The Workers' Advocate Supplement

Vol. 4 #7


July 20, 1988

[Front page: Jesse Jackson and the politics of empty promises]


From the Communist Party of Iran:

The split in the KDP and May Day news......................... 2

From the Nicaraguan Workers' Press:

Who are the turbas?.......................................................... 5
Elitism in education.......................................................... 6
At the "GRACSA" cooking oil enterprise........................ 7

From Swedish "Red Dawn":

Swedish workers upset at concessions …........................ 8

Guilford workers win 7 month rail strike......................... 9
Postal worker news........................................................... 10
U.S. labor hacks vs. French workers................................ 11
Defend women workers at Great Lakes Steel.................. 12
Inland Steel demands concessions.................................... 12

Correspondence: On USMLO.......................................... 13

Jesse Jackson and the politics of empty promises

News from the Communist Party of Iran:

From the Nicaraguan workers' press:








Jesse Jackson and the politics of empty promises

Below is one of the speeches from this year's MLP May Day meeting in Seattle. It has been edited for publication.


The representatives of Jesse's Rainbow are ecstatic:

"We are on the cutting edge of history." (Zeta Magazine, May Louie, New England Coordinator, Rainbow Coalition)

Or, say the LRS cheerleaders for Jesse:

"As the Jackson campaign heads into New York-propelled by his big victory in Michigan--hope is surging across the country."

Are we "sectarians" missing the historical boat? Is Jackson succeeding in turning that old flea-bitten nag, that sweet-talking but imperialist-acting Democratic Party, into a source of hope for the working masses?

Well, no, only in the delusions of social-democrats and liquidators.

But Jackson's recent electoral successes, on Super-Tuesday, in Michigan, and so forth, are significant. Marxists believe that elections under capitalism are a test of the political maturity of the working people. And the results of the Democratic primaries clearly show two things:

In the first place, a large section of working people, white and black, are fed up with the Reagan-led attacks of the capitalists. Jackson has an image, though unwarranted, as a radical; an image, though unwarranted, as an agitator for mass struggle; an image, though unwarranted, as a fighter against racism, interventionism, and so on and so forth. And many people are voting for him because this is what they want to see develop politically in the U.S. This radicalism has apparently grown a fair amount since the 1984 primaries, when Jackson did not run that much different a campaign, but received far fewer votes. So the first point is that a yearning for political radicalism is on the rise.

In the second place, Jackson's success shows a lack of political sophistication; a lack of the ability to see through and be contemptuous of reformist frauds; a lack of ability to reject black bourgeois politicians fishing for voting capital which they want to cash in to the big bourgeoisie for the real thing. So the second point is that there is political naivete.

The radicalism is encouraging; the credulousness defines an important task for a revolutionary: to clarify the main outlines of the fraud of how Jackson manipulates the people's anti-Reagan sentiments.

Our Tactic is to Stress the Struggle Against Reaganite Reaction

Most people voting for Jackson are trying to find a way to hit back at Reaganism. We like this aspect of things. If we approached people by just firing away at Jackson's considerable faults, we might give people the wrong impression that we are somehow not concerned enough with fighting Reaganism, and so on. So we like to preface things by stressing the necessity for the anti-Reagan struggle -- and from there, go on to point out that Jackson's line (and that of the Democrats in general) has very little to do with this struggle.

Jackson is Not for the Mass Struggle

Jackson leans heavily on being identified with his participation in the Civil Rights Movement of the '60s. It is said that he marched against the war in Vietnam. And today he regularly appears at workers' picket lines and speaks at anti-war rallies.

But just because he shows up, doesn't mean he's for the struggle. The question is what policy does he stand for?

In the '60s he pushed "nonviolence" and "turn the other cheek", which placed him squarely in opposition to the militant path of the black people's movement, the path of active resistance to racist attacks. In short, Jackson was schooled in being a "firefighter" against the mass struggle. Since then, he has jetted around the country on such missions. In 1980, for example, in opposition to the black rebellion in Miami following a police murder, and also in Buffalo that same year. In recent years, in place of the fight against racism, Jackson sought negotiated "covenants" with various corporations to get a small number of blacks high managerial positions. In short, this amounted to the threat of a boycott by the masses, to benefit a tiny few. This firefighting and this sellout of the working masses continues in the present.

We have also exposed Jackson's attitude toward the strikes that he shows up at. Jackson explicitly denounces the "struggle against the capitalist class" and calls for workers to instead vote for him and his "workers' bill of rights". Someone may argue for or against the planks in his bombastic "bill of rights", but it is clear as day that he is not for the workers' mass struggle.

Jackson is Opposed to the Mass Anti-Racist Struggle

For Jesse, the anti-racist struggle is solely the struggle to advance his fortunes and that of the rest of the black upper strata. The mass struggle be damned. He believes in the system. After all, there may be racist attacks from time to time, but

"the law is swift to apprehend it, because we marched and we achieved racial justice under the law."

Apparently the need for mass marches and struggles has disappeared. No wonder that, in New York City last year, Jackson refused to support a march against the racism of Mayor Koch. He said this would be divisive.

Or take his stand at the University of Michigan when students were taking, over administration buildings to protect a series of racist incidents. Jackson opposed their militant actions and cast doubt on the struggle against racism itself, equating the mass struggle against racism with racist attacks under the category of "racial violence". He stated that:

"We've seen a rise in racial incidents. Still, the fight against racism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry is the right cause but the wrong agenda. We've already fought those battles and made them socially unacceptable and illegal. This generation's agenda must be to fight together to stop a factory from closing, to stop farm auctions, to reduce tuition costs, to make housing and medical care affordable--the kids should be fighting", on these solid agenda items....This generation must not engage in racial violence. We must end economic and environmental violence."

Of course, if you do fight together against factory closings etc., you will find that Jesse preaches that the class struggle is wrong, instead one needs to petition Congress.

But if "we've seen a rise in racial incidents", then why. can't we fight together against them also? And why is this called "racial violence" if not to depict the anti-racist fight as senseless? And if racism is now illegal, which supposedly solves the problem, why has there been "a rise in racial incidents"? I guess we can't expect consistency from someone like this; someone who is trying to posture as the leader of black people on the one hand, while on the other denying that the fight against racism remains a "solid agenda item" in the USA!

This has got to be one of the bigger ironies of the whole Jackson shibboleth. A reputation based on his alleged anti-racist, civil rights credentials, yet he is denouncing the fight against racism.

The Price of Working Within the System

What is the basis for this?

The basic thing is the increasing polarization between the classes among the black people. In the wake of the black rebellions of the '60s, the bourgeoisie consciously decided to give some additional room for the black bourgeoisie to develop. The goal was to create a contented, buffer class that would work to keep things quiet. And Jesse Jackson represents this class.

