Organizing for Communism in the Sweatshops

EL SALVADOR—The Central Committee of ICWP in El Salvador met for the first time to make decisions and define plans for this year. We had agreed to this during our activity marking the Centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution. This was one more step in the consolidation of a collective leadership.

First on the agenda was a report on a recent international meeting. We discussed how the political work within MTA (Los Angeles transit) and Boeing is related to the work our comrades do in the maquilas (sweatshops). The interchange of experiences about communist political work helps to find new ways to overcome the obstacles to the mobilization of more men and women workers for Communism in the factories.

A worker leader opened the discussion by talking about the difficulties of organizing within the maquilas: “The Party is already known by everyone inside the factory. It is no longer a mystery as it used to be. Most know who we are.

“Their most common doubt is that they do not know what a political party does in the factory. When they think about a political party, they think about elections; they think of ARENA and the FMLN. They also question what the Party can do to change the conditions they are currently in. These questions come mostly from people close to the unions.”

Another comrade from the maquilas added, “What surprises some people most is that the newspaper talks about eliminating money. They do not conceive of living without money”

All the doubts and questions from the women and men workers are opportunities for them to make communist ideas their own. In order to raise awareness among the rest of the workers who have not yet organized, we as members of ICWP have to be clear about the answers to these questions.

We decided to convert the monthly meetings into processes of learning and teaching communist ideas and practice.   The next meeting will be about what the Party is, why we need it, what its practice should be within the factory, and how it is different from the practice of the unions. We believe that this process is necessary so that we can politicize the people around us to be part of the constant discussion of Communism and the line of our Party.

An important part of this new process is developing new writers for Red Flag. The youth club in the capital promised to meet regularly with these workers to discuss the newspaper, some articles, and to encourage them to write.

Finally, we discussed preparations for the May Day March. The men and women workers have taken the initiative and the leadership so that this year we will have more presence in this commemoration.

“We are inviting people starting now. This year we do not want to march in silence. We want the party to be noticed,” they said.

They have begun taking the steps for transportation and even to have batucadas (Brazilian percussion music) to animate our contingent.

The meeting encouraged and motivated people a lot to meet the goals we have set for ourselves. We are convinced that the masses can take the ideas of communism as their own and sharpen the discussion about them for the development of the Party that can lead us to a communist revolution.

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