Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Jobs, Peace, Equality – The Communist Labor Party

History of Struggle

It is less than two years since the formation of the Communist Labor Party, yet, in this relatively short period of time, the CLP has established its influence and leadership in many of the important struggles facing the USNA working class. This foundation in struggle forms the basis for all future revolutionary activity.

The CLP does not claim to lead the working class at this time, although through its Party press–the People’s Tribune, Tribuno Popular and Western Worker–and the active Party organizations throughout the country it does influence the broad movement of the workers. Our goal is to create the type of Party which will lead the working class; which will have in its ranks the foremost working class and anti-fascist fighters, and can take the scattered battles taking place in the factories, mines, fields, unions, neighborhoods and schools, and bring them together into a mighty revolutionary force which is able to overthrow the rule of the capitalist class, replace it with socialism, and the rule of the workers–the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The CLP was formed on the basis of a long history of struggle. Individuals who attended the First (Founding) Congress brought together the experiences of the working class struggle, covering more than 50 years, and from almost every battlefront. In the ranks of the CLP are to be found comrades who have fought for socialism as lumberjacks, miners, steelworkers, seamen, garment workers, tenant farmers and field hands, cannery and dockworkers. It is these who have committed themselves to carrying the Party’s Program, the leadership of the Party into every corner of the USNA.

Fight for Jobs

Every problem faced by the working class starts with the current economic crisis which has left nearly 10 million people jobless, millions of families impoverished, and city after city facing financial default. It was for this reason that the first effort mounted by the CLP was the Fight for Jobs campaign. The Party raised the demand that the Federal government guarantee productive jobs and decent unemployment benefits for all workers, and called on the workers to organize unemployment councils to wage the fight against the misery left by this crisis of capitalism.

Soon after this call was raised, Party members in the auto industry, which was hardest hit by the crisis, began to raise among the workers and in the UAW the need to demand jobs. In many UAW locals jobs and unemployment committees were formed and Community Service Committees were activated for the first time in many years. In Detroit, a city-wide unemployment council was formed which took the struggle to the city and state government in the form of petitions, public meetings and demonstrations. The fight for jobs had the popular support of hundreds of thousands of auto workers and this popular base forced the UAW leadership to call a Rally for Jobs on February 5, 1975, in Washington D.C. This struggle by the auto workers had the support of workers in all the other industries and the widespread demand for jobs forced the Industrial Union Department of the AFL-CIO to sponsor the April 26, 1975, JOBS NOW Rally, also in Washington D.C. In various places across the country unemployment councils and committees were formed like the one in Los Angeles based in the steel industry, or others like those in Minneapolis, Detroit and Chicago which worked with neighborhood organizations and union locals.

The fight for jobs involves much more than the problem of unemployment. It is the struggle for decent wages and working conditions and the right of workers to organize into unions, it is the fight for decent welfare benefits, and against the outrageous prices imposed on the people by the monopolistic corporations. In many of these struggles, in factories across the country, the CLP has been active.

Jobs with Peace

The capitalist class tries to solve the crisis of capitalism by throwing the burden on the workers and toiling masses world-wide. In the USNA this is through unemployment and cutbacks in social services, elsewhere it is through more intensive imperialist plunder and exploitation which is the forerunner of war and military intervention. The peoples of the US are sick of war–the demand of “No more Koreas and Vietnams!” is deeply felt. Yet, the capitalist class is trying to trick and pull the working class into supporting new military adventures by claiming war, and the preparation for war are the only remedies for the economic crisis. The road to jobs is not war! The road to jobs, decent social welfare benefits and programs is through dismantling the vast wasteful military apparatus created by imperialism. It is for this reason that the CLP has raised the demand: Jobs with Peace. A Productive Job for Every Worker at the Expense of the Military Budget.

The CLP supports the struggle for peace and against US military intervention. Most of the groups and individuals who formed our Party had been active for years in opposition to US aggression against the people of Vietnam and the other countries of Southeast Asia, and had organized against interventions against Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Chile, the Congo, and wherever the US imperialists attempted their bloody work. It was with great satisfaction that the CLP welcomed the victory of the Vietnamese people over US imperialism and the puppet Saigon regime in May, 1975, and it was with equal militancy that we opposed the provocative actions taken against Cambodia in the so-called “Mayaguez Incident” that same month. The Party has always supported the just struggle of the Palestinian people and has organized against any new acts of savagery and intervention in the Middle East by the US and their Zionist goons. We have warned against the plans for new acts of aggression by the US in Korea, a situation where the imperialists have already committed themselves to use nuclear weapons.

