Friday, July 27, 2012

New York; For a Citywide General Strike to defeat Con Ed's Lockout!

Finish With Half-Stepping to Survive and Dare to Win! Victory to Local 1-2 UWUA and for All Workers!

We call for the immediate nationalization under workers' control of all electric and gas utilities in the U.S. with no compensation for the major stockholders!

This is the only adequate response to the premeditated lockout by Consolidated Edison of its 8,500 union employees, members of Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America. This lockout is not merely a provocation but a sign of the thinking of the capitalist class. If they can bust unions in New York with this tactic, no one will be safe anywhere. The Con Edison management has robbed its workers and gouged its customers for 125 years and the new Chief Officers, i.e., Burke and his associates, seek to make the company attractive and themselves indispensable to coupon clippers (those who live off stock dividends) looking to buy their way to the monopolizing of ever greater service areas, to more millions of customer captives. To become that much more attractive Burke et. al. have embraced union-busting, exactly like the old-time robber barons; they are robber barons. They want it all.

Don't they? We do not agree that Burke and co. deserve 22% raises when Con Ed's profits rose 23% in one year. The public just suffered a 10% rate increase and a secret 5% voltage cut! Cuomo and Bloomberg, their twin parties and their pet "Public Service Commission" approved this. No one asked if that was alright with you. For Wall St. these are savvy businessmen who have removed safety concerns from the public discourse and are eliminating worker pensions.

We have to want it all if we are to beat them! It is not "unfair" of us to want to survive and do better than that for our kids. But to set out to settle for some arrangement with these sharks is to plan to be eaten alive! Sad to say, these robber barons really can get away with this. It is possible and even likely that we will go on losing big battles in what our present union leaderships now at last admit is a class war. Instead of mass pickets we see thin lines at the Irving Place Company HQ, and these lines depend on the militants of other unions. The Local 1-2 leadership will not defy a gag order and tell the members where talks stand. But what members do know is that as their contract ran out their "leaders" were only haggling over twenty different givebacks! That's when the membership was locked out in the wee hours of Sunday/Monday, July 1st. Now we hear that management has caved in to bad publicity and restored the health care coverage they terminated on July 1st. Is this a big victory? Management is already talking to their press friends about when their workers come back to work--without a contract!

This course of events is only possible because we have leaders who are so pickled in legalism that they cannot preserve even the dues base that is the source of their white collar lifestyle and privileges. How is it possible that 5,000 supervisors and a like number of scabs from "right to work" states have been able to keep the lights on (albeit very dangerously?) It is because "leaders" have agreed to more and more "outsourcing" to the semi-slave non-union over the last 30 years. And they have agreed to speedups no old timer would have stood for. All of this derives from a bureaucratic state of mind that sees management as labor's partner and from a coziness within the post-Taft Hartley Act anti-labor legality. They have sold us on reliance on capitalist party politicians like Cuomo and Bloomberg, who proceed to cut our legs off when we look for help. Rank and file members need to revolt and replace these leaders and ditch the parties they support! We need a fighting workers labor party, beholden only to ourselves and the oppressed.

For President Farrell of Local 1-2 Burke and co. are "lunatics" for so brazenly breaking the social contract of the 1950s and '60s he called Con Ed's "promise." Other unions' leaders used other names. For us, Burke and co. are sociopaths in suits and the Central Labor Council leaders who have spent the last 65 years making such "managers" respectable have forfeited their credibility. Not a whisper of "STRIKE!" do you hear from them.

WE need truly mass general strikes of unannounced duration to defeat the lockout and the plutocrats' union busting drive! This will require another, higher order of solidarity than has so far been seen or proposed at the one "We Are One" march and rally. Career honchos on the stage were free with the "Whatever it takes" slogan, but to set our millions of feet on that class warpath the rank and file memberships of our several hundred Locals will have to elect leaders who will commit to smash Taft-Hartley, the Taylor Law and all such anti-labor laws on the streets and in sit-down, occupation action. We need to re-establish solidarity as a principle on this continent. We need to go about this is a thorough going way we need a party of workers committed to a revolutionary social contract. A thorough going struggle for the elaboration of an international party of the working class. Only such a party will fight for the entire programmatic historical legacy of the workers movement and provide the analyses and situational awareness necessary to carry the class struggle through to its victorious conclusion.

