Unions & politics

Workers' Liberty 3/3: Factory bulletins from the early communist movement and today

Whole publication as pdf Introduction: agitate, educate, organise Producing Tubeworker Leafleting on the Manchester Ship Canal "Workers can't write newspapers? Really? Just tell us some news about your factory" Essential tools (by Leon Trotsky) Extracts from a factory newspaper (Germany, early 1920s) A factory bulletin by Vladimir Lenin "Factory newspapers riled the employers from the beginning" Images from the factory bulletins

US unionists pass historic general strike vote

This report from Daniel Randall as Assistant Chair of the Bakerloo branch of the RMT rail union is taken, with thanks, from RMT London Calling, the website of RMT London Transport Region.. Three activists from the RMT Bakerloo branch attended, via Zoom, the Saturday 21 November convention of the Vermont State Labour Council (AFL-CIO) as observers. The convention was attended by nearly 100 delegates and guests, from local union branches and campaign groups, as well as a number of elected city councillors. As a state-wide federation, the rough equivalent to the Vermont AFL-CIO in the British...

Chasing the conservatives

Friday 27 November saw an online launch of Paul Embery’s book, Despised: Why the Modern Left Loathes the Working Class, sponsored by The Full Brexit, a group which promotes the fantasy that Brexit is an “historic opportunity… for restoring popular sovereignty.” Embery is a well known proponent of “Blue Labour,” the idea that a moderately social-democratic project in the Labour Party can be reinvigorated only if it also promotes conservative social values, not just Brexit but supporting immigration control, opposing Black Lives Matter, lauding Britain as a Christian country, and supporting...

Thirteen murdered working-class women

The death of the killer of thirteen women has elicited an apology from the police for the methods and the language they used during their investigation. The role of the press and they way that they portrayed the victims has also come in for some heavy criticism. Which is right. When you hear their language in the context of today, it is shocking. But in the context of the time it was happening, the police and press fitted right in with the culture that affected all women. Those who had the advantage of class and money had at least some protection from the effect of sexist attitudes on their...

US workers plan for Trump coup

Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants, has been vocal about workers' action to block a Trump coup Last week we interviewed David Van Deusen, President of Vermont State Labor Council (AFL-CIO), about their plans for strikes if Donald Trump attempts to steal the election. On 30 October, the Labor Council reported on a discussion organised by the new Labor Action to Defend Democracy coalition: “Vermont AFL-CIO was pleased to be on a zoom call with 99 key labour leaders from around the US tonight in order to discuss our role in the defense of democracy should there be a...

US: "Mobilise on the streets"

Traven Leyshon, a socialist and trade unionist in Vermont, spoke to Sacha Ismail from Solidarity on 3 November, polling day for the US presidential and congressional elections. This is a very tense country now. There’s a widespread perception among the Trump supporters that there’s going to be violence from the left. They expect their homes and cars to be vandalised after the election if Trump wins, and in general rioting in the streets “from the other side”. It’s a deep paranoia. I guess it goes along with fairly widespread acceptance of conspiracy theories, and it’s been fed and built up by...

"If Trump attempts a coup, all bets are off"

David Van Deusen is president of the Vermont State Labor Council AFL-CIO, the state's union federation. He spoke to Sacha Ismail from Solidarity about how the labour movement can resist a Trump coup. There’s a real possibility that Donald Trump will lose this election, outright, but manipulate the process and use his powers as President to refuse to go. This is not a fringe idea – our United States Senator, Bernie Sanders, is rightly banging the drum about it too. It’s a real possibility, and no joke. There’s various ways it could happen – there could be attempts to discount certain ballots...

Howie Hawkins interview, part 2: "We need a left party that organises in the unions"

Howie Hawkins, a socialist running in the US presidential election on the ticket of the Green Party, spoke to Stephen Wood from Solidarity. Part 1 of this interview was in Solidarity 567. Workers’ Liberty backs Hawkins in the election. Bernie Sanders, during the Democratic primaries, was clear about his policies. But it looks like now he’s making almost no demands on Biden? Bernie Sanders is saying if we get Joe Biden in there, we can push him. But in the course of this campaign, he’s compromised on his signature issue, Medicare for All. He went on MSNBC and said: I’m willing to compromise to...

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