But now we are in a presidential election campaign, and there is some interesting history of the Democrats' inner-Party discussion that sheds some further light on Jackson's denunciation of the anti-racist movement.

In 1984, after Mondale's landslide defeat in November, the Democratic Party bigwigs began discussing how to reverse their fortunes. Jackson talked with Garter's ex-aide Bert Lance. Lance stated in a U.S. News & World Report interview in November 1984:

"Democrats will remove the chances of polarization if Rev. Jesse Jackson continues to move in that direction in dialogue and consultation with Southern party leaders and elected officials. But, frankly, as long as you make it a white-black issue, then Democrats have got distinctive problems."

Lance's claim is that if the Democrats even pretend like they are opposing racism then they will supposedly lose the white vote, and he is counting on Jackson to keep the black people in line. And right at this time Jackson adopted the "let!s move from the racial battleground to the economic common ground" rhetoric.

In the 1984 campaign, Jackson met with George Wallace and praised him as a man of "charisma and grace". He spoke in the Alabama legislature and hailed Jefferson Davis, president of the Slave Owners Rebellion in the Civil War. "He supped with segregationist ex-governor of Arkansas Orval Faubus.

This must have suited Bert Lance, but was apparently not enough. All talk against racism had to cease to satisfy the Democratic Party bigwigs and their "southern strategy".

Well, Jackson has done as told. He fights as hard as he can against Lance's dreaded "polarization", whether that polarization is between workers and capitalists or racists and anti-racists. And in his 1988 campaign he continues to reconcile with notorious southern racists, quoting George Wallace approvingly while walking arm-in-arm with racist Mayor Smitherman of Selma, Alabama, who was notorious for using the police against civil rights marchers.

This is not leading, or even supporting, the anti-racist struggle. It is selling it out. It is unity with the big bourgeoisie against the black masses.

Jackson's Program: 10,001 Promises--or-- "His mind is a pearl, give him a whirl"

After hearing all this, some people might say "well, Jesse may not be for the mass movements, including the anti-racist fight; but he sure has a bunch of nice policies." And I don't deny that he promises the moon.

To quote from his mass circulation tabloid: "When Jesse Jackson wins, jobs win. Education wins. Health care wins. Livable wages win. Equal protection under the law wins. A workers' Bill of Rights wins. Childcare wins and economic justice wins. Jesse Jackson provides the Bold Leadership to move us in a New Direction. Vote for Jesse Jackson--and we all win."

Of course, if we all win, then no one loses; no class has interests in opposition to another; the oppressed have no enemies; so there is no need for struggle of the poor against the rich.

But if the classes in society do not have opposing interests, why can everyone be made to win and be happy only now, in 1988? Why didn't someone think up Jesse's program sooner and make everyone happy earlier? After all, is it so difficult to formulate: "drugs out, jobs in" or "repeat these words: down with dope, up with hope. All the way, 88. Jackson Action." Or "the dope pushers, they don't wear hoods, they are hoods, and they are in your neighborhood." Why did it take Jesse Jackson to help us find the way?

Lacking an explanation, we can only conclude that we lacked the GREAT MAN. If he'd only arrived sooner, we'd have been spared all this strife and suffering. Here we see the Jesse Jackson campaign as a messianic crusade; perhaps this explains some of the evangelical fervor.

And Jesse Jackson contributes to the messianic atmosphere: "If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it." And "My mind is a pearl; I can do anything in the world."

The method in the Jesse Jackson campaign is to advance a demand for just about every section of s the population (except the oppressed minorities). You gotta problem? Jesse's gotta program:

•National childcare

•Uniform national income benefit

•National health care

•Double federal funding for education

•Big increase in teachers' pay

•Raise the minimum wage

•Jobs for all through federal investment in housing roads, bridges and the environment.

You don't believe in Jesse's concept of the super-harmony of classes whereby all win? Well and good, he's got lots of populist rhetoric against "corporate greed"--just for you. And, sure enough, he's also got a program, his "Corporate Code of Conduct". But rest assured, Bert Lance and the Chamber of Commerce, this program is less demanding than even sending America's Chief Executive Officers to Sunday School for one morning.

Jackson's policies, or promises, can be put into three categories:

a) Programs that would benefit the masses, but which are expensive and therefore can only be achieved (and even then generally only partially so); if there are powerful mass battles that wrench such concessions from the rich. For instance, a national health plan that provides quality care to all, including the poorest, and is not financed by bleeding the lower-paid workers to death; national childcare similarly.

b) Policies that are impossible under capitalism/imperialism. For example, this would include his promise that under his presidency the monopoly capitalist state would uphold international law, self-determination and human rights, support international economic justice and development, raise the standard of living in the Third World. In other words, that imperialism would cease to be imperialism.

c) Polices that are possible, but are either formulated to look decent, but aren't, or are even straight-up harmful or reactionary. This includes his whole shibboleth about investing in America (which involves stealing from pension funds). This includes his pro-"humanitarian" contra aid line. (Naturally, he claims to be both for the Arias Peace Pact, and also against all contra aid, which is self-contradictory.) This includes his recent pandering to Zionist Israel (he would talk to the PLO--once they recognized Israel's right to exist) in which he seeks to neutralize the PLO as enemies of Israel.

This also includes his occasional cold war rhetoric, such as in his April 16 interview with the New York Times where he said:

"There must be no place on earth off limits to American influence."

Of course, this is the language of gunboat diplomacy... and what a coincidence, Jesse supported Reagan's attacks on Iranian oil rigs in the Persian Gulf a few months ago.

In general, the straight-up reactionary statements are Jackson's pledges to the big bourgeoisie that he will be a "responsible, moderate" politician.

And his promises of an all-round great standard of living for everyone? This is his main appeal to the masses. This is reformism. Not the intention to reform capitalism into utopia. No, there is no serious intention to try to carry through. Jackson's program is the hollow, fraudulent promising of reforms to undermine the desire for mass struggle against the rich. And yet only this mass struggle can actually wrench some concessions for the masses. And what is more important in the long run, this mass struggle is a training ground of revolutionary class struggle. It is precisely this training that the Jesse Jackson's of the world take it upon themselves to block.

Utopianism and the Desire for Change

But Jackson's promises are so all-encompassing that it must be an appeal to socialist, or at least utopian, feelings among those who plow through all his position papers or read a lot of his speeches.

This reformist "utopianism", if it may be called that, may explain some of the mass interest in Jackson. His motto is "Bold Leadership for a New Direction". Of course, hollow promises are neither bold or a new direction, but they can have that appearance to the naive. Large numbers of people have socialist aspirations and the decaying conditions inspires the desire for boldness.

