Statement by Róger Calero, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New York City mayor, Oct. 6.
Join me in getting out the word about, and building solidarity with, Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union members on strike at Kellogg’s four cereal plants! Workers there join United Mine Workers members at Warrior Met Coal in Alabama; Massachusetts Nurses Association members at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester; and United Food and Commercial Workers members at Heaven Hill distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky; and others walking picket lines today.
Bosses are pressing to wipe out gains won in previous struggles, cut jobs, speed up work and lower wages — to maximize their profits. Our answer is to build and use our unions to fight back.
For months, bosses and their media told workers we were “essential” during the pandemic and demanded we work harder and longer. We are essential to them — their profits depend entirely on our labor — but only if we are kept in our place. Bosses promised conditions would improve as the epidemic ebbed, but in fact they’re pushing for more.
The Democratic and Republican parties exist to defend the capitalist class’s power. They consider working people to be “deplorables,” as Hillary Clinton said, seeking to regulate and control our lives, including with their cops — who dog every union picket — and the criminal “justice” system.
Central issues in recent union fights are two-tier contracts that deepen divisions among workers, extended work schedules that wreak havoc with family life, and wages that lag behind rising prices. Workers refuse to accept these assaults, using our unions and reaching out for crucially needed support. This creates openings for all workers to build the fighting, disciplined and effective labor movement we need. That prepares the road for a fight to take control of production out of the bosses’ grasp and into workers’ hands.
Breaking with the Democratic and Republican parties and building our own party, a labor party, is crucial. We need a party that speaks as a tribune of the people, acts to overcome divisions promoted by the capitalist class, and fights uncompromisingly against every injustice inflicted on us.
Capitalist rule rests on two things — the exploitation of the toiling majority and their state apparatus. Everything they and their government do is to defend their system. We must organize to defend the interests of our class and its allies, at home and abroad.
Solidarity with the Kellogg strikers!