Most recently the CLP has worked with many other people to oppose intervention in Portugal and the active intervention by the US in the liberation struggle in Angola. The situation in southern Africa is still explosive, and new designs and threats by the US are being exposed daily. The work for peace will continue by supporting the just struggles of the peoples of southern Africa, and by supporting the efforts of the Cuban government to assist these struggles.

Equal Rights

At present the greatest roadblock to the effective struggle of the working class against the dangers of fascism are the divisions among the workers based on national oppression, in particular the national oppression of Negroes, and Mexican, Indian, Puerto Rican and Filipino national minorities. For the working class to be strong, for it to be victorious in the struggle against the capitalist class we must be united, and the basis of unity must be the struggle against all inequalities among the various peoples making up the US, the freedom of Puerto Rico, Negro Nation, the Philippines, regional autonomy for the Mexican national minority of the Southwest and Indian peoples. This is the importance of the struggle for equal rights.

The CLP has directed itself toward three main struggles to unite the working class–the struggle around busing, the battle against the harassment and deportation of undocumented workers from other countries and the fight against the fascist gangs such as the KKK, Nazi Party, ROAR, and Posse Comitatus.

From the very first hours of its existence our Party has been clear on the question of busing. Busing for the purpose of integration must be supported as one of the chief means of uniting the working class and winning equality for the Negro people. In every major city where the CLP is based our members have worked with NAACP’s, PTA’s, neighborhood groups, and unions around this question, and fought to expose and resist the attempts by fascist groups and reactionary politicians to incite the workers to violence against one another around this question. Boston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Detroit have been the scenes of the battle, and in each place the CLP has worked long and hard to unite the workers and prevent fascist-inspired violence. Most recently, the completely peaceful busing in Detroit’s schools was in large part due to the political leadership of the CLP which united with hundreds of progressive workers in this effort. This struggle is still raging with new confrontations developing in Chicago and Los Angeles and in these and others the CLP will be there.

Particularly hard hit by the economic crisis have been the workers from other countries forced to come here in order to survive. These workers have been forced to live in miserable poverty and in constant fear of physical attacks and deportation raids. The capitalist class has attempted to stir-up hatred against these workers by saying that they are holding jobs rightfully belonging to “Americans” and are wasting tax monies by having welfare and using other social services. It is US imperialism which has plundered the homelands of these workers and forced them to flee in order to survive, and it is the capitalist class which gleefully exploits these workers in the dirtiest, low-paying jobs in order to make huge profits. The CLP through its press, in leaflets, and in its active work takes every opportunity to expose the real conditions of the undocumented worker, and to take active steps against deportation raids in factories and neighborhoods, in organizing legal defense for undocumented workers.

In order to keep the working class divided the capitalist class has sponsored the revival of fascist gangs who rely on the tools of terror and national prejudices to weaken the workers. The CLP has learned the lesson of Germany, Italy and Japan; the most reactionary sections of the capitalist class will never be able to take power without first engaging in a reign of terror against the progressive and militant sections of the working class. If this reign of terror and the gangs which carry it out is stopped, then fascist rule can be stopped. For this reason, and because the main targets of the fascist gangs have been the national minorities, the CLP opposes these gangs. The Party has steadfastly supported the struggle of the miners in Kentucky against the Ku Klux Klan, and in Boston, New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia, we have worked in opposing Klan and ROAR inspired violence. The CLP has adopted the stand of tit-for-tat battle against these gangs so that when the Nazis demonstrated in Chicago, the CLP along with other groups organized counter-demonstrations, when the Nazis lynched a Negro minister in Pasadena, California, the CLP immediately raised the call of protest and retaliation, and in Detroit where groups like MAD and the Klan threatened violence to prevent busing, massive popular opposition was organized.

Because the unity of the working class is vital for any successful struggle against fascism, the Communist Labor Party welcomes the efforts by groups across the country to form an Equal Rights Congress which can direct the many different battles against discrimination and for equality.

A Small Step Forward

While the CLP, through its press, members and Party organizations has been extremely active; there are many more battles which need to be fought. We have made many mistakes in trying to give the workers’ struggles direction and leadership, but we learn from mistakes. Now emerging is the historic struggle between the working class on one side and the capitalist class on the other, in this struggle the working class must have a Party to lead it. This is the Party the Communist Labor Party is trying to build, and the revolutionary work done so far is the foundation on which such a Party will be built!