Well, the Marxist-Leninist strategy is both socialist and bold. We revolutionary Marxist-Leninists don't have Jackson's magic elixir, his snake oil. We only know of socialism through seizure of state power by the organized proletariat; of the vesting of the state power in the hands of the armed workers; of the construction of a new society freed of the exploitation of person by person. We know of socialist democracy to draw the ever-increasing numbers of workers into the actual organization of everything, unleashing their enthusiasm, their creativity and unlimited energy. This is the only "magic" we know of. But it is the magic of reality, not the cocaine of hollow promises.

This is the path of socialist revolution. It is the step by step expropriation of the bourgeoisie and the turning over of the means of production to social ownership. It is the reorganization of the entire economy on a planned basis to serve the all-round interests of the working people.

The technological and material basis for a new society already exists. For abolishing homelessness, hunger, lack of medical care, etc. etc. What is lacking is the political and social organization of society capable of mobilizing the resources created by the working people through the ages. Today it is all wasted on Stealth bomber/B-l/Trident/MX/Midgetmen/Star Wars militarism; wasted on corporate takeovers and mergers and all the corruption of War Street; wasted on the extravagant consumption of the super-rich; wasted in joblessness and despair.

Thus who think that capitalism is the highest social organization humankind is capable of achieving are not good students of history. Capitalism will in the end prove to be completely incapable of preventing the birth of workers' socialism all over the world.

Jackson and the Old Society

But Jackson is not seeking a new society. He is seeking a place at the table of the rich and powerful of the present society. Jackson is seeking this reward from the Democrats in exchange for hitching as many people as possible to the Democrats for the elections. Similarly, his campaign has a disintegrating effect on mass struggles.

But Jackson's successes are about as weighty and substantial as the hollow promise of his program. Disillusionment with the Democrats is an entrenched trend among the working people. They've seen eight years of collaboration with Reaganism. The question is: when will this disillusionment with the Democrats spill over and be combined with a burning desire to participate in the struggle for social change? It is hard to say. But it can happen fast.

The Specter of 1968

1988 is the twentieth anniversary of the tumultuous events of 1968. The bourgeois media is noting this fact, doing a lot of nostalgic whining for the rock n roll, and talking about the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

But the really outstanding thing about 1968 was the massive black rebellions that following the murder of King and which trampled all over his defeatist, pacifist tactics of non-violence and "turn the other cheek".

The outstanding thing about 1968 was the massive exposure of the Democratic Party and the police riot against the protesting youth at the Democratic Party' convention, youth who fought back courageously on a wide scale.

The outstanding thing about 1968 was the explosion of mass struggle.

In 1968 a mass trend of revolutionary opposition to both political parties of the rich was set loose among the youth of the black, Chicano and anti-war movements. Actually, it was more like thirty varieties of revolutionary trends were kicked loose, all of them confused. But it happened.

What was lacking was a conscious vanguard for the struggle, a rallying core. Even a small core could have grown rapidly, and provided orientation and confidence to the struggle. But precious time was lost, and an upsurge does not last forever. Today we have the experience of this struggle, and of the following years, embodied in the form of the Marxist-Leninist Party. We must ensure that the next upsurge is not frittered away, and the only way is by building this Party, so that revolutionary communism can grow and thrive in the coming upsurge. This May Day, we must rededicate ourselves to keeping the Party's flag flying. <>

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News from the Communist Party of Iran:


The following articles are from the June 15-30 issue of Report, a biweekly newsletter of the Communist Party of Iran--The Committee Abroad.



The presence and the daily activities of the Kurdistan Organization of the Communist Party of Iran -- Komala has given another character to Kurdistan. These activities have forced the bourgeois Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), in the continuation of its aggressive policies, to act militarily against the workers and Komala. This aggression is primarily rooted in the KDP itself being isolated among the working masses of Kurdistan who have become more and more conscious of the aims and--policies of Komala and have gathered under the banner of communism. In order to come out from this isolation and uproot any sign of communism which is growing every day despite the KDP's bourgeois-nationalist propaganda, the KDP began an organized military attack against Komala a few years ago.

On 16 Oct. 1984, the leadership of the KDP ordered an attack on Komala members and Peshmargas (armed communist fighters) in Oraman (in the south of Kurdistan) in which a number of cadres and Peshmargas were murdered. From this date, there has been a class war between the KDP and Komala in Iranian Kurdistan. By continuing this war, the KDP tries, firstly, to prevent any communist activity by Komala and the development of socialist consciousness among the workers and toilers of Kurdistan; secondly, to show its favorability as a bourgeois current in Kurdistan to the imperialist bourgeoisie. Komala replied to the KDP's armed attacks with an armed offensive and carried out its political work. Komala thus succeeded in defending democracy and the right of political activity in Kurdistan, and to protect, uphold and extend workers' struggles and their communist consciousness.

It is now three and a half years since the outbreak of the war between Komala and the KDP. Even before the start of the war with Komala, but especially since its outbreak, the KDP has been in a continuous political and organizational crisis. As a result, different factions have developed within the KDP, namely, the rightist pro-west (European Social-Democratic) faction, and the pro-Soviet faction, which defends the line of forming an alliance with other organizations and groups against the Islamic Republic regime, and which opposes Komala strongly.

The background to the present crisis of the KDP dates back to its 6th Congress in the autumn of 1983. In this congress a number of cadres of this party from the central committee and other organs were gradually purged. Ghasemlou, the general secretary of the KDP, managed to keep his position and policies with a small majority. After the 7th Congress too, many more high-ranking members were dismissed from the party.

This crisis eventually reached Its peak in the 8th congress which was held in early January this year. In this congress, the KDP split into two. One section calls itself the "Kurdistan Democratic Party--the Revolutionary Leadership" and includes many members of the Central Committee, the Politburo and cadres. The other section is the KDP with the leadership of Ghasemlou.

The Central Committee of Komala has commented on this split in a recent statement entitled "The present situation of the KDP and an end of the war between Komala and the KDP in Kurdistan". Here we publish some paragraphs from this statement:

"Time After time we have asked the KDP to refrain from an aggressive offensive against Kurdish workers and toilers and those forces who have raised the banner of the workers' cause in Kurdistan and won their support and sympathy. We have asked the KDP on many occasions to respect democracy in Kurdistan and the conditions of free activity of workers and parties. We warned the KDP that it cannot force Komala, with an armed offensive, to compromise on its policies and aims. We have warned the KDP that these attempts yield nothing but weakening of the struggle of the Kurdish masses against the Islamic Republic regime and the isolation and loss of credibility of the KDP itself. The successive military defeats of the KDP against Komala and its split today only prove our warnings and judgements about it.

