FIGHT FOR COMMUNISM!
International Communist Workers Party
July 10—A million public-service workers in the United Kingdom walked off their jobs in a one-day strike against austerity wages and cuts to jobs and pensions. Trash collectors, fire fighters, librarians, teachers, health and child care workers and many others marched in fifty cities.
Hundreds of thousands of government workers receive less than the official "living wage." Hundreds of thousands more are on "zero-hour" contracts (laid-off). Teachers also demanded the resignation of the Education Secretary.
Lincolnshire workers (pictured above) marched to "demand the fruits of our labour." The only way for the working class to enjoy the full fruits of our labor is by mobilizing for, and winning, communism.
In order to pass the contract, the union and MTA are bribing the Tier 2 operators with a one dollar an hour wage increase the first year," commented a Los Angeles MTA bus driver angrily. "But, there is much more to this contract than money and most workers don't see it," he added.
And indeed there is! The union hacks are gloating that "this deal provides a wage increase for everyone while….closing the gap between Tier 1 and Tier 2 operators by $1.09." The gap stood at $3.69; it will be reduced to $2.61 by February 2017. At this rate it won't be until 2023 that Tier 2 operators' wages will equal Tier 1's. Yet, they do the same work!
This has been the norm since current General Chairman James Williams negotiated the 1997 contract. Now, he and his cabal are pretending to be knights in shining armor battling this gross inequality, which they knew would save MTA millions. This same contract negotiated part timers' wages never to exceed 80% of those of full timers.
Capitalists use wages to divide us, to try to divert us from seeing that we are one class who can act together against them.
There is no such thing as equality. Workers and capitalists can never be equal. The capitalists own the means of production. We own nothing but our labor power which we must sell to them in order to survive. No wage parity can ever change this relationship. Only a communist revolution can.
Furthermore, wage parity can never make us workers equal to one another. Even if we earn the same wages, we have different material needs that under capitalism can only be met by different amounts of money. Therefore equality under the wage system is more than an illusion: It is an absurdity.
Since communism will eliminate wage slavery, we will contribute according to our ability and commitment, and receive according to need. Communist distribution will be based on satisfying everyone's need regardless of how little or how much we contribute. This is the closest we could come to the idealist concept of equality.
The new contract helps MTA intensify its reign of terror
The many changes to Article 27 also enhance MTA's ability to intimidate, harass, suspend and fire operators. One of those changes makes "fishing" officially permissible. (See letter, page 15.)
When an operator is accused of violating a company rule, the supervisors use the video tape from the bus camera to press charges. "Fishing" is their practice of searching the tape, way before and after the time of the alleged incident, to look for any other violations the operator might have committed.
Operators hate this practice and complained about it. Now the contract states that for minor "infractions, the video review process will be limited to 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the time of the alleged incident." For major infractions, it states that it is 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after.
In March 2012, supervisor Barbara Maycott went "fishing" and stressed Juan Herrera so much that he collapsed in front of Division 15. He was originally accused of not stopping to pick up a passenger. Maycott was unable to confirm this incident from the tape. After "fishing," however, she accused him of not making a complete stop before crossing a railroad track. This calls for a 30-day suspension or termination. It caused Mr. Herrera to collapse.
Later articles will explain other disciplinary rules that allow MTA to more drastically impose their wage slavery on MTA workers.
Vote no against capitalist wage slavery! Reject the contract and help organize a political strike against capitalism and for communism.
SOUTH AFRICA— Red greetings, comrades! The strike by steel and engineering sector workers started on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has more than 220,000 members in this sector on strike.
The employers are holding out for a three-year wage agreement and continued use of the labour broker slavery system.
Whatever the outcome, the capitalists will continue their attack because capitalism cannot be made to meet workers' needs. The contradiction between the masses of workers and the bosses cannot be resolved through reform demands. It is ingrained in capitalism, which must be destroyed with communist revolution.
On July 13, we were joined by three new comrades. They had heard about the ICWP a while ago from word of mouth and promised us to join. But finally, today they made it into our meeting.
In our deliberations, we have come up with a plan to design a simple leaflet that will contain the ICWP Logo, Red Flag and theme "Mobilize the masses for communism" and email address. We plan to distribute these at picket lines and in targeted areas where large numbers of workers are found. We will also distribute Red Flag.
There have been marches organized in all major cities. Workers were all out in their numbers in support of the strike. As usual we were on the march in a major industrial area.
The demands: a 12% wage increase across the board; R1000.00 housing subsidy; Scrapping of labour brokers; a one-year agreement as opposed to a multi-year agreement. The lowest-paid worker currently earns around R5,300.00 ($500 USD) a month. The 12% wage increase, if granted by the employers, would take the average pay to around R6000.00 ($560) a month.
Employers and the union have been engaged in negotiations. The employers revised their offer upwards some in an attempt to end the strike. Employers have used a lock-out clause to lock-out workers. So, workers are picketing outside their workplaces.
Strikers Say: "To Hell with the Economy"
The bourgeois media uses the five-month long platinum strike that ended recently to blackmail engineering workers to bombard us with capitalist economic jargon about the negative effect the strike would have on the already-fragile economy. We are told that in the first quarter the economy has contracted, that it will be downgraded by the rating agencies and thus unable to attract foreign direct investments.
Workers are saying to hell with the economy. In capitalism, when it's in the boom, employers are raking in huge profits and when it is in downturn, they still enjoy big profits while workers are on the receiving end all the time. The steel and engineering sector workers' strike continues!!!
These strikers need to see that the alternative to the bosses' economy is communism, where workers will produce only to meet our needs, with no profits or bosses.
SHUMAYEZA ULUNTU NGOBUKOMANISI
(That's Mobilize the Masses for Communism in Xhosa.)
Numsa has snubbed the revised new offer by employers, but its general secretary added that they are not 'far apart' over a new wage offer of 10% that is tied up with a three-year agreement, use of labor brokers and youth wage subsidy (wage incentive scheme).
Numsa is fighting the wage incentive scheme, which displaces older employees. Its leaders took to the workers for consideration a "new revised offer" from employers, mediated by the ministry of labour: 10% year-1, 9.5% year-2, 9% year-3. Numsa rejected outright an attempt by employers to sneak in a two-tier labour market (paying below rate to the new-entrants).
For now, the demands for a one-year agreement, a ban on labor brokers and housing allowance seem to be relegated to oblivion.
Contract negotiations only set the terms of our exploitation as wage slaves, whatever the wage increase. Wages are the chains that bind us to capitalism.
At a recent party meeting, comrades shared their own personal experiences. It was a moving moment, comrades relating their stories at the hands of employers with poor and unsafe working conditions and meager take-home pay. That is the nature of capitalism. Workers must destroy it.
Phambili ICWP Phambili! As we were deliberating on a number of issues it became evident that communist revolution will sweep away the remnants of Queen Elizabeth and all the monarchies along with General Motors and the whole capitalist system.