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Youth and Workers Battle Socialist Slave Labor Law

May 30—Workers and youth continue their fight against the French Socialist government’s vicious new labor law (la loi El Khomri, named for the socialist minister of labor).  This law is another fascist attack, this time on industrial workers, by the French socialist government which is also attacking refugees and immigrants from Africa and the Middle East.  The French imperialists are attacking workers in Syria, Iraq and Africa. Only communism can meet the masses’ needs!
Strikers blocked oil refineries, causing a third of the country’s gas stations to run dry.  Friends have told us they are forced to wait three hours in line at the gas station, if they can find one that still has gas.
Power station, railroad and airline workers joined the strike for a day.  Tens of thousands of youth and workers marched in cities across France.
Le Havre, France’s second-biggest oil port, has been shut down for a week.  Oil depot workers have been joined by truckers and dockworkers who normally load and unload container ships.  Meanwhile, thirty-eight tankers have been stranded at the Fos-Lavera oil port, the nation’s biggest. 
The El Khomri law finishes the job of tearing up the labor code.  It makes it easier for bosses to fire workers, to reduce wages, to increase the work week and to cut overtime rates.  As long as both union and boss agree, almost anything goes.  And with 10% unemployment, it’s easy for a boss to threaten a plant closure to get the union’s agreement.

Only Communism Can Meet Workers’ Needs
In communism there will be no unemployment.  No one will be fired.  The working class will decide what hours of work are reasonable based on how long we need to work to provide for the needs of our class.  For example, oil depot workers would discuss with other workers what is needed in every part of the communist liberated zone.  They would mobilize enough hands to get the work done.
This aspect of communist production has historical precedents.  During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, many steel factories rejected material incentives in favor of production for collective needs.
Communist production allows us to produce for need because we will not be caught up in capitalist competition and the profit-driven productivity rat race.

Need Communist Revolution, Not Reform
There is a lot at stake in this struggle – billions in reduced overtime rates alone.  So the bosses and their socialist flunkeys struck back hard.  They sent riot police to break the blockades at the oil refineries and dipped into their sacred strategic petroleum reserves to reopen some gas stations.  The workers are not finished.  Another day of protest is scheduled for June 2. 
Capitalism is in profound crisis globally and must attack workers at home and abroad.  The French bosses are in such a fix that it may be that nothing short of a rebellion (like May 1968) can win even small concessions, and then only temporarily.  A more likely scenario is that once the workers are worn out with incremental (reform) struggles, the socialist union leaders (supposedly more leftwing) will call it all off.
In the past, socialists and communists would throw themselves into the mass reform struggle and forget about communism.  Their theory was that if communists were seen as hard and successful fighters for reforms, the masses would say, “Hmm maybe I should listen to the reds.” 
This theory never worked in practice.  Instead the masses said, “Hmm those reds say communism is the answer but in practice they put their energy into the militant struggle for reforms.” 
We urge ICWP supporters in France to take Red Flag and communist leaflets to the marches and picket lines.  And for those who are not already members, to join the ICWP.  We should help organize rebellions and political strikes against racist capitalism-imperialism and for communism.  Unlike the French Communist Party in 1968, our goal is the revolutionary seizure of power.
When communist-led workers have state power we will put an end to money, the wage system, and the labor laws that the bosses use (with the Socialists’ help) to keep us in wage slavery.

France 1968: The Struggle Continues


Communism Will Mean Respect, Dignity and Creativity for All

LOS ANGELES, USA--“A supervisor wrote me up for helping an elderly person cross the street,” said an MTA operator. He added, “Recently, they had us go to classes to learn how to be courteous and helpful to elderly and disabled people but when we put into practice what they taught us, we get written up.”
“Yes,” said an MTA operator from another division.  “The reason for MTA’s contradictory behavior is that their main reason for those classes is to avoid lawsuits, to shift responsibility away from the company onto the operator. Liability is the key word.
“The main problem, however, is that MTA wants us to treat all passengers humanely, especially persons with disabilities, while they treat us inhumanely,” added this operator.
Inhumanely! That is the key word! Capitalism is an inhumane system where the capitalists own the means of production and we own nothing but our labor power which we must sell to them for a wage in order to survive.
Thus, they are our masters; we are their wage-slaves. Money is the chain that binds us to them. What is humane about this? Furthermore, they only hire us if we can produce profits for them. This condemns billions of our class to a life of deprivation, and tens of millions yearly, especially children, to actual death.
Can we change this? Can we break the capitalists’ chains with a communist revolution? Can we build a society where we all treat each other with respect and dignity as creative human beings?  Can a communist world without money be better for humanity and the environment? You be the judge.
This fiscal year, MTA bought hundreds of new buses. The ramp which allows persons with disabilities to drive their wheelchairs into the bus has a serious defect.
“The wheel chairs can flip over backwards, especially if there are grocery bags or other bags attached to the back,” explained an operator.
How is MTA dealing with this problem? Were the buses sent back to the manufacturer to repair the defect? No! It is cheaper and more expedient to make the operators responsible for ensuring that the wheelchairs make it safely into the bus.
That means the operator must stop the bus safely, get out and follow the wheelchair passenger onto the bus, walking behind the wheelchair until it is secured. This puts even more pressure on drivers: cutting into their layover, losing a chance to eat something, go to the rest room or relax.
How would communism deal with this problem? Such buses would not exist. Our buses would be designed and constructed with the participation of persons with disabilities and other workers. The engineers, designers and builders would also be the operators, mechanics and service attendants.
With no rush to produce for a market – where capitalists must cut corners to beat the competition – buses and everything produced for human consumption or use would be thoroughly tested to guarantee its safety. If by accident something defective is overlooked, it would immediately be withdrawn.
This can only be accomplished in a society which produces for human need, and is committed to eradicate racism, sexism, individualism, and all other poisonous “isms” pushed by capitalism.
Capitalism sees employed wage slaves as beasts of burden. Even worse, it sees people with disabilities and people without homes as a nuisance and a burden. 
Communism’s guiding principle is “From each according to their commitment and ability, to each according to need.” Thus communism can embrace these class brothers and sisters as truly human beings.
They can contribute to society as creative human beings. Their contributions, like everyone else’s, no matter how little or how much, will be welcomed and appreciated. They and everyone will be treated with dignity and respect. They and everyone else will have at their disposal all the resources to collectively develop their humanity and creativity to the maximum.
No one will be the servant of others.  No one will be the boss of others. With no privileges for anyone, we will all collectively produce and share the fruits of our labor.
Money will no longer rule our lives. It will be consumed in the flames of the communist revolution that will destroy capitalism. ICWP with our paper Red Flag, is organizing this revolution. Join us!

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