"Komala stood firm against the reactionary war policy of the KDP. Our aim was to show the KDP the futility of this policy and provide conditions in which our forces would be able to, without any hindrance from the KDP, carry out their fight against the reactionary Islamic Republic regime. Today, the KDP has reached a stage, from the point of view of its practical abilities, that it is no longer capable of seriously hindering Komala's work. Thus, since our aim is not to take revenge on KDP, but to achieve a situation where democracy is maintained for carrying out consciousness-raising work among the workers and where the basic rights of the working people and the freedom of political organizations and parties for activity is not violated, and also with respect to the interests of the revolutionary movement of the Kurdish people against the Islamic Republic regime, we on our part hereby declare a cease-fire and the termination of conflict with both factions of the KDP..." <>


The military attacks of the Islamic Republic regime (IRR) and its pressures against the people in Kurdistan have continued unabated in the past few months. People in Kurdistan face murders, shelling, compulsory arming, deportations, the hunting of youngsters for military service at the war fronts, etc. On the other hand, the struggle of the working and toiling masses has not diminished and still continues. Here we publish the latest news of the attacks by the IRR and the resistance and struggles of the people:

Demonstration against the IRR

In February, people of the town of Mahabad, especially the students, demonstrated against the IRR. A number of students, who were forced to take part in the official celebrations of the anniversary of the 1979 uprising, turned the official demonstrations into a demonstration against the IRR by chanting slogans such as "Down with the Islamic Republic" and singing revolutionary songs.

A number of students were arrested but later released.

In the same town, people compelled the armed forces of the IRR to leave the town. This happened on 21 March (New Year's Eve). On this day, many people, in keeping with the New Year tradition, gathered in the main square and lit a bonfire. The official forces tried to disperse the people and prevent them from celebrating, but people started to throw stones at them, and forced them to leave the area.

Compulsory conscription

It is more than 8 years since the beginning of the reactionary Iran-Iraq war. Right from the start, in order to keep the fire of this devastating war burning, the IRR tried to recruit the youth. This policy has been implemented throughout the country to different degrees and has met the people's resistance.

The people of Kurdistan have stood firm against this policy from the first day of the war. People have struggled in different ways: by demonstrations, by sit-ins in front of government buildings, by armed actions, boycotts, by hiding the youngsters in their homes and providing them with facilities to escape the town.

In the last few months, too, this struggle has continued. In the town of Baneh (in the southwest of Iranian Kurdistan), the recruiting department of the"army announced to the public that all those eligible for military service must come forward. But people took no notice of this call. The regime's forces than attacked the town and stayed there 4 days to hunt the youngsters. But people stood firm against them and did not let them take anybody.

At the end of April, too, the armed forces of the IRR attacked the town once again. They surrounded the local cinema (where they hoped to capture most of the teenagers and young people). People rushed there and tried to stop them from arresting the. youth. To disperse the crowed, the soldiers fired in the air. More than 500 people gathered by the central headquarters of the Pasdaran and shouted: "Shootings against the people must be stopped at once, and those committing these crimes must be punished!

The regime has tried to implement this policy in many other cities of Kurdistan such as Sardasht and Marivan, but has not succeeded fully. <>


10,000 participate in May Day celebration in Sanandaj

May Day celebrations have great significance both for the Islamic Republic regime and for the workers of Iran. To prevent any independent action by the workers, the Islamic regime tries itself to organize official rallies and meetings on the 1st of May. By forcing workers to participate in its rallies, the regime also tries to show that the majority of Iranian workers support' is rule. But not a single year passes without workers refusing in different ways to take part in these official ceremonies. As an expression of protest, they boycott official meetings and rallies, and where possible organize their own independent May Day celebrations.

This year, too, workers at different factories put down their tools and organized their own independent May Day rallies. The biggest May Day assembly whose news we have received so far was held in Sanandaj (the main city in Iranian Kurdistan). This is the second year that the workers and toilers of Sanandaj have held May Day celebrations magnificently. Last year more than 2,000 men and women workers took part in the May Day action, and while chanting revolutionary slogans, marched through the city. At the end of the march, workers held a rally in which an 18-point resolution containing the most urgent demands of the workers was read out and then passed.

This year, May Day was celebrated with 10,000 participants. A few days before May Day, workers' representatives from different branches called on the local offices of the Labor Ministry to get a venue for their rally. Initially they were refused a place, but later the officials gave in. However, certain conditions were attached. These were as follows: 1) nobody should break his fast (it was the religious month of Ramadan when everybody has to fast); 2) women should observe Islamic outfit and Hajab (covering their body from head to toe); 3) the celebration must begin with recitations from the Koran; 4) there should be no music or songs; 5) the speakers at the rally must have the approval of the authorities about what they want to say; 6) nobody should cover his face while delivering a speech; and finally 7) the person in charge of the whole celebration must be a government official.

In open disregard of official restrictions, the workers used the place without paying any attention to the conditions laid down by the authorities, and thus organized their program according to their own arrangements. On May Day more than 10,000 people gathered in the city school which was the rallying place for the day, and celebrated the international workers' day.

The celebration began with the singing of the Internationale. One of the workers took the floor and talked about the history and importance of May Day, and of the struggles of the working class. He also explained, why capitalism brings about unemployment, low wages, rising inflation, homelessness, lack of proper health care, lack of safety at work, and even denies the Iranian workers rights such as the right to free organization and assembly which their fellow brothers and sisters have won in certain other countries.

Other workers also talked about the conditions bf the working class in Iran and the necessity of a united struggle by workers to uproot capitalist exploitation and suppression.

Speaker after speaker was applauded by the people who in response chanted revolutionary slogans such as "Long live socialism" and "Long live the Communist Party of Iran".

This May Day celebration took place under conditions in which the regime's functionaries were trying to disrupt this independent workers' action by provocation and threats. The regime's military forces were also put on full alert and large number of guards were sent to patrol the streets in order to intimidate the participants in the May Day rally. On this day the workers of Sanandaj once again showed their unity, strength and determination against the rule of the capitalist Islamic regime in Iran. They also demonstrated their determination to fight for socialism. <>

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From the Nicaraguan workers' press:


Every now and then the Sandinista leadership threatens the right-wing with mass mobilization. But likely as not, they are referring to unleashing the "turbas". Who are these turbas and what role do they play in Nicaraguan workers' movement?

The following article appeared in the April 1-15 issue of Prensa Proletaria, voice of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua, under the title Repudiate vandalism by declassed turbas. Translated by the Workers' Advocate staff.


