Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

OL Holds Second Labor Conference

First Published: The Call, Vol. 2, No. 3, December 1973.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Meeting with great enthusiasm and a high spirit of proletarian internationalism, more than 200 people, representing over 25 communist groups and organizations, from the U.S. and abroad, took part in the October League’s Conference on Communist Work in the Labor Movement.

The conference, which was held in Chicago during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, was the second of its kind held by the October League. The program of the conference included speeches, panel discussions and workshops designed to give direction to the work of communists in the growing rank-and-file movement.

The loudest applause was heard as speakers from other countries gave solidarity speeches. These included the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU); Mouvement Revolutionnaire Etudiants de Quebec; and the Committee to Defend the Democratic Rights of Haitian Workers.

The keynote speaker was Odis Hyde, a veteran of 40 years of activity in the communist movement, who spoke on the great communist tradition in the labor movement and in the Black liberation struggle. He told of his own experiences in working with communists in the great steel struggles in which the Black community was deeply involved in the Chicago area. He pointed out how the organizers made every workers’ struggle a community struggle and every community struggle a workers’ struggle.

Discussing the betrayal of the CPUSA in the past 20 years, Odis Hyde told of how moved he was at seeing the new communist movement emerging again as a force within the working class and Black liberation struggle.

The next presentation was made by Michael Klonsky, October League Chairman, who spoke on “The Present Crisis and the Tasks of Communists.” Klonsky showed how the deepening crisis in the imperialist system has led to an intensification of the fascist offensive against the working and oppressed people.

Pointing to the mounting discontent with Nixon’s policies, Klonsky said that communists must be in the forefront of the struggle to “Dump Nixon and Stop the Fascist Tide.” While maintaining their independence and initiative, he said that communists cannot stand on the sidelines of this important anti-fascist struggle.


The conference heard a presentation of “The National Question and Labor” by Sherman Miller who showed how the struggle for the democratic rights of Black and other minority people, must be a central part of our work in the labor movement.

The conference had a panel on “Organizing the Women, which included a speaker from DARE, a branch of the Chicago Women’s Union which has been active in fighting for the rights of women workers.

Another panel had people active in the struggles of the farmworkers, the Oneita textile workers, the Farah strikers and the Gulf coast Pulpwood Assoc., summing up the main lessons of those important strikes.

Some of the groups taking part in the conference were: August 29th Movement; Black Workers Organizing Committee;. Cincinnati Workers Unity League; DARE; East-Bay labor Collective; El Comite; Guardian Newspaper; Gulfcoast Pulpwood Assoc.; Haitian League of Marxist-Leninists to Support the Parti du Travaillers Haitienne; I Wor Kuen; J-Town Collective; League of Revolutionary Black Workers (Chicago); lawyers active in labor work Prairie Fire Book Store (Houston); Struggle Collective (Boston); Tampa Socialist League; and friends from Boston; Cincinnati; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; New Orleans and other areas in the South; Portland; Louisville and other cities.

In the next few weeks, a newsletter summing up the conference will be made available by The Call.