Some Ideas for Local Labor-Community Coalitions

A Contribution to the Discussion, by Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone (editorial Board, The Organizer)

To Fight Back, We Need a Labor Party Based on the Unions and Rooted in the Communities of the Oppressed That Fights For:

HAYWARD, CA 4/13/11 — Students and faculty at California State University, East Bay, march to the administration building on the campus and then occupy the building in protest. Organized by Students for a Quality Education and the California Faculty Association, the civil disobedience protested budget cuts and fee increases for students, and cutbacks on staff and benefits, while administrators’ salaries are increased. The building occupation demanded the resignation of CSU Chancellor Reed, and a list of other demands discussed and adopted during the occupation. Similar building occupations took place on other campuses. Some students wore face paint with scars symbolizing the impact of budget cuts. Copyright David Bacon

A Massive Jobs-Creation Program – End All U.S. Wars and Occupations!

We need to rebuild our decaying infrastructure, including our roads, bridges, levees, schools, and hospitals. The trillions spent on the U.S. wars and occupations around the world should be used to create a federal jobs-creation program with union-scale wages, benefits and pensions. The trillions should be spent on education, healthcare, and housing! Shut down all U.S. military bases overseas! Bring all U.S. troops home now!

$15 and a Union — with COLA!

All workers deserve a living wage that lifts families out of poverty and provides a decent life. All workers deserve the peace of mind that comes with a safe job free from toxins and dangerous working conditions.

Tax the Rich, Confiscate All Speculative Funds!

Repeal the Trump tax hold-up and giveaway to the 1%. Make the rich pay their fair share to fund socially necessary services and job-creation. Re-regulate Wall Street, and confiscate all Wall Street speculative funds!

Promote Workers’ Right to Unionize, Stop and Reverse All Privatizations!

Stop and reverse all “Right to Work” (for less) laws. Stop the layoffs. “Taft Hartley” and “striker replacement” laws that hurt workers must be repealed. We need the Employee Free Choice Act (or Card Check) and full collective-bargaining rights for public employees. Stop and reverse all privatization and deregulation schemes of schools, the post office, transit and other public services; all are aimed at lowering wages and eliminating unions. Return them to public ownership.

Single Payer Healthcare Now!

For Single Payer healthcare now; take the insurance companies and their profits out of the healthcare equation. Hands Off Medicaid and Medicare. Strengthen and improve Social Security and Medicare!

Affordable Housing/No Foreclosures!

Gentrification is expanding everywhere; no working class residents should be driven from their homes by banking/ mortgage predators, real estate speculators or by hard economic times!

Free and Quality Education, Stop Charter Schools and Vouchers!

The cost of pre-school and higher education falls heaviest on working families, denying full opportunity to young workers. Free and quality education should be a basic human right from kindergarten through College. The “No Child Left Behind” Act (now the Every Student Succeeds Act) stifles learning, does not prepare students for higher education, is aimed at privatizing schools, and funnels students to the military. It should be repealed. Stop all funding for Charter Schools. Stop Vouchers!

A National Energy/Mass Transit System!

For the nationalization of oil, gas and other energy companies to end the manipulation of energy markets and to combat global warming. We need mass transportation systems affordable to the people; retool Detroit to build high-speed trains!

Civil Rights and Privacy Protection! Ensure Voting Rights for All!

End workplace harassment and discrimination against union activists, unorganized, immigrant and injured workers. Repeal the so-called “Patriot Acts” and other laws that destroy our civil liberties. Protect free speech, press and assembly! Voting rights, especially for Blacks and Latinos, are under attack; protect the right to vote!

Defend Women’s Rights! End Sexual Harassment & Violence, End Anti-LGBTQ Bigotry!

Guarantee access to contraception and abortion for all women. Reverse all restrictions on abortion rights. Stop the attacks on Planned Parenthood. Stop all forms of discrimination in the workplace and all sexual harassment and violence against women on and off the job. End all anti-LGBTQ bigotry!

End Police Violence, For Civilian Review Boards with “Teeth”!

We must put a stop to the epidemic of police violence and killings. Killer cops must be brought to justice. We need Civilian Review Boards with the power to hire and fire. Free Mumia and all political prisoners!

Repeal All “Free Trade” Agreements!

Trade treaties like NAFTA and CAFTA, backed by the two parties of the bosses, are designed to depress wages and oppress workers in every country. They should be repealed and replaced with agreements that respect the rights of workers and their unions, along with enforceable and sustainable environmental protections.

Papers For All, Not One More Deportation!

Stop the ICE raids and deportations! Papers for all undocumented immigrants! All workers should have full rights to organize and join unions. Create a just asylum process. Current policies make virtual indentured servants of immigrants, serving to lower the wages of all workers. Stop funding ICE! Tear Down the “Wall of Shame!”

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