2012, a labor solidarity forum called by Occupy Seattle was held to support International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21 (Longview, Washington) in its battle against union-busting by the giant EGT consortium. However, a couple dozen right-wing bureaucrats and hangers-on from the Seattle, Tacoma and Portland ILWU locals physically disrupted the meeting with yelling, pushing, shoving and punches, in attempt to prevent its democratic functioning. The bureaucratic union misleaders seek to intimidate solidarity actions by claiming they would violate the slave labor Taft-Hartley Act, which outlaws most effective strike tactics. Some Occupy activists falsely portrayed this attack as demonstrating the bankruptcy of unions. However, speakers and many in the audience made clear that these bureaucratic thugs did not represent the ranks of labor, chanting "ILWU, ILWU" against the disrupters. The meeting ended with an appeal for all supporters of labor rights to come to Longview to protest the anticipated arrival of a ship to load the scab grain.
January 6: An Outrage in Seattle (January 2012)


Solidarity with Longview Longshore Workers
Protesters in New York Slam Military Union-Busting

Chanting “What’s disgusting? Coast Guard union-busting,” some 75 protesters demonstrated for an hour and a half in soaking rain in front of the Federal Building in downtown New York City on January 23. The united-front protest brought together supporters of a number of area unions, student and left groups. They were denouncing the government’s announced plan to use the U.S. Coast Guard against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) in Longview, Washington. For the last year, the ILWU ranks have militantly fought against an attempt to break their union by a giant consortium, EGT, which has opened a new $200 million grain export terminal in the West Coast port which it is operating with scab labor. This government/employer attack on the strongest and most combative union in the U.S. is a threat to all labor. Protesters in New York Slam Military Union-Busting (23 January 2012)


Following December 12 West Coast Port Blockade
Longshore Workers, Truckers: Shut the Ports, Coast to Coast!
Class War on the West Coast Docks

Ports up and down the West Coast were blockaded, from Seattle to San Diego. Despite a barrage of hostile propaganda in the media, opposition from union bureaucrats and heavy police repression in some places, overall the blockade was successful – this time. The blockade was called in solidarity with longshore workers fighting a union-busting assault in Longview, Washington and with port truckers seeking union recognition in the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach. This support should have been greeted. Instead, the union bureaucracy attacked the port blockade, although longshore workers respected the picket lines. But now the class war on the West Coast docks is coming to a head, and it can’t be waged from the outside. Bay Area labor has called for a caravan to Longview. The goal should be a real occupation of the terminal by the workers to prevent the loading of the scab cargo. Longshore militants have called on the longshore unions to shut down every port on the West Coast, and the East and Gulf Coasts, to smash EGT’s union-busting. Can it be done? Yes, but only though sharp struggle against the pro-capitalist labor bureaucracy. Longshore Workers, Truckers: Shut the Ports, Coast to Coast! (28 December 2011)

Militant Class Struggle Like You Haven’t Seen in Years:
ILWUers Defy Federal Injunction, Block Train, “Storm” Scab Terminal
Showdown on West Coast Docks
The Battle of Longview
Since early this year a bitter struggle has been waged in the small West Coast  port of Longview, Washington. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union is fighting a vicious union-busting attack by a new grain shipping conglomerate. The battle got national attention when on September 8, some 800 union supporters “stormed” the new Export Grain Terminal, as the big business press put it. As security guards cowered, thousands of tons of grain were dumped on the tracks and railroad cars disabled. That morning more than 1,000 longshoremen refused to show up for work, shutting down the major ports of the Pacific Northwest. The day before, hundreds of ILWUers blocked a train carrying grain to the scab terminal and held off police. So far there have been more than 200 arrests in Longview. It all harked back to the militant union action that built the labor movement and which has seldom been seen in recent years. It gave a taste of workers’ power that needs to be mobilized in sharp class struggle today. This battle affects the entire maritime industry: to win it, the dock unions must prepare to shut down ports on all three coasts. The key is to build a class-struggle leadership. Showdown on West Coast Docks: The Battle of Longview(4 November 2011)


Oakland Port Shutdown
Workers Refuse to Work the Docks
Today thousands of working people are refusing to go to work in response to a call for a “General Strike” by Occupy Oakland. This includes many port workers who, in response to an appeal from rank-and-file members of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10, refused to load and unload ships, effectively crippling the port. Many will be joining the late afternoon march on the port denouncing the brutal police attack on Occupy Oakland demonstrators last week, ordered by liberal Democratic mayor Jean Quan. Report from longshore activist Jack Heyman at the Oakland docks.  Oakland Port Shutdown: Workers Refuse to Work the Docks! (2 November 2011)