Declassed turbas headed by Damaso Vargas, Denis Melendez, Ruben Ulloa and Rolando Membreno, all well-known CST [Sandinista trade union federation] leaders, attacked some workers who were peacefully gathered for a meeting at a CAUS [union federation of the revisionist "Communist" Party] local. They raided the local and caused such destruction as hasn't been seen since the declassed turbas of Somocism. Somocism used these same methods to deal with arguments from the workers for which it had no response.

The Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists condemn this type of activity being instigated by Sandinism, which is causing the masses to fight each other, and distracting them from fighting the fundamental enemy. While their government sits down to dialogue and negotiate directly (in Nicaraguan territory to boot) with those responsible for the assassinations and crimes against the people [i. e. the contras], these declassed elements attack sections of the workers, who have every right to think and organize as they see fit.

We think that there are union centers which do not represent the interests of the workers, and which play the game of the reactionary forces. Among these we include the CST itself.

But we defend the right of any worker to affiliate with the union center of his choice, according to his level of consciousness, his Experience, and his convenience. It is education, persuasion, and generous and firm ideological work which must guide the workers in knowing how to distinguish which forces represent their interests, and which do not.

Methods which are coercive, repressive and worse, those used in this type of vandalism against the workers' movement, are not only a mistake on the part of Sandinism. They are a criminal and counterrevolutionary act because they were aimed at intimidating, damaging and repressing sections of the working class, which see in a certain trade union the response to their economic interests. The workers must be given arguments for why not to organize with a certain union. We Marxist-Leninists have shown this. For instance, neither in the CST nor in the other union centers will the workers find a political or fighting force in line with their class interests. For us, the Workers' Front [union center affiliated to the MLPN] is the workers' class answer. But we defend the right of any worker to be under any other union center, including the CST, if that is what he judges to be appropriate. It is our own weakness if we fail to convince him which is the proper union center.

The use of declassed turbas oriented to hit the working class and other popular sectors is a reactionary method. It creates conditions for the increase of repression by the ruling class to control and menace the revolutionary forces that encompass the workers' movement.

The president of the Republic and the Sandinista Party are those responsible for the material damage and social disturbances generated by this type of anti-worker violence. No conscious force would advocate passivity in the face of these counterrevolutionary attacks.

We call on the workers' movement to defend its democratic rights; to not let itself be intimidated by vandalism; to form a single body of resistance against official or right-wing vandalism which are directed against the proletariat and the popular masses. The workers must not let themselves be provoked, but they must respond firmly to provocations, particularly from the declassed turbas. We must publicly denounce those who specialize in this type of criminal acts. And, particularly before the people, we must also denounce the CST leaders mentioned, the Sandinista union activist, Eligio Ghavez, who beat up on a journalist and union activists in Portezuelo street. The people must show their repudiation in the face of this type of ominous forces which pour out in the midst of the crisis, without arguments, incapable of ideological struggle, and keep returning to criminal acts. If the people don't stop them right at the beginning, they will surely become a hardened repressive apparatus which will strip the workers' movement of its rights, and also of the future revolution. <>

From the Nicaraguan workers' press:


The Sandinistas love to boast of how they have brought schools and social services to the people. The revolution woke up the thirst for knowledge among the masses. But the Sandinista policies of privileges for the capitalists and restrictions for the working class is resulting in elitism in educational affairs.

The following article, under the title Restriction of the Right to Education, appeared in the December 1987 issue of Prensa Proletaria, voice of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua. It was written by Mauricio Medina. a leader of the Marxist-Leninist Youth (JML), an organization affiliated to the MLPN. Translated by the Workers' Advocate staff.


The academic output in the various colleges has been higher this year than ever before, according to the Ministry of Public Education and the National Council of Superior Education.

We are sure that this data of the educational authorities does not include student drop out--truly alarming this year. We (JML) have investigated different colleges in Managua and have found that out of every 100 students that enrolled at the beginning of the school year, 50 have by now left. This phenomenon is especially acute in the night classes. Of the 50 students still in class, 10 were wiped out by exhaustion, and 16 have dropped at least one class. In other words, out of 100 students enrolled at the start only 24 complete the year's program.

A 24% rate of success is not a flattering figure for any educational system, and the educational authorities try to conceal this catastrophic result.

The reason for the dropout and poor achievement

There are various problems which we must address to ensure the people and the youth the right to an education: dropping out, the low academic output, etc. Why this high rate of desertion? We can cite two important general causes:

The wartime situation, which obliges the youth to incorporate themselves into the fight against imperialism and to absent themselves for two years from the classroom.

Similarly, there are the effects of the economic crisis, sharpened by the war and the anti-worker economic policies of the government.

A good part of the students who drop out do so for economic reasons. One aspect of the government's policy is its requirement for extra production by the labor force. This lengthens the working day. Workers have to work additional hours, perform volunteer labor, participate in Economic Brigades, etc. When he or she finally arrives at school, on time and with no absences, the worker-student is completely exhausted. The bad educational conditions (classrooms, supplies, lack of texts, teaching problems) add up right at the beginning, blocking the students' academic output, which in turn causes more desertion.

Many of the students, especially in the night classes, are fathers of families, with a series of obligations which, in the economic crisis, demand more of their attention. This is an enormous distraction, and the workers are caught between a rigid educational system on the one hand, and a rigid labor policy on the other.

The demobilized soldiers have not had sufficient support, nor an educational reform adequate for people who have to leave class for two years. This section of youth floods the educational system with students with problems. Nor is there any provision for correspondence courses for soldiers to follow during mobilization, so that these students can at least be kept generally informed academically.

It is also a general sentiment among the masses of students that the famous disciplinary system, which unfortunately came to be known through the "Ramirez Goya Proclamation", was really deadly.

Through disciplinary measures, the authorities tried to raise academic output. What they achieved was to discriminate amongst the masses, restricting the democratic right to education, and maintaining an obsolete educational philosophy and system.

But there is not only student dropout. There is also teacher dropout. The teachers were dragged before SNOTS [the national scale of wages], like a condemned man is dragged before the firing squad. Which of you want to die of hunger, being a professor and working 'til you drop, while others live the good life, like the capitalists who are favored with incentives in dollars by the government?

The teachers' wages are extremely low. There are no adequate incentives. There is no technical or material support. For these reasons the professors drop out. The students are then adversely affected, by the absences, instability and changing, of teachers.

