WSA 2019 Labor Day Statement--- Forward with the Class Struggle!

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Sep 2 2019 15:26
WSA 2019 Labor Day Statement--- Forward with the Class Struggle!

WSA 2019 Labor Day Statement--- Forward with the Class Struggle!

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 the Pullman rail car 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 (Haymarket, 1886) 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, often times by their own Union leaders and left
demoralized and forced to either carry on the fight by themselves, or
capitulate to the boss.

With continued mainstream union membership in steady decline and
continued legal and economic attacks on workers (both organized and
non-organized) , the need for a self-managed and militant labor
movement is ever more present. Militant organized worker
self-activity, like the wildcat teacher strikes in WV last year or the
recent coal train stoppage due to wage theft in Harlan County KY,
amongst others, show the importance of workers standing together,
rather than capitulating to pressure from employers, politicians and
even union bureaucrats.

People who do not make up a part of the workforce need to be included
in this movement as well. Many cannot work and many perform the
innumerable tasks of invisible labor in and outside of the home (be it
childcare, care taking, household duties). Women produce the invisible
labor of child-rearing, creating the very foundation upon which
capitalism stands, and yet have little means to participate in the
various labor struggles if they do not make up part of the
traditional, visible workforce.

As we move towards the 2020 election, a small number of progressive
and self-proclaimed democratic socialist politicians have promised
some respite from the increased attacks on workers as well as the
precarious nature of an increase in "gig" employment.

But we are concerned that these promises may in fact hinder worker
militancy and self-activity and do not go far enough.

We seek an end current labor law and court interpretations that create
a legal cage that outlaws the most effective forms of action --
solidarity strikes, secondary boycotts, refusing to hand goods of
shops on strike, and allow court injunctions to side with employers.
We need to render this anti-labor legal cage a dead letter through not
complying with it, defying it.

We seek a renewed spirit of working class combativeness. We seek to
organize and build an independent, militant self-managed and
self-organized workers movement. One which is directly democratic,
free and non-bureaucratic and promotes anti-discriminatory,
pro-ecological and anti-capitalist goals. As the threat of climate
change looms, the need has increased for a militant workers movement
that can demand a just transition away from fossil fuels and towards
more ecologically friendly employment. Along with this the need has
increased for the eventual replacement of markets with an economy
self-managed by everyone, since market cost-shifting and negative
externalities are not ecologically sustainable. We believe this can
eventually be fulfilled via a libertarian socialism where everyone has
a voice in economic decisions to the general extent they are affected
by them.

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 libertarian socialism
and working class struggle, or just to discuss the situation further.

Workers Solidarity Alliance