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For Mass Labor Actions to Defend Iowa City Municipal Jobs and Defeat Privatization!
AFSCME Council 61 initiated a solidarity call to pack the December 17th Iowa City Council meeting to defend public employee jobs from possible outsourcing to a “private corporation with very little track record and an experimental trash to fuel process.” The Iowa City Council is looking into contracting city services to Fiberight LLC that ostensibly can “make ethanol out of food waste and contaminated material that cannot be recycled.” According to a union sister on Facebook, if this passes, “curbside recycling will be the first to go- that’s six jobs, then there will be jobs at the landfill and this is a company that doesn’t have a track record”. These services need to be public services, and not for private profit. The capitalists can’t make a dime on a dollar productively, so they want to privatize your public services. Privatization is part and parcel of an all-out attack by the ruling class on unions, workers, the oppressed and the social gains of the last 80 years. It is time to unite the entire working class along with all the oppressed to fight back. In addition to these pending cuts, locally SEATS Paratransit is under attack, the UIHC Patient Transport Services has been eliminated and Cedar Rapids public schools are facing budget cuts. Rollback the SEATS cuts! Reinstate UIHC Patient Transport Services! Defeat the cuts to Cedar Rapids public schools! We definitely need green energy sources and waste disposal/ recycling, but we don’t need experimental processes that may lead to severe consequences. Who can trust the Iowa City government officials anyway? These geniuses were just going to let the May-June 2012 landfill fire burn itself out. After a week of a black smoke cloud that could be seen for miles, they finally started a stir, burn and cover operation to finally put the fire out. Only democratic workers control of the economy done in a sane, rational and planned manner, divorced from the capitalist system can guarantee a Green world. Build a fighting labor movement! Initiate Mass Union Membership Meetings to Organize Rank-and-File Action/Struggle Committees to Fight All the Cuts! For united solidarity strike actions to defeat any and all attacks! If we want to start to defend these municipal union jobs, to defend our unions, our public services and our standard of living, it will require mobilizing the labor movement united with the oppressed working class communities for action. Rank-and-file militants and stewards should organize worksite committees that can carry out education, organize and massmobilize for worker actions. A fighting labor leadership would have already convened a mass labor/community meeting to build what is necessary to defeat this Fiberight privatization drive. Begging the City Council politicians or betting on the next City Council election are losing strategies. We need mass demonstrations, rallies, protests and above all united strike actions if we want to put a brake on these attacks. It is time to build the fight! Recent city council elections around the county have shown that we don’t have to have representatives that are not even remotely beholden to the trade union movement, and regardless of what you think of their political programs, the ostensible trade union militants who were elected represent working class independence and are supposed to be responsible to the labor movement. What this shows is that in the real world we do not have to keep sending the same two party jokers back to the trough. We can elect “representatives” who are supposed to be beholden to the workers movement. The Democrats are the party of the bosses lock stock and barrel. To expect them to fight for the workers’ interests after 150 years of experience is a con and only passes for realism in the circles of the privileged and those who are on an electoral career track. A militant class struggle union is another animal altogether. There is always another tactic if you believe the victory of the workers is indispensable. To discern what the correct tactic for victories is requires a militant class independent political program. The working class in the US faces a crisis leading to its pauperization and destruction unless a resurgent rank and file starts a militant class struggle course today by rejecting the concessionary contracts, electing strike committees to replace the compromised negotiators and convening mass assemblies of labor and the oppressed to launch and extend strike actions to beat back all these attacks. We need to build a labor leadership based on the recognition that there can be no peace between labor and capital and that this is a class war. Union militants need to organize class struggle caucuses/committees to educate, agitate and organize and to refresh the leadership at the top of our unions. SMASH ANTI-LABOR LAWS THROUGH UNITED SOLIDARITY STRIKES! AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL! SOLID
Time to Draw a Line in the Sand:
Of course, any solidarity or public sector strike action by workers would come up against the anti-labor laws, laws that the union tops like Trumka (AFL-CIO) and Mary Kay Henry (SEIU) hold sacrosanct. They have no intention to fight the anti-labor Taft Hartley Act, which bans solidarity and general strikes, or public sector laws that ban strikes by public sector workers. The moment the bosses mention going to the judge to seek injunctions or a Democratic politician threatens legislation against essential service strikes, they make concessions. Labor needs to find the practical means to unite with the most oppressed and most underpaid and exploited workers. The historical demand of the labor movement for Jobs for All is hardly ‘unrealizable’ or ‘ultraleft.’ Don’t forget that there are two full employment acts of Congress that are still on
