Dare to struggle! Dare to win! Let’s fight for the 6 hour day

Posted on August 20th, 2011 | by A Worker |

I applaud the valiant effort of the workers who were on strike against Verizon, waging this decisive battle in this period of decaying capitalism.  We had the odds stacks against us: the multi-billions of the corporate class and their bought and paid for mouth pieces in the media. The bosses’ courts slapped an injunction on us that tied our hands behind our backs.  They even said we couldn’t bring our kids and pets to the picket line. Huh?  What court has the right to make such a proclamation?

While the strike was on, I felt compelled to be a good soldier, but now I have to say that my worst fears are being realized, and I’m afraid we’re being sold out.  I’m afraid a month or two from now we’re going to hear, “This is the best we can do……”  And we’re going to lose stuff that we have fought the bosses for over the last 50 years.  But what really bums me out is that we had the spotlight on us, and we were really putting forward a great fight.  We might have been able to really give leadership to other workers.

We were united; we were strong; we were learning in trenches how to fight a war against the bosses and their courts and cops and media. We were and still are using social media to get out our position.  All this was having an affect because some of the press coverage was getting a little better. In a couple of more weeks, we could have really gotten our shit together and been more and more successful.  We could have captured the attention and imagination of millions of workers in this country and around the world.  We were already starting to do this.  Great things were possible.

I state the obvious when I say the working class is in bad shape in the US and most other places in the world. The colossal issue is jobs.  The answer is clear.  We need to go to the six hour day–six hours work for eight hours pay. As workers, the power we have rests in our labor.  When we withhold our labor the bosses can’t make profit.  If we demand a reduction in the time we work each day then that means the bosses must hire more workers.  The six hour day would create millions and millions of jobs. More people would have more money to buy things that they need.  This would force the bosses to share the wealth and make the economy stronger.

The only way the labor movement can survive and grow is to think big and fight for things that all workers can get behind.  The six hour day – 6 for 8, Medicare for all, jobs with a living wage for all, and lots of other stuff.  Contract fights are a thing of the past.  We need a mass movement of workers and a general strike.  I saw the potential for the leadership of this movement in many of the Verizon strikers that I talked to and walked the line with.  We need the right leadership, and, my friends, that is us.  We must lead.  Dare to struggle! Dare to win!

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