Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Revolutionary Communist Party

Steelworker Elections – Time To Dump Abel Machine, Elect Sadlowski

First Published: The Worker for the Milwaukee Area and Wisconsin, Vol. 2, No. 2, November 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The steelworkers rank and file movement is on the upswing – rising up against increasing speed-up, harassment, and contract violations in the steel mills, iron and copper mines, and fabricating shops across the country.

This movement is reflected in the campaign to elect Ed Sadlowski president of the USWA and to break up the Abel-McBride machine that has held back the steelworkers’ struggle these past ten years.

The 1.4 million steelworking men and women who make up the Steelworkers union are beginning a new round of struggle. They’re agitating and organizing: Against the no-strike clause in Basic Steel. In the big mills in places like Gary and Pittsburgh strikes, even a contract time, are not permitted until at least 1980.

–For the right to ratify contracts in Basic Steel.
–Against divide and conquer schemes like government “consent decrees” which pit Blacks and whites against each other.
–For jobs, SUB pay, against subcontracting and job combinations.
–For the $10 cap to be put back on the dues. At places like Harnischfeger, where there’s been a lot of overtime, workers are paying as much as $20 and $25 per month dues.
–Against discrimination.
–For decent across the board strike benefits. The USWA international tries to say that strikers should get benefits according to “need.” Now they’re only $21 a week. What striker doesn’t need that? At Evinrude guys had to last through a 16 week strike with no weekly benefits because of this policy.
–Against “early bird” sellouts like the one the Bucyrus-Erie workers got stuck with 8 months before expiration.
–And against high handed dictatorial control like the takeover of Local 3059.

No one man can turn things around. But the rank and file can use the Sadlowski campaign to disorganize the company forces in the union and to build their own unity and strength.