In this context there is another significant fact the government should pay attention to. In the private colleges like Asuncion, Bautista, La Salle, the academic achievement is 90% or more. Whereas in public colleges like Douglas Sequeira, Edgard Arbizu, or Miguel Bonilla, it's difficult to get 70%. Does this mean private education is better than public education? Are private college students more intelligent? Obviously not. The students at private colleges are the youth who have their livelihood and academic necessities guaranteed. They are in fact professional students. The private colleges generally have good material conditions such as libraries, laboratories, and recreational and sports facilities,

A fatal elitism is continuing to function, of which the right-wing takes advantage to promote that the "popular rabble" does not like to study. The government, through its policies, keeps around this intellectual elitism, which then has its effect on the productive and administrative apparatus of the country. The workers must not study, and the students must not work. That is the reality of our educational system.

Education is a democratic right of the first order. The present government, through its economic and educational policies, is more and more restricting this genuine popular right, and making more difficult the peoples' access to science and culture. <>

From the Nicaraguan workers' press:


The following article is from the April issue of Prensa Proletaria, voice of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Nicaragua. Translated by the Workers' Advocate staff.


With the blessing of the Sandinista Workers Central [the Sandinista union confederation or CST], the administration of the GRACSA oil can enterprise, in Chinandega, recently threatened the workers with mass firing if they persisted in their demands for economic improvements.

Last Thursday, March 11, in a general assembly, the GRACSA workers were accused by the CST of being counterrevolutionaries for committing the crime of demanding economic improvements for themselves from the enterprise.

In the recent past this oil can producer, of mixed capital and expropriated from Alfonso Robelo (who is now with the counterrevolution [i.e. with the contras]), sold cooking oil to the workers at a price of 555 old cordobas per liter.

Today, GRACSA sells the product to its workers at 7 cordobas and 50 centavos per liter, which is considered by the workers as an economic measure which, far from benefiting the labor sector, seriously harms them. [7 and a half new cordobas is equal to 7,500 old cordobas.]

Currently the enterprise sells cooking oil to [the government agency] ENABAS at a price of 9 cordobas per liter, and this outfit in turn raises the price for government-assured supplies to 12 cordobas for the same amount.

The GRACSA workers have requested that the enterprise sell them the liter of cooking oil at 50% of the price that ENABAS gets it for. This would contribute to the defense of the actual wages, especially today when inflation is reaching extraordinarily high limits.

The CST's denunciation of the GRACSA workers shows that the CST has openly rejected the union demands, especially in relation to negotiating on cooking oil, and that it would hand over the same workers to the administration.

The CST is of the opinion that because of the economic crisis of the country and the war of aggression that the people are suffering from on the part of imperialism, the GRACSA enterprise would have to fire those who demand more than their account, those who at the same time would be accused of being counterrevolutionaries.

In the present situation of war alert, it is extremely-dangerous for a pro-government trade union entity to brand as counterrevolutionary workers who are in full command of their faculties and constitutional guarantees.

In other enterprises, the CST has undertaken similar policies of pressure and labor repressions. <>

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Below is the lead article from Rod Gryning (Red Dawn), paper of the Communist League of Norrkoping, issue No. 6, 1988:


This spring there has been a rumbling in the workers' ranks. This year we have seen not only small wildcat strikes, which used to appear here and there when contracts are to be negotiated, but also a dissatisfaction which grows in scope and strength. It has manifested itself in three big actions: protests in the fire brigades against the bad contracts which have been forced upon them; the strike of the workers of the factory "Boliden" in the city of Helsingborg, which lasted nine days--despite the threats of the employer and the sabotage of the union hacks; and among the miners in the northernmost part of the country, who showed their strength when they made their opinion on the would-be contract known with some short strikes.

There is no reason to over-dramatize these events and today talk about a "breaking out" or even "awakening" in the real sense of the word. But it is, on the other hand, correct that every wildcat, every spontaneous action among the workers, irrespective of how limited it might be, in itself provides an embryo of an independent, red class organization. Something which might, in the long run, develop towards an awakening, towards a breaking out. A wildcat is called "wild" precisely because it is illegal and contrary to the contract stipulations. Workers on such a strike will thus confront not only the employer, but also the trade union bureaucracy. They are then forced to rely on their own forces, on their own solidarity and determination, and in so far as they can count with support from outside, then it is a support given outside and against the union. Thus a wildcat is a kind of spontaneous miniature version of what we call the proletarian united front from below.

But, then, what is required for what today is an embryo to grow and develop? It is clear that objective prerequisites are at hand: a capitalist crisis offensive with enforced concessions and, at the same time, a limited but nevertheless obvious conjunctural rise which shows people in a glaring way that profits are higher than in living memory.

But the necessary subjective factors are missing: a revolutionary left-wing current with a proletarian vanguard--a genuine communist party-- at its head. The forces which exist today in the work places, keeping a "radical" image, are "left" social-democrats and various kinds of revisionists. They are not basing themselves on a proletarian class stand, but represent a more or less "militant" reformism. Reformism does inevitably lead to class collaboration. This also manifests itself in the fact that most parts of the "left" have tried to gain control of the protests that occur by tying them up to "internal union", maneuvering in order to gain influence in the "apparatus".

How they have acted with the "Dala uprising" is clear evidence of this: in the name of "unity" they worked against creation of rank-and-file committees of struggle and reduced it all to pure lobbying for 1,000 crowns a month. By burying the democratic demands that existed, which were directed against the trade union bureaucracy, they also succeeded in burying the "Dala uprising". At least for the time being! [The "Dala uprising" refers to the mass interest in a platform of demands, the "Dala Statement", put forward by the lower strata of the trade union bureaucracy against the openly pro-capitalist stand of the social-democratic government of Sweden. The CL of Norrkoping supported the mass desire to struggle and various progressive demands put forward by the Dala Statement, but opposed the policy of the leaders of the Dala Statement. See Swedish Marxist-Leninists on Reformist Trade Union Bureaucrats in the April 15 issue of the Supplement.]

From this we can learn that the struggle can and will develop only in uncompromising struggle against reformism of all hues. The precondition for a successful anti-concession movement is that it be organized independent of and against the, trade union bureaucracy, including its "left" wing!

Also in Red Dawn, #6, 1988

*The second(concluding) part of an article entitled Some Comments on Mao Zedong's Philosophy.

* Against the Trotskyite Critique of the Seventh Congress, from the WA Supplement of May 1, 1985.

*An article entitled On the Question of the Spanish Civil War. It deals with the practical results in Spain of the anti-Leninist deviations put forward at the Seventh Congress of the CI, as they were implemented by the CP of Spain.

Red Dawn may be contacted at: [Address.] <>

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From the June 27 issue of Boston Worker, paper of the MLP-Boston:



The 7 month strike by the Guilford railway workers is over and most of the 1,200 workers have returned to work. These workers can hold their heads high. Once again they have beat back the relentless concessions drive of Guilford's owner, the billionaire banker Timothy Mellon.

