Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

American Communist Workers’ Movement (Marxist-Leninist)

Class Struggle at the Place of Work!

Published: The Workers’ Advocate, Vol. 4, No. 4, May 1, 1973.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Workers at the place of work, in Buffalo, N.Y., are grasping MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT and the politics of seizure of political power! They are waging MASS DEMOCRATIC, ANTI-FASCIST STRUGGLE against fascist rules and regulations, against suppression of their SACRED RIGHT TO ORGANIZE AGAINST MONOPOLY CAPITALISM AND FOR PROLETARIAN REVOLUTION, and against fascist committees designed to carry out this suppression. The workers have gloriously INITIATED REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATION AT THE PLACE OF WORK. This spark of CLASS STRUGGLE AT THE PLACE OF WORK IS BOUND TO SPREAD.

Bernel Foam Co. in Buffalo employs about 300 workers. Over one half of the workers are women and one fifth are Afro-American. Bernel is quite well known throughout Buffalo as a sweat shop. Historically, the owners of Bernel have tried to maintain an atmosphere of terror and intimidation at Bernel in order to prevent the development of political activity and genuine proletarian organization amongst the workers.

While imposing fascist rules and regulations on the workers, making constant threats against the workers and firing class conscious, active workers, the monopoly capitalist owners of Bernel have also relied on class colloborationist trade unionists, revisionists and trotskyites to lull the workers revolutionary class consciousness and fighting spirit (the union itself at Bernel is actually a company union which was organized by the management several years ago so as to prevent any real defense organization from developing amongst the Bernel workers).

With the formation of the BUFFALO WORKERS REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE of the AMERICAN COMMUNIST WORKERS MOVEMENT (MARXIST-LENINIST) in November, 1972 the situation at Bernel began to change. Because the BUFFALO WORKERS REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE of the ACWM(ML) was a genuine organization of the working class, it carried out widescale propaganda amongst the entire working class of Buffalo for MARXISM-LENINISM MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT and PROLETARIAN REVOLUTION and developed various forms and methods in which workers could participate in the political affairs of the country on the basis of their genuine proletarian interests. This work released the initiative of several Bernel workers who came forward to participate in the program and affairs of the BUFFALO WORKERS REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE. These workers also took an active role in the dissemination of proletarian ideology at their place of work. Widescale discussion was initiated at Bernel on the general line that 1) THE WORKING CLASS MUST BECOME THE RULING CLASS and 2) WORKERS MUST PARTICIPATE IN BUILDING THE COMMUNIST PARTY WHICH CAN LEAD ANTI-FASCIST PROLETARIAN REVOLUTION. Widescale distribution of revolutionary newspapers, the BUFFALO RED STAR and WORKERS ADVOCATE, took place as well as constant discussion on how the monopoly capitalist class exercises its dictatorship on the day-to-day basis over the workers at Bernel. This protracted ideological work of UNITING THE PEOPLE TO STRUGGLE AGAINST THE ENEMY brought about an atmosphere of vigorous daily discussion amongst the workers on MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT and on how to organize revolution and a tremendous spirit of optimism and rebellion prevailed. This greatly enhanced the fighting spirit of the workers and constant small-scale struggles developed against the fascist rules and regulations imposed on the workers by the monopoly capitalist owners of Bernel.

As revolutionary discussion surged forward amongst the workers, the monopoly capitalists at Bernel actively began to encourage and distribute every variety of reactionary, anti-communist propaganda, including fascist shop newsletters. In particular, the revolutionary workers waged sharp ideological struggle against the line of class collaboration and the bankrupt revisionist line that “worker’s greed in working overtime is the cause of unemployment.” With the defeat of these and other counter-revolutionary currents on the ideological front, the monopoly capitalists became completely frenzied and stepped up their fascist harassment, use of fascist rules and regulations, etc. The supervisors and foremen formed a secret fascist committee which began to systematically search the workers and their belongings in the hopes of checking the spread of revolutionary literature the fascist committee also carried out a constant campaign of surveillance and harassment of workers during breaks and on the assembly line, shifting of workers from one department to another, etc. Finally they resorted to an arbitrary suspension of a communist worker who is an active supporter of the BUFFALO WORKERS REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE.

