UNIONS FOR LABOR!

Building unity in action among the rank-and-file trade unionists and utilizing various forms of struggle around appropriate demands of the practical program and the workers' more specific needs are of vital importance. The right to have democratic unions, independent of state control or interference and the right to strike using mass pickets must be fought for and won in order for workers to engage in more advanced forms of unity in action. These fights prepare the proletariat for greater battles ahead, where the vanguard provides the working class the consciousness, organization, and unity to raise its level of struggle from practical, partial demands to the revolutionary struggle to defeat the oligarchy and neo-fascism. Thus every step made in mobilizing the workers in unity of action is a step towards waging the class struggle in a systematic way under the leadership of the proletarian vanguard [Scientific Socialist Program (2000) Part 8 - The Working Class and the Revolutionary Fronts].

 

It is in the spirit and letter of these organizational tactics that we propose the following initiative to all revolutionaries and workers who are struggling for a strong labor movement against big capital and its neo-fascist state. However, the idea for building Union Leagues was conceived before the ultra-rightist Junta of theo-fascists was installed in power and created even more repressive conditions for organizing. This should be borne in mind when considering how to apply revolutionary tactics on all fronts, including work in the trade unions. Those who would like to contribute to this effort by taking up the proposed tasks or by suggesting improvements in this very important front of work should feel free to contact Scientific Socialist.

 

 

 

DRAFT CHARTER OF THE UNION LEAGUES

 

 

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES

 

The Union Leagues stand with American labor in its struggles against capital. They declare that these struggles are an absolute necessity to defend against the constant and escalating encroachments of capital on labor's wages, working conditions, living standards, and democratic rights. Moreover, they view that these struggles must be linked to resistance against the tyranny of corporate state capitalism, which has degenerated into an ultra-rightist form of neo-fascism. At the same time, the Leagues are fully committed to educating and assisting the working class to achieve its historic goal of eliminating the wage-slave system in the course of replacing corporate state-monopoly capitalism with a New Democratic government. New Democracy is the only way forward to engage the vast masses of workers and people in carrying out policies that represents their true needs and interests.

 

The Union Leagues advocate the organization and unity of the many millions of American workers into unions as a crucial step in emancipating labor from the exploitative and oppressive dictatorship of the financial oligarchy - a few big bankers and monopolists that own and operate the corporate capitalist state. In this regard, the Leagues call on all workers to take the path of New Unionism, restructuring old and building new unions into independent and democratic organizations joined in a new federation that will participate in a powerful United Front to fight for rank-and-file demands against the anti-labor policies of the capitalists, their government, and the union bureaucracy that serves the exploiter class. Lastly, the Union Leagues express their class solidarity with workers of all countries who are fighting on the same side of the class barricades against the yoke of capital and the international monopolies.

 

 

DEMANDS

 

The Union Leagues advance and uphold the following inviolable democratic rights and vitalsocio-economic needs of labor.

1. The right of the rank-and-file in the existing unions to restore or establish democracy in these unions, and the right to organize a new labor federation that can unite and lead these unions to realize labor's just demands.

2. The right of all workers, government employees, and professionals, regardless of full-time or part-time status, and regardless of race, nationality, creed, gender, or citizenship, to organize and join new, industry-wide, democratic unions that are independent of interference and control by capital and its neo-fascist state.

3. The right of all unions to strike and of any union to organize mass pickets to defend the strike-line against scabs of the employers and forces of the police-state that would break these strikes to continue production or services.

4. The right to support the strikes and struggles of the American and the international working class in actions of solidarity and acts of aid.††

5. The right to a political party with the knowledge and ability to unite and lead the working class in its struggle for liberation.

6. The right to rid the workers' ranks of all racist, fascist and other class-alien groups or individuals that are hostile to labor's unity and democratic freedoms and its just struggles against capital.

7. An immediate end to all mass lay-offs in the private and public sectors.

8. The abolition of all types of semi-slave labor in the sweatshops, estates of the rich, and the farm fields. The conversion of involuntary temporary or part-time jobs and other degraded, ultra-exploited labor to steady, full time positions atliving wages with adequate benefits.

9. A continuous increase in wages and improvement of working conditions, equal pay for equal work, and the implementation of a progressive income tax, substantially reducing taxes on labor, small farmers, merchants, and the self-employedand increasing taxes on big capital.

10. The immediate institution of government-run (a) quality universal health care system, and (b) the improvement of social maintenance programs for retired workers and chronically or temporarily unemployed or disabled.

 

 

 

ORGANIZATION AND ACTIVITIES

 

The Union Leagues are voluntary, democratic associations independent of all political parties and unions. They are established as organizing centers of the working class to address and discuss the problems confronting American labor today, to support labor's struggles, and to defend its rights.

 

Membership is open to all workers and employees, regardless of nationality, race, gender, creed, citizenship, or union affiliation, who accept the Declaration of Principles, actively participate in a League's work, and pay dues.

The Leagues are set up at the state and/or local levels. Each League will choose its own leading council, elected by the majority of its participating members through secret ballot. All recommendations of the council and proposals by the rank-and-file concerning actions and activities of any League must be approved by the majority of its members for implementation.

The Central Council will be the temporary leading body of the Leagues. It is responsible for administration and coordination of the Leagues' work on the national and international levels. In this formative period, the leadership of the Central Council will be provisional until such time when an All-National Council, comprised of one representative elected by each League, is established.

††

Initial activities for all Leagues may include:

†† 1) Promoting and popularizing New Unionism in the trade unions and labor movement under the slogan - Unions For Labor!

†† 2) Promoting and popularizing appropriate democratic and economic demands outlined in the Charter under the slogans - Defend Labor's Rights! and Donít Tread on Labor!

†† 3) Actively supporting the united struggles of the workers in realizing their just demands and aims under the slogan - Build the United Front of Labor!

†† 4) Forming and building Union Leagues at the state and local levels with the slogan - Union Leagues Now!