spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All International subcategories:

Africa

* Americas

Asia Pacific

Europe

Middle East

South Asia


Americas keywords:

Argentina (25)

Bolivia (32)

Brazil (104)

Canada (19)

Caribbean (7)

Chile (67)

Colombia (10)

Costa Rica (2)

Cuba (45)

Ecuador (4)

Guadeloupe (3)

Haiti (13)

Honduras (5)

Jamaica (6)

Latin America (54)

Mexico (38)

Minneapolis (6)

Montreal (1)

Nicaragua (9)

Peru (5)

Puerto Rico (3)

Quebec (6)

Seattle (70)

US (1339)

USA (154)

United States (27)

Uruguay (1)

Venezuela (91)

USA


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1025, 16 January 2019: Tories, Tories, Tories - out, out, out!

Search site for keywords: USA - Trump

USA: federal workers without pay - but immediate mass action can end shutdown

US Capitol Building during the government shutdown, photo emw/CC

US Capitol Building during the government shutdown, photo emw/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Elan Axelbank, Socialist Alternative (Socialist Party's co-thinkers in the US)

This government shutdown is now the longest in US history. On 22 December, Trump shut down the government, demanding $5.7 billion for his infamous 'border wall'.

He claims it is the only solution to the "national security crisis". With astronomic healthcare costs, low wages, $1.5 trillion student debt, and exorbitant housing costs in the big cities, building a wall is hardly the biggest 'security' concern.

On 15 January, workers got their first $0 pay check. For those making $500 a week - the average salary of a federal worker according to the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) union - missing a pay check is the difference between making rent or not making rent, full meals or partial meals, medication or no medication.

Out of 2.1 million federal workers, 800,000 are not being paid. 380,000 of these workers are furloughed (permitted to look for other work), while 420,000 are being forced to work without pay.

Mass sympathy for unpaid federal workers, and majority opposition to the wall, has weakend Trump's position.

Trump is now threatening an indefinite shutdown. Although not federal workers, 35,000 Los Angeles teachers started striking on 15 January for better school funding and staffing, showing how to fight back.

Airport security agents have been calling-in sick (call-outs). 150 agents did so from JFK airport in New York and 75 from Dallas-Fort Worth (three times the normal number) on 11 January.

Air-traffic controllers, whose 30-year low staffing level is even further exacerbated by the shutdown, are doing the same.

AFGE union officials have explained the call-outs are not part of an organised action, but are due to workers legitimately needing to call-out in order to find other work that actually pays.

There have been rallies of federal workers across the country and airport security call-outs persist, but they have not yet coalesced into the organised and coordinated mass movement needed to force Trump to end the shutdown immediately.

Socialist Alternative has attended these rallies and we gave out leaflets at airport employee parking garages calling for coordinated workplace action and mass protests to end the shutdown. We are also demanding no border wall, immigrant rights, and immediate back pay for all federal workers.

Meetings of workers in all affected workplaces should be organised right away to discuss how to fight back, and begin to organise action to defend their rights, including being paid for work.

Mass protests

Well-prepared mass protests by thousands of federal employees should be immediately organised in front of every federal building and airport, including mass civil disobedience.

Other unions could mobilise too. Unfortunately, the union leaders have not shown this sort of fighting strategy, although rank-and-file initiatives and action from below could push them to take bolder action.

Escalating mass protests would earn the support of the overwhelming majority of people against the government shutdown. This would crack the Republican 'wall of shame' in the Senate and be a massive blow to Trump.

If federal workers do take action, it's extremely important that all working people support them.

The $5.7 billion Trump wants for the wall - plus even more if we tax the rich and big corporations - could instead be spent on pay rises for federal workers, jobs, crumbling infrastructure, healthcare and education.

A continuation of the government shutdown is clearly not an option for federal workers. The Democratic Party leadership's tactic so far has been to meet with Trump behind closed doors and then tell the media, not incorrectly, how "unreasonable" he is being.

But this is no strategy to end the shutdown. Since when have Trump and the Republicans responded to reason?

Workers have the power to defeat Trump and his shutdown with coordinated workplace action and mass protests.

We need bold action from below to demand the union leaders mobilise the full power of the trade union movement, the anti-Trump movement and all working people.

We demand:

See full article at socialistalternative.org

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 







Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999