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Fighting for a Communist World We Will Destroy the Chains of Wage Slavery

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EL SALVADOR, January 11--On December 15, 2016, the National Minimum Wage Council approved an increase in the minimum wage without the presence of representatives of private enterprise. The exclusion of this last group generated uncertainty about whether this increase would actually materialize. There is tension about the response of the bosses. This climate of confrontation represents a big opportunity to sharpen the class struggle and mobilize the masses for communism.
The bosses are required to pay the increase starting in January of 2017. Many companies threatened to close and go to other countries. Two maquilas announced that they would leave the country since they are not “able” to pay the new minimum wage. A week later, they said they would stay. Where would they go? Even with the increase, wages in El Salvador are the lowest in all of Central America and this type of industry is exempt from paying taxes for 15 years. To date, no company has left the country and none plans to do so. This does not mean that everything will happen the way the government wants.
The bosses have created new forms of pay for the workers so that their profits are not affected. Previously, a maquila worker earned $210.90 a month. With bonuses and overtime hours, sometimes they reached $300. Today their salary is $295 a month: $9.84 a day for 8 hours of work. In the first week of January, one of the maquilas in the central area fired 15 workers and re-hired them the next week on the condition that, like the rest of their co-workers, they could not work overtime, there would be no bonuses, and they had to reach the same production goals as when they worked overtime, now in 8 hours of work.
“Be careful of your work”; “The company is in crisis;” “Behave yourselves,” are statements that the supervisors use to try to intimidate the workers. However, the workers are not willing to be trampled on like this.
The fmln government and its social movement have called on the general population to defend this reform. Liberal theorists believe that the defense of a reform can radicalize the masses and would force the fmln to maintain these types of actions without the bosses’ consent. This is a very dangerous illusion for the working class. Over the years the liberals have defended this type of increase and it has never achieved any radicalization.
The only way to really make a change is to eliminate wage slavery and money, to which we are subjected under capitalism. The only source of the capitalists’ profits is from exploiting workers, paying us less than the value of the products workers, and only workers, produce. The less the bosses pay, the higher their profits (surplus value). In spite of wage increases, capitalist wages are only enough to barely survive. The only way to end this is to get rid of the profit system.
In a communist society our human needs will not be determined by the number of hours that we sell our labor power. When money does not exist, wages and exploitation will not exist. Nothing will be bought or sold. Masses of workers will mobilize to use our minds and muscle to plan, produce and distribute based on meeting everyone’s needs.
We know that this “wage increase” reform is no threat for capitalism but the response from the bosses was quick and brutal. There is widespread┬á resentment against the bosses for opposing this increase. We must take advantage of this discontent to explain to the masses that this is the way that wage slavery always functions and that to liberate ourselves from these evils we must see the bosses as the class enemies that they are.
Every action against the workers because of the increase must be answered with actions against the bosses, not to defend the increase, but against capitalism and to mobilize the masses for communism.

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