September 16, 2023
From The Militant

At labor day events across the country and other union actions, Socialist Workers Party candidates and supporters are getting a welcome response as they bring solidarity and introduce the party’s program to advance the interests of the working class.

The SWP campaign in Northern California organized supporters to join the Labor Day protest in Oakland, led by more than 1,000 health care workers, members of the SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West. They’re fighting for a better contract with Kaiser Permanente.

Dulce Norberto-Pina, a medical assistant at Kaiser in Modesto, California, said she liked a union placard that read, “I can’t afford to live where I work.”

She told SWP member Andrea Morell that because rents were so high in Modesto until recently her commute was up to three hours. They discussed how unions could be strengthened and the potential for workers to make revolutionary change. Norberto-Pina got Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? Class, Privilege, and Learning Under Capitalism  by SWP national secretary Jack Barnes and a subscription to the Militant. Over the course of the march and rally, 10 participants subscribed.

SWP campaigners are organizing a three-day effort Sept. 22-24 to help put Laura Garza, the party’s candidate for U.S. Senate in California, on the ballot. They’ll collect signatures in Oakland, San Leandro and the Salinas Valley. Garza will be the keynote speaker at a campaign forum in Oakland Sept. 22, along with Margaret Trowe, the party’s candidate for Congress in District 12. A Sunday afternoon barbecue will cap the weekend’s activity.

In Kokomo, Indiana, SWP members John Hawkins and Dean Hazlewood struck up a discussion with two autoworkers at a diner Sept. 30.

Dale Durham told them the heat at the Stellantis casting plant where he works reaches 105 degrees. As a result “safety and quality are gone the last two to three hours of the shift.” Durham added he thought the recent contract signed by Teamsters at UPS was “a victory, in dollars and cents gained.” Where he works, “the two tiers has to go away because it splits workers. They split us apart any way they can think of.”

During a wide-ranging discussion, the SWP campaigners said working people needed to build a movement to lead millions in a revolutionary struggle for workers power. Durham wasn’t convinced. The government, he said, needed “to treat the country as a business.” Both he and his friend got copies of the Militant.

At a Sept. 9 Labor Day march of 300 in Nashville, Tennessee, SWP campaigners spoke with Aleah Gillen, a worker at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill and a member of the United Auto Workers. She told them, “We’re ready to strike if we have to,” because “what the company is offering is just insulting.” Gillen got a subscription to the Militant  and a copy of The Low Point of Labor Resistance Is Behind Us: The Socialist Workers Party Looks Forward  by SWP leaders Barnes, Mary-Alice Waters and Steve Clark.

Along with autoworkers, the event included a contingent of strikers in the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Four Militant  subscriptions and 18 copies of the paper were sold along with 11 books by SWP leaders and other revolutionaries.

To join in campaigning with SWP candidates, contact campaign offices.