No One Can Defend Working People Better Than a Mobilized Labor Movement: Now is the Time for the Labor Movement to Rise Up!

By Alan Benjamin and Bill Leumer
(Co-Conveners, WERC)

Despite its control of the presidency and its super-majority in Congress, the Democrats have done little to alleviate the suffering of working people, while bestowing trillions of dollars on bankers.  Accordingly, those who caused this economic crisis through their recklessness and greed have been reimbursed for their losses and are back to business as usual, rewarding themselves with huge bonuses once again.  In contrast, working people, who had nothing to do with creating this crisis, are bearing the burden of suffering through the loss of our jobs and our homes and the erosion of public education and social services.

The recent Democratic Party loss of the Senate seat in Massachusetts reflects the growing disconnect between the policies of the Democratic Party and the needs of working people. There are already indications that the Democratic Party plans to move even more to the right in pursuit of a corporate agenda that further attacks the rights and working conditions of the rest of us.

As Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, recently announced in response to the Massachusetts elections: “It’s not time to leave it to any political party to take care of us once we put them in office. It’s time to organize and mobilize as never before to make every elected or aspiring leader PROVE he or she will create the jobs we need in an economy we need with the health care we need. I know we are the people who can mobilize a massive army to force elected leaders to deliver.”

Now is the time to organize a massive Solidarity Day III demonstration in Washington, D.C. and possibly on the West Coast to make our voices heard in favor of:

  • a massive job creation program
  • single-payer health care
  • a stop to foreclosures and evictions
  • passage of EFCA, with card check
  • peace

The history of the labor movement is filled with massive mobilizations of working people that won the eight-hour day, the right to unionize, civil rights, unemployment insurance, welfare, and so on.  When the challenges were enormous, working people rose to the occasion.  We can turn things around today by employing the same successful tactics. And we should insist that since working people constitute the majority of the population, society should operate in the interests of the majority!

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