Workers Solidarity Alliance - On Labor Day

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Joined: 15-04-06
Sep 2 2011 22:19
Workers Solidarity Alliance - On Labor Day

On Labor Day;

Over a hundred years ago a frightened President Grover Cleveland
pushed congress to recognize Labor Day as a federal holiday in 1894.
(The September holiday was first observed in 1882 by the Central Labor
Union of New York.) In the wake of a strike that saw workers’
murdered at the hands of U.S. Marshals and Soldiers, Cleveland moved
to throw the masses a crumb, Labor Day. In what was perhaps a wise
move, he made sure that the holiday did not land on, or even near the
already existing International Workers’ Day. On the First of May
workers worldwide commemorate an event that took place in the very
heart of the United States and often call for radical change and even
revolution. As sure as water flows downhill, the crumb of Labor Day
only teased the empty bellies of workers demanding a better life. On
through today, an entire history of struggle has been written with its
newest chapters happening before our eyes.

Throughout this history workers have wielded the weapons of Solidarity
and Direct Action in order to protect and advance their own interests.
With strikes, sabotage, and other actions workers’ have stood up for
each other ever since the bosses started exploiting them in the first
place. Often during these struggles, the workers would be abandoned
and condemned by there own Union leaders and left demoralized and
forced to either carry on the fight by themselves, or capitulate to
the boss. Even today, with millions out of work and rapidly
deteriorating workplace conditions, Union leaders often appear more
interested in the next election cycle than they are with the real
concerns of their shrinking membership base. Worse than that, they
seem to have completely forgotten the millions of workers who are
unorganized, and must face the boss totally alone. With bosses taking
full advantage of “hard times” by putting our working conditions in a
“race to the bottom”, and the old unions no-where to be found, perhaps
its time to build a new labor movement.

This movement will have to be unafraid to flex the muscles of
Solidarity and Direct Action to win demands and protect the interests
of workers. It cannot allow itself to be divided by Craft and Trade
like the old unions, and will have to banish from its midst racism,
sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination for these blights
on humanity only serve to isolate workers from each other, a situation
very favorable for the boss. Most importantly, it must aggressively
seek to reach out, mobilize and organize the millions of “unorganized”
workers. If the movement expects to see any success, it will have to
throw out the old idea of the “unorganizable worker” found in minimum
wage part-time service sector jobs, and working as “temps” on
construction sites and offices.

This kind of movement cannot be instituted from the top-down, and
cannot have bosses. The movement will only defend the interests of
the rank and file workers for as long as the rank and file control it
from the bottom-up, democratically. In order to grow strong roots it
will need room to include not just current wage workers, but all those
that where, those that will be, and those that labor without pay.
Simply put, all those folks who find themselves powerless in this
chaotic society must work together to forge a new one. It must mirror
in its’ structure the kind of society we wish to build, one empty of
hierarchy and full of democracy.

Perhaps you’ve found the crumbs, however frequently dropped from
marble tables, never seem to fill your empty stomach. Let it be known
that others have tired of the crumbs as well, and wish to get the
whole cake instead. Feel free to contact us to learn more about how
to fight your boss at work, to find out more about and anarchism and
working class struggle, or just to discuss the situation further.

Workers Solidarity Alliance
Labor Commission

sabot's picture
Joined: 21-06-08
Sep 3 2011 00:00

A side note to the May Day thing, in the US, it's actually recognized as "Loyalty Day." I know this because there are banners with the slogan on our path when we march around the city.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Joined: 5-10-07
Sep 3 2011 09:09

Yeah and didn't Nixon officially make 1st May "Police appreciation day" of some bullshit like that?