The strike began last November as a wildcat in the Lawrence yards when a veteran worker was killed in an accident resulting from cost-cutting work rule changes imposed by Guilford. The strike spread quickly and workers shut down freight rail service throughput northern New England.

The arrogant capitalist Mellon and the Federal Railway Administration denied that any safety problem existed at Guilford despite an accident rate three times the industry average, despite the additional deaths of two scabs in separate on-the- job accidents, and despite several runaway trains! Instead Mellon declared the strike illegal and fired the strikers, trying to run the system with scabs.

Workers stand firm and businessmen whine

But the workers stood firm and Guilford floundered. The railway system plays a very important part in the regional economy and the strike caused a major disruption for many big businesses who could not ship and receive necessary materials. Many companies had to find other means of shipping which were more costly. For instance, Monsanto, the huge chemical monopoly, complained that they had to spend $100,000 extra a month to have materials shipped by truck to their Everett plant.

And as the strike continued the whining from these businessmen grew louder. The New England Shippers Association and other business groups began to call for a settlement in the strike. Of course these bourgeois were not against Mellon's concessions drive; they were only complaining that his tactics were costing them too much. As Drew Lewis, chairman of the Union Pacific Corp., explained, "We definitely have the same objectives (as Mellon), but you're not going to get it done overnight."

Arbitrator heeds call of businessmen

So last week the federal arbitrators stepped in and issued two rulings which ordered Mellon to rehire all the strikers and to reinstate work rules and job classifications.

The railroad workers are returning to work, but clearly the struggle will continue. Mellon has declared that he will fight both rulings, and certainly he will be out for revenge against the militants. Already it is reported that he is putting the workers through the ringer when they return, forcing them to re-apply, submit to physicals, drug testing, etc... Also he is trying to keep the scabs on the job, which would greatly weaken the workers in any future struggle.

But this notwithstanding, the Guilford workers have won an important victory in the workers' struggle against the capitalist concessions drive.

The strike was the workers' weapon

But some union leaders are trying to use this victory to weaken the workers' movement! They are preaching that the workers won because the arbitrator was "on the workers' side". These union misleaders want the workers to believe that the lesson of the Guilford workers' victory is that workers should not organize mass actions, but instead rely on the government's arbitration system to help them beat back concession demands.

This is turning the truth on its head. The workers won because their militant strike disrupted the rail system throughout New England, costing the capitalists millions of dollars! While Mellon appears to have been willing to lose even more in his drive to crush the workers, the other capitalists in the region were not. The arbitration system has been set up as a mechanism to protect the interests of the whole capitalist class against the workers' movement, and this was a situation where they sacrificed the interests of an individual capitalist, Mellon, to guarantee the more general interests of the bourgeoisie.

What is most important to understand is that the arbitrator only ceded to the workers what they had already won on the field of battle. They won not because they had better lawyers, but because they organized the class struggle. <>

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The following articles are from the July 15 issue of Detroit Workers' Voice, paper of the MLP-Detroit:



The Postal Service has hired Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot to help contain costs in USPS [U.S. Postal Service] operations. A contract was signed under which Perot Systems could receive a $100 million net profit for its cost-cutting studies.

Imagine that! A cool $100 million for giving advice in new ways to squeeze more out of the postal workers.

The corporate tycoons are always milking the USPS at the expense of the workers. But the no-bid contract with Perot, is such a plum that GM and other companies are jealous and want a chance to get in on the action. The contract has now been suspended, pending court action.

Little matter whether Perot or GM gets the contract. Because for the postal workers it means more cost cutting, more speed up, more overwork, and more job cuts.

Perot promises more automation. But we know what that means, too. It won't be used to make the load lighter on the postal workers. Profits rule in the Postal Service. Automation in the hands of the postal bosses only means heavier workloads, crippling speed-up and hiring freezes.

Compared to 1971, the USPS today has only 8% more employees but moves 77% more mail. This is a sign of how hard the postal workers are already being squeezed. But now the USPS wants a right-wing billionaire as its hired gun to drive the workers even harder.

In the face of this threat, the leaders of the postal unions are sitting back and taking a snooze. As usual, they don't want to lift a finger against management's productivity drive.

Moe Biller, president of the APWU, says that it would be "terrific" if Perot "can contain costs;--and not on the backs of employes. But I'll have to wait and see." (Wall Street Journal, June 14)

But no postal worker on the floor or on the routes has to "wait and see" what cost containment means. Just ask the operators of the optical character readers (OCRs) at the Fort St. GMF who are being worked to the bone. Ask the carriers who are being overloaded with more mail and longer routes. Ask the clerks at the Detroit BMC where one parcel keyer is now being driven to do the work of two.

The Perot contract is a warning to all postal workers. The USPS is planning a new offensive to cut costs on our backs. It's no time to "wait and see". It's time to put up a fight against speed up and overwork and to protect our jobs. We cannot look to the union bureaucrats to fight for us. We have to build the independent organization and struggle of the rank and file. <>


On June 16, a dozen clerks at the Detroit BMC confronted an APWU representative with a petition signed by 127 workers demanding a return to the partner system or rotation, off keying after four hours.

For months, clerks have been fighting the one- man keying system, which is widely recognized as a safety hazard. During this time the union representatives on Tour III have stuck to their position that "nothing can be done".

The clerks pointed out to the APWU representative that one-man parcel keying has been linked to tendonitis and has been condemned by OSHA. They demanded to know what the union intended to do about it.

"Nothing to be Done"

The APWU representative replied that there is nothing that can be done. The local union had filed a grievance on the issue two years ago. But since the grievance has been taken to the national level, the steward argued, it is "impossible" to do anything at the local facilities.

The workers pointed out that they could not afford to wait for a "national level" decision. Hazardous working conditions have to be fought now, before more workers are injured and crippled.

(Only after the meeting did it come out that the APWU has now withdrawn the grievances filed against one-man parcel keying. Instead, it plans to "study" the issue.)

"One-man Keying is the Workers' Fault"

Next, the union steward blamed one-man keying on the keyers themselves. It's the workers' own fault, the steward claimed, because the workers "never stick together" and this allowed the USPS to take away partners and boost production in the first place.

But what had the union chiefs done? Did they raise a cry against this attack when it first began? Did they mobilize the workers to take action to prevent it?

Hardly! They filed a few grievances that were put in a drawer. And now, when the rank and file are struggling on their own against one-man keying, the APWU representative points to these grievances to say nothing can be done.

"Can't Promise" Rotation

Finally, the. clerks pressed the union steward on the issue of rotation, stressing that with one-man keying they need the right to be rotated after four hours. While the steward said they "believed" in rotation, she insisted she couldn't make any promises because management lacks the personnel for rotation.