Break from the Democrats and All Capitalist Parties!
Unchain Labor’s Power – Build a Revolutionary Workers Party!
What It Will Take to Defeat the War on Public Workers Unions
Against Mass Layoffs: Labor and Students, Shut NYC Down!
Across the United States and around the world, labor is under frontal attack by capital. In the worst economic crisis since the last depression, the bankers and capitalists who set it off are trying to make their victims pay. Wisconsin teachers and most government workers have had their right to collective bargaining canceled. This marks a decisive moment for unions across the country, equivalent to Ronald Reagan’s destruction of the PATCO air controllers union in 1981. And it is not just coming from the far right: in New York, liberal Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo is spearheading attacks on public sector unions. On May 12, a march on Wall Street was called by NYC labor, but while protesting threatened teacher layoffs and budget cuts, its political message was to support the DemocraticParty. The labor misleaders back the capitalist system while the entire capitalist class is waging war on labor. In Wisconsin, the union tops squelched momentum for a general strike. It is necessary to break with the Democrats and oust the bureaucrats, to forge a class-struggle workers party. In the face of mass layoffs, labor and students should shut NYC down with a citywide strike, and shred the no-strike Taylor Law. 
What It Will Take to Defeat the War on Public Workers Unions  (12 May 2011)

Defeat Governor’s Legislative Coup d’État
Wisconsin: For a General StrikeNow!
Break with the Democrats, Republicans and All Capitalist Parties!
Build a Class-Struggle Workers Party!
A law challenging the very existence of unions of government workers has just been rammed through the legislature in Wisconsin. In addition, wages have been slashed by up to 10 percent to make up for cuts to health insurance and pensions. The labor movement and workers nationwide and internationally are vividly aware of the stakes. There has been a lot of talk in the last three weeks about a general strike. The Wisconsin South Central Labor Federation even voted to authorize one. But now that the moment of truth has arrived, the union bureaucrats have gotten cold feet. They are doing everything to prevent strike action and instead to divert anger at this vicious law into a drive to recall Republican senators, to be replaced by Democrats, whose “alternative” budget bill would also have drastically slashed wages and benefits. There should be no delay: this is the hour for powerful labor action. A general strike is needed to shut down Wisconsin now! Wisconsin: For a General Strike Now!  (13 March 2011)

Republicans, Democrats Are the Parties of Capital
We Need a Class-Struggle Workers Party!
Wisconsin: Mobilize Workers’ Power to Defeat Union-Busting Bill!
On February 17, thousands of protesting workers and students occupied the Wisconsin state Capitol in Madison while tens of thousands surrounded the building for the third day in a row. They were seeking to block the vicious “budget repair” bill being rammed through the state legislature by Governor Scott Walker, which would eliminate the right to collective bargaining for almost all public employees. Similar measures are in the works in Ohio and elsewhere. The assault on labor is not just some right-wing Tea Party affair – it is a bipartisan capitalist attack. But it’s being met by the most massive labor mobilization in the United States in years. What’s happening in Wisconsin shows that the working class is mad as hell and ready to fight. It will take nothing less than a statewide general strike to defeat labor hater Walker, yet union leaders block militant action as they chain workers to the Democrats. We have the power to stop Walker in his tracks. To mobilize that power it’s necessary to break with the parties and politicians of capital and build a workers party that can wage this class struggle through to victory Wisconsin: Mobilize Workers’ Power to Defeat Union-Busting Bill!  (18 February 2011)

(19 February 2011)
 
You Can’t Fight the Union-Busters Without Fighting Capitalism
Lessons of Chicago CORE
CTU “Reformers” Bow to Democrats, Accept Layoffs – Build a Class-Struggle Opposition!

On July 30, a national “Save Our Schools March” was held in Washington, called by a host of liberal education luminaries and both national teachers unions. As the unions (AFT and NEA) go along with the corporate education “reform” program, at most seeking to limit the damage, a number of dissident groups have sprung up. The model is the Community of Rank and File Educators (CORE) in Chicago, which ousted the notoriously corrupt incumbent union tops in June 2010. Yet once in office, CORE has followed the same script as its predecessor, doing nothing about mass teacher layoffs except a court suit on procedural issues. This spring, the Chicago Teachers Union president endorsed an Illinois law gutting teachers’ right to strike. Such sellouts are not isolated incidents but universal for reformist opposition groups who have won office in various unions. While leftists often play a key role in organizing them, their program of simple trade unionism is impossible in this epoch of capitalist decay, when union gains, and unions themselves, are being systematically destroyed. It is necessary to build a class-struggle opposition to take on capitalism and the capitalist parties which are waging a class war on public education, now spearheded by Democrat Obama. Lessons of Chicago CORE
(30 July 2011)

