[World History Archives]

Political struggle of the U.S. working class

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   History of the U.S. working class in general

U.S. working class solidarity and independent political action

Constitution of the Labor Party
Adopted by the First Labor Party Convention, June 6-9 1996, Cleveland, Ohio.
AFL-CIO Investment in Democrats Could Backfire
By Ken Boettcher, in The People, December 1996. AFL-CIO leaders have long persuaded union members to support political agents of the very class that exploits them by promoting "friends of labor." Despite claims that new leadership would bring new strategies to the AFL-CIO, its conduct during the 1996 election had a very familiar look about it.
Building left-center unity in labor: key task for Communists
By Roy Rydell, in People's Weekly World, 8 March 1997. Under the leadership of John J. Sweeney, the AFL-CIO is attempting to rid itself of the legacy of years of the class collaborationist policies foisted on the labor movement by George Meany and Lane Kirkland, both all-too-willing puppets of the ruling class.
New Party presentation to AFL-CIO
NP Online News, 10 April 1997. The New Party made a presentation to the Committee on Political Education (COPE) on fusion, independent politics, the future of the republic, etc.
Working class unity in the U.S. today
By Gus Hall, National Chair, Communist Party USA, in People's Weekly World, 11 October 1997. An analysis of labor unity: The historic path to a united, integrated working class has been slow because it is a process of development of a class ideology and a class outlook.
Communist Party USA plans regional meetings
In the People's Weekly World, 4 April 1998. Conferences in ten cities in response to the tremendous growth in membership and interest in the ideas and activity of the U.S. Communist Party.
Labor takes the lead: a new day in the class struggle
By Gus Hall, in People's Weekly World, 25 July 1998. New developments force the working class to rethink its role. Millions of trade unionists are ready to fight, to unite, to put their jobs on the line, to stay out one day longer than the boss, to dump the ultraright.
Electing chickens or organizing eggs: Where to start rebuilding the labor movement? (draft)
By Ron Blascoe, Steward AFT Local 4848, 18 January 2000. At the highest level of the AFL-CIO, a bold new direction. Rather than elect more Democrats as usual, the issue is where to begin? We need to change the laws so that we can organize strong unions. But we need to organize strong unions so that we can elect good representatives to change the laws. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?
Reds in cyberspace
By Scott Marshall, in People's Weekly World, 16 September, 1995. Includes a link to the Communist Party USA web page.

Labor Legislation and Labor's legislative struggles

Health Activism
A speech delivered by Robert Wages, President of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union (OCAW) to the October 20 1994, Labor and Single Payer Rally in Oakland, Calif. From 1989 a commitment to single-payer health reform. And it was also at that same time that we began really taking about independent political action. Because we arrived at the conclusion that neither political party was representing the interests of working folks.
Rallies boost Martinez jobs bill
Evelina Alarcon, in People's Weekly World, 25 October 1997. Actions took place in over 20 cities across the country on Oct. 18 to demand Congress pass the Martinez Jobs Bill (HR-950), a $250 billion public works jobs-creation bill.
The Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act of 1997 (H.R. 950)
From the New York State Communist Party, 16 March 1997. The primary purpose of this emergency federal jobs legislation is to provide much needed jobs at union wages to crisis ridden cities by putting the unemployed to work rebuilding infrastructure (schools, housing, hospitals, libraries, public transportation, highways, parks, environmental improvements, etc. $250 billion is authorized for emergency public works jobs over a five year period.
Poison Pill for Workers
By Harry Kelber, 17 February 1998. A cabal of 111 Republican members of Congress has co-sponsored the "Worker Protection Fairness Act" (H.R. 1625), which would constrain unions from using resources to support political, social or charitable causes, hold legislative conferences, publish educational material, engage in voter registration, etc.
Why Drop Worker Rights?
Harry Kelber,from Weekly Labor Talk, 10 April 1999. The AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions have for several years fought anti-labor legislation in Congress and the state legislatures. Here re. "The Right-to-Organize Act," (Sen. Paul Wellstone) and "The Workplace Democracy Act" (H.R. 1277) (Bernie Sanders).
A Human Rights Perspective On U.S. Labor Relations Law
By James A. Gross, 2 July 1999. A paper on the role of the concept of human rights in the making of U.S. labor policy.

The U.S. working class and global affairs

AFL-CIO still in Israel's pocket?
By Jeffrey Blankfort, in Middle East Labor Bulletin, 18 March 1996. Since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the AFL-CIO leadership has been an integral part of the pro-Israel lobby, providing funding for pro-Israel Democrats, investing the union's pension funds in Israel Bonds, and blocking international efforts to punish Israel for its exploitation and abuse of Palestinian workers.
Organized Labor and the War in Kosovo
ZNet Commentary by Elaine Bernard, 14 May 1999. While labor has not sought to draw much attention to its stance on the war, argues that labor should take a stand on it, on ethnic cleansing, and ultimately on how to resolve the crisis.

The U.S. working class and the broader society

New labor focus on civil rights a welcome step
By A. Jefferson Melyst, in People's Weekly World, 25 October 1997. A resolution on the right to organize "the civil rights issue of the next decade" at the September 1997 AFL-CIO convention. With the unanimous vote to delete the divisive weapon barring Communist Party members from full union participation, the stage is set for a different kind of fight to defend and expand civil rights.

The working class vs. the U.S. government

U.S. Government Hands off Teamsters
By Scott Cooper, in The Organizer, 5 January 1998. The U.S. government has opened a full-scale assault on organized labor, beginning with the Teamsters union and now headed for the AFL-CIO. A court-appointed monitor disqualified Teamsters President Ron Carey from a rerun election.