That's the whole point. There used to be a partner for every keyer. One-man keying is part of the USPS's productivity drive to squeeze more work out of fewer people. If there are too few workers to provide safe working conditions, then management must be made to hire more.

"Was That Really the Union?"

If the APWU representative hoped to dampen the fight against one-man keying, her remarks had the opposite effect. Clerks at the meeting were stung by her anti-worker arguments. One worker even had to go and ask the person if she was in fact a union representative, and not postal management.

This incident offers a lot of food for thought. It verifies again what Detroit Workers' Voice has been saying--the workers can't rely on the union bureaucracy. We must organize independently from them. <>


Letter carriers at Mt. Elliott station are getting organized to resist management's attempts to eliminate routes. The postal bosses know eliminating routes means a fewer number of carriers and an even more unbearable workload on the remaining routes (and worse service). But it will mean more profits--and this is all the Postal Service really cares about.

Management used the absurd pretext of a brief drop in mail volume to claim there was not enough work for the existing routes. Carriers have responded with spirited denunciations and ridicule each time a new load of catalogues or coupons or door-to-door mail piles up on the floor because there is too much work. Many carriers have also started slowing down and coming back to the station late.

The first week in July almost all the carriers at the station displayed buttons demanding: "No Route Cuts!" A supervisor displayed a button with the "No" whited out--demanding "route cuts"! But management will have a difficult time imposing this as workers have raised their demand and are preparing for a fight. <>

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From the June 29 issue of Boston Worker, paper of the MLP-Boston:



4,000 jet engine workers had two-month strike in April and May this year against GE's partner SNECMA (a government-owned state capitalist corporation). The strike was ended when SNECMA threatened to send the work to GE in the U.S. In other words, GE's partner SNECMA threatened to use us as scabs to break the strike.

So what was the stand of the IUE officials at this critical moment?

They hid the existence of the strike from us until it had been broken!! They knew about it, should have taken a stand against it, and mobilized us to refuse to be sued as scabs. They did not!

This international sabotage by our union officials is further proof that in the current battle against concessions they cannot be trusted to carry out a serious fight. It is up to the rank-and-file itself to wage a militant fight against concessions, and build up organization independent from the union officialdom. <>

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From the July 5, 1988 issue of Detroit Workers' Voice, newspaper of the MLP-Detroit:


Workers report that women were excluded from a meeting held recently in the General Labor Department, main plant. In that meeting the General Foreman made a comment that he wasn't assigning women to a particular job because, in his view, they couldn't handle it and the department would lose that work. (This was on a job women have done elsewhere.)

The union official present at the meeting agreed with this chauvinist comment.

This is one example of how women workers face sexual discrimination and harassment at GLS [Great Lakes Steel]. The company discriminates against women as a way to keep the workers divided and easier to control.

Sexual harassment

Women report all sorts of harassment. Foremen leer at them, make sexual advances and often, if the women resist, they find themselves assigned to worse jobs. The supervision in some departments doesn't want women in them. In these cases the women are given difficult jobs, or menial and meaningless jobs.

Women report having anonymous "love" notes penciled on their time cards and unwanted "gifts". Foremen have been known to cruise the homes of women, and even repeatedly show up "coincidentally" in time to give them rides from the parking lot to inside the plant.

In one case recently, a foremen sexually assaulted a woman worker when the lights went out due to a power failure.

Divide and conquer

As part of the company's divide and conquer strategy, they try to sow distrust by pitting the men and women workers against each other. The company tries to make it look like women get "easier" jobs than men. Or they spread the idea that women "shouldn't be in the mill taking men's jobs". In other words, women have no right to work in the mill.


Union representative agrees

At the General Labor meeting was the new chairman of the Construction Committee, just appointed by the new slate at Local 1299. He did not oppose the chauvinist comment by the general foreman. In fact, he agreed with it and took it even further.

He said, "In my opinion, women shouldn't be in a steel mill...taking jobs from men with babies." He continued by claiming women belonged "in the home, in the kitchen or the bedroom."

This kind of outrageous comment should not be tolerated by any worker. Especially when it comes from a so-called "representative" of the workers. This chauvinism only helps the company divide the workers in the face of its attacks.

This is another example of why we can't rely on the union bureaucrats to fight the company's attacks. We workers must get organized on our own, independently, to fight. <>

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From the July 5 issue of Detroit Workers' Voice, paper of the MLP-Detroit:


The Inland Steel capitalists have demanded the reopening of their contract for more concessions. Inland wants its 13,000 workers to accept more wage and benefit cuts and work rule changes.

The millionaires at Inland have threatened to wipe out over 2,000 jobs. Part of this would be to force 730 workers to negotiate a separate contract by placing their work under a new subsidiary company.

These demands by Inland are the opening shot by the whole steel industry, for more concessions as the contracts come up again in 1989. USX president, Thomas Graham, has already said "We're not interested in seeing Inland get a leg up." In other words, the corporate owners want to use Inland as the leader in the drive for more concessions. <>

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To the editors of Supplement,

Enclosed is an analysis by a petty-bourgeois sect calling for "unity of Marxist-Leninists". [Referring to the April issue of the paper of the "US Marxist-Leninist Organization".] This group does not, from my observations, take part in the mass movements or the workers' struggles. For example, recently a protest arose at a local state university regarding the capitalists' plans to hike tuitions. Yet, although they have a presence on this campus, these self-styled "Marxists" did not provide any analysis to advance the struggle of the students against the capitalist state. In fact, besides a generalized slogan "supporting" the students, they did not even participate in this struggle. In past conversations with these "heroes", they have told me of their isolation from the workers.

One must legitimately question those "Marxists" who have not taken up the struggles of the masses and sought to orient them in a revolutionary direction. Who do they want "unity" with, and what is the basis, for this unity? At any rate, the MLP-USA will continue to rally the Marxist-Leninists around a program of revolutionary action against the Reaganite offensive of the bourgeoisie.

The biggest problem, in my estimation, lies in the confusion regarding those forces "on the left", such as the pro-Soviet revisionists, Maoists, Trotkyites, etc. who don the facade of "Marxism-Leninism". This analysis [the USMLO's article on unity] fails to clarify their anti-Marxist, opportunist politics obstructing the unity of the revolutionary communists on the basis of Leninism. These elements are not simply making "mistakes", but work to undermine and destroy the communist vanguard, as they are bourgeois agents in the proletarian movement. By failing to call for determined struggle against opportunism, these "Marxist- Leninists" are sowing confusion on a key determinant for unity.


With revolutionary greetings,

J.R./Boston, Mass./May 7, 1988 <>

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