Communist Work Among Garment Workers in Los Angeles

Need Sharper Ideological Struggle

LOS ANGELES, USA—One of the political concentrations of the International Communist Workers’ Party (ICWP) in this city is with the men and women workers in the garment industry. As we mentioned in an article in the previous issue, an average of 600 garment workers, in three different factories, receive every issue of Red Flag.

We have a club (cell) with eight ICWP members concentrated in this industry, but with different levels of commitment. Some are ex-garment workers, but only one currently works in this industry. Lately the participation of our base in the activities of ICWP has decreased, and recruitment to the party is stalled.

We recently had a meeting to discuss what are the main obstacles that prevent us from mobilizing and recruiting new comrades from the garment industry. Some comrades commented that the fascist laws and immigration and police actions have their effect on many workers to make them less politically active. Others felt that family problems have increased and those cause an obstacle even with the Party members themselves.

But in evaluating the essence of our practice in political and social relations with our base, we could see clearly that the main obstacle is in us. One of the main errors is the lack of sharp ideological struggle among the members and with our base to mobilize ourselves and to mobilize others to fight for communism.

Believing that the mass distribution of Red Flag by itself will bring new members, or that a couple of phone calls to our base will do the work that is needed, is pure idealism. We need much more than that. We need one-on-one communist political struggle.

Fortunately we are not starting from scratch. Some of us have had very good experiences in the past in massively mobilizing men and women workers to the political activities of ICWP and recruiting new comrades.

We made an initial plan and a commitment to change our current practice. For example, to get contacts in these factories, we need to write more about the industry in such a way that these workers see their daily problems reflected in Red Flag, politically analyzed to show and convince them that the only solution to our problems is communist revolution.

Also, we have invited a couple of women comrades to participate in the distribution of the newspaper at one of these factories to help us make contact with women workers. At the same time, we made a list of men and women friends in the garment industry to constantly visit and have political discussions with them. We also decided to have a social activity every month to share our lives with these workers.

We believe that we have not reached the essence of our contradictions, but this analysis is a start in trying to overcome these obstacles. The comrades left this meeting more enthusiastic, with a plan of work and open to the ideological struggle.

Front page of this issue