Statement From The Virginia Worker Editorial Board on Railroad Strikebreaking By: The Virginia WorkerRead Now
The following statement is issued by the Virginia Worker Editorial Board on the recent congressional vote to force a contract on railroad workers, which broke their attempt to strike
Let us be absolutely clear what happened on December 1st.
In order to avert what could have been the most impactful strike in decades, the vast majority of Democratic members of the House of Representatives– including three out of four Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) members– voted to use state power to impose a rotten deal on rail workers that the workers themselves had already rejected.
To cover this cowardly betrayal of labor, these same Democrats voted on an amendment to the bill that would have added seven paid sick days into the rail worker’s contract– less than half of what the rail workers demand, and far less than what the rail workers deserve– knowing full well that the amendment had no serious chance of passing the sixty vote threshold in the even more conservative Senate.
Make no mistake: this is class war.
Moments like this are a reminder to us that both political parties are parties of the capitalist class. Both parties are structurally incapable of representing, defending, and advancing the interests of workers.
The Democratic Party is not just a ballot line. It is a massive organization consisting of thousands of activists backed by billions of dollars in political donations. Their party is committed to a vision of the future which is fundamentally capitalist. We cannot change this party, and we cannot let it lead us. The future of our movement lies outside the Democratic Party, or it lies in the flaming garbage heap of history.
Given these truths about the Democratic Party, it is extremely disturbing that many well-meaning socialists in DSA have strikebreakers like Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as their public faces. And such a situation was entirely avoidable! When Bowman proudly attended Israeli propaganda trips and voted to arm Israel’s apartheid regime, the left wing of DSA rightly excoriated Bowman. They drafted petitions and passed resolutions in their working groups and chapters.
However, this was not enough, because nothing fundamentally changed. The failure to reign in or expel Bowman for supporting Israel’s brutal warfare against Palestinians has now come home to roost as workers in the United States have their rights trampled on and their interests shot down by DSA’s loftiest representatives. As the left mobilized, the right trashed the cause of Palestine, mocked its defenders, and ultimately did a victory lap as members of DSA’s National Political Committee (NPC)– including those representing ‘radical’ caucuses– voted to shield Bowman from any meaningful consequences.
The Marxists in DSA cannot remain handcuffed to AOC, Bowman, and Bush if they wish to fight with their arms for socialism. We call on the left wing of DSA to expel from their local chapters NPC members who protected Bowman. We call on the left wing of DSA to expel these three Democrat politicians from their ranks, as Class Unity is attempting to do. We call on the left wing of DSA to expel the odious defenders of the Democrat strikebreakers and warhawks, like the North Star Caucus. Even if this expulsion movement is not successful, it will reveal even more clearly who put the cause of the Democratic Party above the cause of the working class.
Most importantly, we call on the real Marxists in DSA to begin to coordinate together to lay the foundation for a Marxist party. The left may expel the right, the right may expel the left, or the left may leave on its own accord– but DSA cannot serve two masters: the capitalist Democrats and the movement for socialism. This train needs to pick a track.
We, at the Virginia Worker, extend our solidarity to the rail workers whose right to strike and bargain for their own contract was unceremoniously rejected by Biden and the Democrats, and we pledge to support all rank-and-file efforts to take action against this sellout contract and against any misleaders in the union movement who conspired with Biden to make it happen.
All we want for this holiday season is a wildcat strike!
The Virginia Worker
This article was republished from The Virginia Worker.