We need to take this battle to the capitalists, the authors of every kind of injustice, and carry it through to our complete victory over all their thievery and the state they guard it with. 

  • For that we will need a workers government composed of immediately recallable delegates of factory and shop committees, neighborhood and workers councils. These delegates will WORK and for wages only.  
  • Likewise we will need a workers militia, at least for a time, and this will cost society a tiny fraction of the extravagant waste of the imperialists’ military industrial complex. This militia will be the logical descendant of the picket line but invested with social authority, and all able-bodied persons will serve their turn in it.  
  • Business secrets will be abolished and it will overnight become possible to employ everyone who wants a job and also to reduce the work week with no reduction in pay. Price committees will protect your paycheck, and meanwhile more and more necessities will be free.  
  • All education will be free through graduate school and beyond, the social value of a liberated education at last being recognized as the great bargain of civilization after reorganization under parent-pupil-teacher-worker control. 
We have a right to this much and more if we are not afraid to conceive of it and go get it. Only this can no longer wait for someday. Con Ed has locked your sisters and brothers OUT!


Reblogged from Communist Workers Group (USA)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Egyptian Revolution: the Electoral road to imperialist stabilisation vs the road to workers power

We were delighted to see footage telecast Sunday (7/15/12) of Hillary Clinton’s Cairo motorcade being pelted with tomatoes and shoes. We were told she shook hands with the elected President, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate M. Morsi, but this was not shown. Today we did see a photo of her shaking hands with Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed forces (hereafter the SCAF.) We watch what each of these sorry figures do because we are focused on the two questions of power: who has it now and how does the working class go about seizing and keeping it (?) We have some altogether different answers to those two questions than what thoughtful workers have come to expect from various erstwhile revolutionary socialists.

So let’s look at the Egypt of Mid-July, 2012 in the aftermath of the two rounds of bourgeois parliamentarism that have the Anglo-American imperialists soaking their shirt fronts for joy. These now believe their local partners/dependents have put over the stabilization of bourgeois rule. No supposition is involved on their part. Morsi has said it has been done, both to the Egyptian press and to the Saudi government. Morsi and Clinton particularly feel that what remains to be done to consolidate their triumph over the masses is to foist a more opaque, “constitutional” civilian rule upon them. This will require that the Army (specifically Tantawi and the SCAF) appear to cede more power to an elected parliament that has so far (7/15) met in defiance of the Supreme Court (army controlled) exactly once and for five minutes. Clinton says the U.S.A. is not in Egypt to pick the winners. Not much it isn’t!

Read On

USA: Defeat Racial Profiling in N.Y! Down with the Bloomberg-Kelly Terror!

The following statement was distributed by the Communist Workers' Group and Labor Black& Brown supporters at the June 17th 2012 march to STOP RACIAL PROFILING and END STOP AND FRISK:

Defeat Racial Profiling in N.Y.! Down with the Bloomberg-Kelly Terror!

End "Stop-and-Frisk" NOW! Cops Out of Schools NOW!

For Labor-Community Tribunals! For Workers'-Community Defense Guards!

Spin masters of the twin capitalist parties peddle the big lie of a "post-racial America." But you won't find it anywhere the oppressed live, where class warfare is the 21st century norm, with Bloomberg and Kelly waging a war of terror on Black, Latin and now also Muslim immigrant communities. These bosses political program targets and tracks non-white youth for the new slavery, the prison-industrial complex, America's biggest racket-which taxes the working-class to enslave the poor and profit the prison industry and cops!

"Full Employment" is the law, by act of congress in 1946 and '71. Is the prison-industrial-complex the Bloomberg-Kelly regimes' idea of full employment? We want JOBS FOR ALL at union wages for all who can work! The working class must reject its dismemberment and impoverishment! The work week can be reduced to 30 hours with no reduction in weekly pay, and implement a sliding scale of wages and hours can further reduce the work week if need be to accomplish real full employment and also protect workers' purchasing power. Labor was promised the Employee Free Choice Act which the politicians have all forgotten! We can’t wait for legislation and we need Labor to lead, to organize the unorganized, to organize Local Unions of the Unemployed to use the fight for full employment to unite all working class and oppressed and form the rudiments of working class self-defense. We know the bosses won’t do this and the current crop of union and community leaders will not take the lead, therefore it is the task of the rank and file to take our unions back by organizing class struggle anti-racist caucuses to organize the fight back!