Because the protracted ideological work carried out by the communist workers had helped till the soil for revolution, these fascist attacks on the workers sacred right to DISSEMINATE AND APPLY MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT and HOLD REVOLUTIONARY DISCUSSION AT THE PLACE OF WORK only served to unite the workers more firmly and inspire them to stand up to the fascist rules and regulations and political suppression campaign launched by the management. MASS DEMOCRACY BROKE OUT IN A UNION MEETING when revolutionary workers called upon the meeting to hold democratic discussion in order to sort out what was to be done about the company’s campaign of political suppression. When the trade union flunkeys used bureaucratic rules and regulations to suppress the workers from carrying out democratic discussion on this problem and when one openly sided with the management, the workers fought to carry this discussion through to the end. They declared WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO ENGAGE IN POLITICAL ACTIVITIES. The workers took the line then and there that the union meeting belonged to the workers themselves and not some flunkeys for the management and that the workers have every right to take action against fascist suppression of the distribution of revolutionary literature and that trade union lackeys have no right to suppress the workers from taking this stand and no right to use bureaucratic rules and regulations to do so.

This MASS DEMOCRACY right inside the union meeting sent the monopoly capitalists into a complete panic and they began to further harass the progressive workers and fascistically fired the most active communist worker who had dared to organize in the interests of the working class and oppose the interests of fascism. This new attack only helped the workers to grasp firmly that WITHOUT REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATION THE WORKING CLASS HAS NOTHING. Relying solely on their hands and hearts and under the guidance of MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT the Bernel workers have organized themselves into the BERNEL WORKERS REVOLUTIONARY DISCUSSION GROUP as the best means of carrying their struggle against fascism at the place of work and to organize for proletarian revolution through to the end. The formation of the Bernel Workers Revolutionary Discussion Group is a GREAT EVENT for Bernel workers. For the first time the workers have their own BRIGHT RED REVOLUTIONARY DISCUSSION GROUP, an embryo of political power of the proletariat at the place of work in which to develop and clarify political questions, participate in political affairs and organize themselves against capitalist exploitation and fascist suppression at the place of work.

The struggle of the Bernel workers has several important characteristics:

1) The workers fought in defense of the right to disseminate MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT and it was MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT and nothing else which inspired and led their entire struggle. After many years of suffering under the social-fascist (socialist in words, fascist in deeds) dictatorship of every stripe of revisionist, trotskyite and opportunist organization and ideology, the workers took up MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT and it was this which filled them with boundless enthusiasm and spirit and provide them with a concrete guide to action. IT IS THE SEED OF MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT which has been planted amongst Bernel workers which sparked the struggle and which can never be extinguished.

2) The workers waged political struggle against fascism and fought for the political power of the working class. It was not reformist issues based on ‥a bigger piece of the pie” which led to the revolutionary upsurge at Bernel, but the grasping of the politics of antifascist revolution and seizure of state power and the struggle to build the revolutionary discussion group, embryonic organ of political power of the working class.

3) Protracted ideological work created the conditions for and was the key link in advancing the political struggle.

4)The defeat of fascist and social-fascist ideology necessarily led to the unleashing of fascist rules and regulations on a high level and to the fascist attacks.

5) It was the creation and development of the BUFFALO WORKERS REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE of the AMERICAN COMMUNIST WORKERS MOVEMENT (MARXIST-LENINIST), that is the development of a revolutionary political center of the working class and the widescale dissemination of MAO TSETUNG THOUGHT and the politics of the seizure of state power throughout the entire working class in Buffalo, which created the DECISIVE CONDITIONS for workers at the place of work to come forward and organize themselves as a detachment of the anti-fascist proletarian revolution.