Courageous Strikers Could Have Won – Class-Struggle Leadership Key
Lessons of the Battle for Stella D’oro
After a struggle lasting more than a year, the mainly immigrant workers at the Stella D’oro bakery in the Bronx, New York lost their jobs in early October [2009], when the owners closed the plant. The 15-month struggle at this small factory became a cause célèbre because it symbolized workers’ endurance and courage in defense of the most basic rights of labor. As the fight grew ever more bitter, conflicting strategies and political conceptions were brought to the fore. The closing of the plant was a real defeat for the labor movement as a whole. But the Stella D’oro strike could have ended in victory – and the company’s plan to break the union and then to shut down the plant could have been stopped. To do this would have required a massive mobilization of labor’s power.  Instead, the labor bureaucrats let these courageous workers go it virtually alone, because of the union leaders’ subordination to the bosses’ rules, institutions and parties. Many left activists who participated in strike support activities tailed the union misleaders’ losing consumer-boycott “strategy,” with the usual popular-frontist rhetoric about how “the people united will never be defeated.” Internationalist Group supporters instead worked intensively among area unionists with the call for using labor’s muscle to get the scab products off the supermarket shelves and to block the flow of products into the struck plant. Lessons of the Battle for Stella D’oro (November 2009)

Hard Class Battle Coming
Puerto Rico: All Out to Defend the Teachers’ Struggle!
We are on the threshold of a major class battle in Puerto Rico. Every day new preparations are announced for the coming strike of the Puerto Rican Teachers Federation (FMPR). With 42,000 members, a majority of them women, the FMPR represents almost all of Puerto Rico’s teachers and is by far the largest union on the island. The Shock Force of the Puerto Rican Police and National Guard are being readied to go after the strikers. The struggle of the Puerto Rican teachers affects everybody. The working class as a whole, students and parents, teachers and defenders of workers’ rights around the world must come out in defense of the FMPR! If there are mass arrests, the response must be massive blockades and spreading the struggle to the point of shutting the island down. In order to win this strike, it is necessary to prepare for a struggle not only of the teachers but within the whole workers movement against the pro-capitalist labor bureaucracy that sabotages the workers’ struggle. Above all, it is necessary to fight against illusions in and ties with bourgeois parties and politicians. It’s high time to begin building a revolutionary internationalistworkers party.  Puerto Rico: All Out to Defend the Teachers’ Struggle!  (14 February 2008)

Report from San Juan
Tens of Thousands March in Puerto Rico on Eve of Teachers Strike

“La huelga va, la huelga va” (the strike is on the way), sang thousands of teachers as they marched through the streets of Puerto Rico’s capital today in preparation for the massive strike that is shaping up as a major class battle. Victory to the Puerto Rican teachers!
Tens of Thousands March in Puerto Rico on Eve of Teachers Strike  (18 February 2008)


Craft Divisions Endanger Labor: Build a Single Media Union
Don’t Let Writers Stand Alone – All Media Workers Should Join the WGA on Strike!

As the strike by film and television writers nears its two-month mark, the 12,000 members of the affiliated East and West Coast Writers Guild of America have shown determination and kept up morale at picket lines and mass rallies in Los Angeles and New York. Late-night TV viewership is down, networks have to return millions of dollars to advertisers. Yet even as the WGA strike begins to bite economically, the media moguls are refusing to negotiate. The Hollywood bosses figure they can play one craft union off against another. By themselves, writers are at a great disadvantage. To win this important labor battle, it is necessary to extend the strike to include all media industry workers, particularly blue-collar workers without whom the studios would go dark. Ultimately there should be one union of all media workers. Instead of looking to millionaire Democrats like John Edwards, strikers can make a start by aggressively picketing scab talk show and “reality” TV programs.  All Media Workers Should Join the WGA on Strike!  (22 December 2007)

The World Socialist Web Site, a/k/a Socialist Equality Party, is trying to attract WGA writers. What the WSWS/SEP doesn’t mention is that they oppose unions, even telling auto workers to vote to keep unions out. Far from being some kind of ultra-leftists, these scab “socialists” are doing the bosses’ work. SEP/WSWS: Scab “Socialists” (22 December 2007)

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