the books with their mandate unfulfilled. What can be won will be determined through the course of struggle against the bosses and their capitalist system of exploitation. What counts is organization, militancy, discipline, class consciousness and leadership. The working class needs to develop its own independent political program and demands. FOR STRIKE COMMITTEES THAT ESTABLISH LABOR/COMMUNITY WAGE AND PRICE COMMITTEES THAT DEFINE A LIVING WAGE, FIGHT FOR AND ENFORCE A SLIDING SCALE OF WAGES AND PRICES! When we have the strikes we will have as many marches and rallies as we need to mobilize all workers in support. But in the meantime what we need are mass membership meetings of the local Unions and all those fighting to organize, be they in industrial, retail, distribution or fast food, in order to make the defense of the workers standard of living a true class combat that none of the bosses and their scabs can defeat. This would be an opportunity to make common cause between the private/ public sector unions and the unorganized low-wage workers for united struggle. Unionize the fast food and retail industry “wall to wall” at full union wages and benefits! Struggle is being forced upon us. As a practical matter this necessitates sorting out and removing the professional Democrats from all elected and appointed union and labor council posts. Make no gamble on leaders with feet in two class camps. Striking locals need strike committee leaders who are elected and recallable and directly responsible to mass meetings of the rank and file. The rank and file needs to directly control all negotiations and the strike preparations such as self-defense and legal training for pickets, organization of flying picket squads, and mass public meetings, rallies and marches. Meetings and marches should be held in all communities of the working class and oppressed. This will require a frank discussion of defense against victimization of these communities, and of any and all workers’ meetings and actions at the hands of the bosses’ police, including the need to defend working class political prisoners and victimized union militants. Fighting for full employment is the key to self defense through class unity: The regime of capital cannot deliver full employment and as a matter of philosophy in the present day does not want to deliver it. It is when stock prices soar that it has proved possible to wage their austerity assault against labor because they have the happy circumstance of an official 7.5% unemployment. It is this which plays a major role in permitting them to continue their uninterrupted attack on workers organizations. While our class suffers this high
unemployment, between 2009 and 2011 the richest Americans grabbed an additional 7% of the total wealth of the nation. MAKE CAPITAL PAY FOR FREE QUALITY MASS TRANSIT, EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE AND PENSIONS! The bosses make us pay to come to work for them, for the education they require of their workers, for the health care we need to come back to work each day and our pensions as deferred wages, either in their plans or social security! In this circumstance, unlike those who call for a ‘tax the rich’ campaign which delivers more treasury monies to the bosses’ pet politicians to spend on the bosses’ pet projects, we maintain that mass transit should be free; free and quality health care should be a right as should education, and a pension to guarantee dignity in old age with guaranteed COLA’s. To achieve the full employment concretized in the demand ‘Jobs for All,’ a movement of the entire class will fight for 30 hours work for 40 hours pay. This is necessary so as to employ all the able and prevent the erosion of workers’ ability to feed and house themselves and their offspring. These demands correspond to what would be part of the program of a Fighting Workers’ Labor party. We advocate such a party. We know we need it. A Fighting Workers’ Labor Party would set as its goal and never be diverted from its historic mission to form a workers government. This government would break, suppress and utterly replace, in a word, smash the political dictatorship of capital which today gives the bosses all the power of the state and its institutions to use against you. A workers government will put an end to workplace dictatorship. Wage-slavery will go the way of the Dodo. The commodity form of your laborpower will at last die a long overdue death. Workers will control the means of production and workers will plan the investment projects that will remodel the economy for human needs. Fetters on the development of the means of production will be removed once and for all. Personal development will go hand in hand with the liberation of social relations from the profit system. A fighting workers/labor party would completely redefine the question of what the national interest is and at the same time, recast foreign policy to reflect the needs of all working people everywhere. For international labor solidarity and joint actions across national borders! Make no mistake we are at war. This is a class war. It can only be resolved with the victory of one side or the other. Our task is to unite our class around our demands and the objective needs of the most oppressed and exploited for their economic, social and political liberation.
Communist Workers Group – USA (CWG-US): Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://cwgusa.wordpress.com/ Subscribe to Class War (Paper of the CWG-US)
Labor Donated, 12/16/2013
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