First Published: Unite!, Vol. 2, No. 6, December 1976-January 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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On November 5, 1976, THE STEELWORKER, a paper of the Revolutionary Communist Party(RCP) pulled together their forces for a demonstration in front of the U.S.W. headquarters in Pittsburgh. On the surface, the demonstration was organized to protest the placing of Local #3059, Babcock and Wilcox Products Division in Alliance, Ohio under administration, on March 5, 1976. In reality, what was accomplished was to pull together RCP cadres from the East Coast area – from Chicago to Baltimore, for a strategy session on how to destroy the U.S.W. and establish their own dual union. In the short run, they have taken the road of supporting Sadlowski to achieve this end – with the argument that Sadlowski’s election would “create better conditions in the union to organize”.
As the STEELWORKER stated,
Sadlowski reflects the sentiments and aspirations of the rank and file for a fighting stance against the company, for the right to strike, for a more unified and democratic union.. .we take up the Sadlowski campaign to put more power, to build more unity, strength and independent action in the hands of the rank and file. (STEELWORKER, Oct. p. 11)
At one time, the RCP used to talk of “limited support” for the trade union bureaucrats, but now this has been dropped all together as the RCP stands closer and closer to the reformists themselves, and comes to shadow the CPUSA on this question, as they do on the Black National Question, and others.
At several plants, the RCP has become a more active organizer for Sadlowski than Sadlowski himself. For example, at one union meeting, the RCP actively organized the younger workers to work for Sadlowski, unveiling a bottle of wine to celebrate the victory after the union local voted to support Sadlowski. The cry was, “things are really going to start moving now!”. The RCP, encouraging this euphoria, even supported the idea that with Sadlowski, the workers might get plush carpet for the lunch room and sex breaks at work, as workers supposedly had gotten in France and Japan.
The revisionist and reformist program of the RCP on Sadlowski and the trade unions bureaucrats must be linked to their fascist opposition to equality in education and to busing, their failure to oppose Soviet social-imperialism and numerous other questions which must be thoroughly exposed and opposed. Many might have thought that the struggle against the RCP, as with the Communist Labor Party and the Progressive Labor Party was over a couple of years ago. In fact, the struggle with the revisionist and reformist line of the RCP (as with the CLP, PLP, and certainly the CPUSA) has only really just begun.