For the bankster-racketeer capitalist class, the racist technocrat billionaire Bloomberg and his henchman, the Giuliani/Kerik-associated Kelly are the perfect enforcers. They put over racial profiling sotto voce with "Stop-and-Frisk" and Cops in Schools. They said they would take guns off the streets, eliminate the crack epidemic and suppress gang violence. But this was just propaganda for the un-initiated, pure spin to pit the White workers against the Black and Brown youth and immigrants! 


Champions of the working people and the oppressed desire thoroughgoing, comprehensive social justice, and by any means necessary. So does the growing national network of Mothers and Families of Victims of Racist Police and Vigilante Violence which has the capacity of uniting and building militant anti-racist violence movement!

"Labor Black and Brown" joins and supports the call, and further calls by the families of the victims for political strikes and indefinite duration general strikes against capital's war on Black and Brown youth!

We will place no confidence in and will not be satisfied with or otherwise be shucked by any revivals of Lindsay-era "Civilian Complaint Review Boards." We saw them! Their game was only to demobilize the victimized, and right away they had diminishing legal powers to go with their complete lack of moral authority among wage earners. Refute this category of flimflam by withdrawing the robber barons' profits! Shut the City down!

Labor Black and Brown calls for Labor-initiated, Labor-And-Community Tribunals to investigate, arrest and try racist killer and brutalizer cops! This is the only way we can establish the truth of the many atrocities and all their inner- and interconnectedness and monstrosity. This is how we will see WHO BENEFITS? Even in conditions where we cannot arrest the butchers or carry sentences out, the great social authority of such Labor-Community Tribunals would thunder through the skyscraper canyons!

We need a Labor-And-Community Workers' Defense Guard for Black and Latin and now also the Muslim immigrant communities. In the existing conditions of the class warfare waged against these sisters and brothers in working class neighborhoods by the cops, the targeted youth l enjoy no personal security and can expect no normal future without this form of self-organization for self-defense. Such organizations are the battalions which much be formed to end the rule of the racist imperialists-the 1%.

Some may say "LB&B" is surely not their fathers' civil rights movement, with no evident pacifism. Most may hope for a non-confrontational path, but our class enemy is not interested, as he has shown over and over, from the bombing of the MOVE family in Philly to the NATO bombing of Libya the bosses will unleash their violence even against the pacifists as recently seen at Zucotti Park. We think if the pacifist Occupy Wall Street protestors were not predominantly white we would have seen many cadavers. We know consciousness tends to lag behind and resists the conclusions of objectivity. But we also know the facts shout their message. If they could speak they would call for an organized Rank and File Labor-Black-Brown-Immigrant Self-Defense Guard.

Right now we can and must fight to get cops out of the schools! The police armed camp ruins the learning environment for students of every ability. It provides DNA samples of the entire non-white school population to a "national suspect’s database (!!!)" It suppresses all test scores and graduation rates by chasing kids from the schools by placing intimidating uniformed gunmen there who don't like our kid’s faces.

But to drive the police out we will need Union-Community unity for Parent-Pupil-Teacher control of the schools. And we may need the muscle of the Labor-Community Defense Guard as well. This generation needs an honest education in how the world works, for the benefit of the imperialist. Rise up the analytical tools and program, the compressed knowledge and experience of generations of industrial workers. Develop the tools and program needed to find the road from exploitation and oppression up to a workers directed socialism of species and planet survival and regeneration. Our kids need to learn how to force the exploiters and oppressors to open their books and expose every "business secret," so that we may have society in place of a dog-eat-dog racist Gotham, U.S.A., and imperialist-divided world!

Labor Black and Brown began on the west coast and is a growing movement across the country. We are here today to tell you to neither be afraid to try nor be discouraged by self-interested "leaders" who block your path. Honest, self-sacrificing leaders will arise among yourselves, and this means they won't be Democrats or Republicans. Or Greens, Liberals or Conservatives, all of whom also stand in line to carry water for the same racist "1%." Some who have things wrong now will change their minds. Others can be "dis-elected" or can be bypassed by your own initiatives in organizing and in action! Let's change our world. This will require putting the robber barons, who chose Bloomberg from among their own, out of business for good. We can do this. 


CWG (USA) | July 21, 2012 at 1:19 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: