|Labor Power Report No. 4|
Labor Power Report, Issue 4, May 1, 2011
May Day Commemoration
Presented by the Workers International Industrial Union (WIIU)
WIIU does not commemorate this day solely about something that happened many years ago. A time when the working class struggled for the "Eight Hour Day," finally got it, and the fight was over some said. The fight was not over. There were many other hardships that workers endured, but at that moment in time, the eight hour day was the ultimate limit to their suffering. Upon achieving that standard, there remained other matters to deal with in the class struggle. Those matters have not gone away, they have only gotten worse. As some describe it, the struggle is fierce. How so? As recently reported in the mainstream media, a capitalist conglomerate faces "fierce competition that has seen its market share plunge" — a crisis that threatens dissolution. The competition is so fierce that the company is compelled to "slash 7,000 jobs." Unlike the "slash and burn" destruction of the rain forest — the trees no longer exist, jobs are slashed and the unemployed workers remain to languish in a minimal state of sustenance — food, clothing, shelter, health care, etc.
The capitalist says, "Sorry guys and gals, I don't mean to do it, but since you create all the wealth, and when my competitor cuts the price on the market, the only way I can beat that price is to cut my cost of producing it, which means you — which is what I pay for your labor power. That means reducing the amount of time your labor power is expended to produce my product. That goes for the rest of your fellow workers. If you think I am in the business primarily to provide you with health and welfare, you are sorely disillusioned. Fact is, I am primarily in the business of making a profit no matter that your work day may be 8, 10 or 12 hours per day. If necessary, thousands of you will end up with 0 hours per day. As for for the 7,000 slashed, I don't need you anymore. Get out of my way, you are nothing more than empty shell casings left over and getting underfoot in the fierce economic do or die battle I am ferociously fighting."
The capitalist enterprise in question, recently in the news, is Nokia, one among all the other enterprises that also face fierce competition to which workers are the brunt of — the victims of — the fierce class struggle.
Enough for now of the capitalist class, lets get back to us, the working class.
Greetings on this May Day 2011. May the working class reclaim this day of celebration in their own right, a day that was co-opted by the capitalist class, through the government it controls, who replaced "May Day" with "Labor Day." Our (faker) union leaders heralded it in with the slogan, "Capital and Labor are Brothers." Would a brother hold you hostage to a 0 hour day? "Capital and faker union leaders are brothers" is a more fitting slogan.
May Day, a day for workers to honor those in the past who sacrificed much in striving for a future where workers will be freed from exploitation under the yoke of wage slavery. A day for appreciation that workers still have the freedom to work towards that goal, they only need to put their minds to it.
A day meant to reiterate our commitment to step up efforts to accomplish the quest for a day when a worker can look any other worker square in the eye with the assurance that all of us as workers understand that we have one thing in common — we are the useful producers of all goods and services in our society.
That we understand the words of Abraham Lincoln, "Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
"Capital and Labor are Brothers??? Horror stories abound within the working class.
Look around you, what do you see: layoffs by the hundreds of thousands, wage and salary cuts for those fortunate to still be working, termination of health care insurance, and all the other innumerable hardships that only workers are compelled to endure, such as broken families, want in the midst of plenty and suicides.
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "We must all hang together or assuredly we shall hang separately" — the capitalist class will assuredly fire us or drastically cut our pay, one by one, holding those who remain on the job hostage to that threat.
From the Declaration of Independence: "That whenever any Form of Government become destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers to such form, as to then shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
""Prudence, indeed, will dictate the Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes, and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."
No one can say that the working class did not bend over backwards giving our present social system the benefit of doubt many times over, let alone being accused of demanding that government be "changed for light and transient causes..."
"....organizing its [the working class] powers to such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
So, who should do the organizing? Since the vast majority of our country consists of workers, it logically follows that it is they who must do the organizing, most emphatically on their own volition, not falling into the snare of depending on conflict of interest labor leaders (fakers) who cannot make up their mind as to whether they are affiliated with the capitalists or workers — those of their own class. Labor faker union leaders were the first to coin the slogan, "capital and labor are brothers" and "A fair days pay for a fair days work." So fair that now any job, no matter how low the pay, is better then none.
In conclusion, two poignant prophecies from two of our home grown great minds:
First, James Madison: "We are free today substantially, but the day will come when our Republic will be an impossibility. It will be an impossibility because wealth will be concentrated in the hands of a few. A republic can not stand upon bayonets, and when that day comes, when the wealth of the nation will be in the hands of a few, then we must rely upon the wisdom of the best elements in the country to readjust the laws of the nation to the changed conditions."
Next, Lewis Henry Morgan: "The time will come, nevertheless, when human intelligence will rise to the mastery over property, and define the relations of the state to the property it protects, as well as the obligations and the limits of the rights of the owners. The interests of society are paramount to individual interests and the two must be brought into just and harmonious relations. A mere property career is not the final destiny of mankind, if progress is to be the law of the future as it has been of the past."
The key elements, "....when human intelligence will rise to the mastery over property....," "...."we must rely upon the wisdom of the best elements in the country...."
The only logical source for human intelligence to rise, and the wisdom to rely on, lies within the working class.So, on this May Day, give it a thought, come join us in building a union that embraces all workers. A union that fights the real fight, the fight to secure that which is potentially possible, a wholesome life for all of the working class. The right not only to apply our labor power to the tools of production, but also to receive the full value of what we produce. That is the only way for each and every worker to secure all the potentially available necessities for life relative to our capacity to produce it.
Enemies Within and Enemies Without
A brief history of the dissolution of the original International Workers of the World (IWW) and the Workers International Industrial Union (WIIU) Both of these unions advocated what was called, "One Big Union."
The destructive elements within the IWW was most likely deliberate infiltration from outside to purposely cause disruption in the IWW because it was considered a major stumbling block to the growth of the pro-capitalist unions. With the weakening of IWW, the dues paying income of the capitalist collaborating union bureaucrats increased immensely. Those were the days when a free cigar and a soot full of beer was all that was needed to muster up enough rowdies to make noise and cause disruption, drowning out those contributing serious and intelligent discourse.
In the case of the WIIU, the outside assault is self evident, an assault perpetrated by government agents under the direction of the capitalist class and with the encouragement of fat cat union bureaucrats.
The enemies of the One Big Union principles, have already exposed themselves as lurking in the shadows of capitalism, always poised for the attack. Workers should be well prepared for the next round when it comes since the enemy's mode of operation has been amply unveiled. It is ipso facto a matter of recorded history. A case of an enemy within the country.
The People, December 9, 1995, Vol. 105 No. 16 http://www.deleonism.org/text/95120902.htm
"The original IWW not only acknowledged the class struggle and called on the working class to organize into "one big union," it also acknowledged the need for a political party of labor to challenge the capitalist state. While this is not the place to explore the history of the original IWW, it must be noted that it collapsed within three years of its founding under the repeated onslaughts of anarchists who disavowed all political action. Furthermore, they wanted to change the IWW from an organization striving to unite the working class into industrial unions into one that advocated anarcho-syndicalism."
THE PEOPLE, JUNE 1997, Vol. 107 No. 3
75 YEARS AGO
EDITOR'S NOTE: During the summer of 1922, almost every member of Section Los Angeles, SLP, and Local 103, WIIU, was arrested for alleged violations of California's infamous and reactionary "Criminal Syndicalist Act." The WIIU, or Workers International Industrial Union, was, after 1908, the legitimate continuation of the original Industrial Workers of the World.
The charges brought against the SLP and WIIU members were later dropped. However, the incident (and others we could cite) attests to capitalism's readiness to use official terrorism whenever the suppression of constitutional liberties is deemed expedient. Indeed, there was reason to believe that the indictments brought against members of the WIIU local, a UNION, were, in truth, aimed at destroying the SLP section, a POLITICAL organization. The effort failed to destroy the section, but it did serious damage to the local.
The following account of the police raid on SLP-WIIU headquarters is from a letter written to THE PEOPLE by one of the members who was arrested.
(WEEKLY PEOPLE, June 3, 1922)
To the WEEKLY PEOPLE:
For the information of the party and all PEOPLE readers, I herewith forward you an account of the raid on the joint SLP- WIIU headquarters in Los Angeles, and some comment thereon.
On May 9, at 8 p.m., Local 103, WIIU, was conducting its regular business meeting when a squad of city police and three "investigators" of the district attorney's office filed into the hall, and silently listened to our proceedings.
When asked what was their business, the one in charge, Luke Lane, of the district attorney's office, replied that they came to look around and make a search. When asked if he had a warrant, he showed his badge and said he didn't need a warrant.
We proceeded with our business, and after adjournment we waited while the three "investigators" scanned and confiscated stacks of our leaflets, the financial secretary's books, etc. When they had terminated their investigation they took into custody E. Pfister, organizer Section Los Angeles, SLP, and literature agent of Local 103, WIIU, and H.S. Carroll, financial secretary of the same Local, taking with them also three good sized boxes of leaflets. We were lodged in a cold tank in the city jail for two nights and a day, and then were arraigned on the charge of "criminal syndicalism -- a felony," and afterwards transferred to the county jail, being released on $1,000 bail each on Friday, May 12.
The preliminary hearing was set for May 17, but by request of our attorney it was postponed to May 25, at 2 p.m.
Just what lies at the bottom of this peculiar move, I personally have no inkling.
Local 103 has been in existence here since 1911, and has, I believe, never before been molested in any manner.
The entire history, attitude and pronouncements of the organization is the best refutation or answer to such a libelous charge, and to charge members of the WIIU, who also are, in general, members of the Socialist Labor Party, with criminal syndicalism is tantamount to charging both these organizations with the same offense.
— RUSS/DJD/Jan1, 2011