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Vol. 74/No. 19      May 17, 2010

Immigrant rights strengthen labor
The quarter of a million people who demonstrated across the United States May 1 for legalization of undocumented workers set an important example for the labor movement. The photo on page 1 of this issue, showing marchers in Chicago behind a banner that reads “undocumented and unafraid,” captures the self-confidence and combative qualities needed in all of labor’s battles today.

There was significant union participation this year in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. That’s a sign of growing recognition that the fight for immigrant rights is a critical part of forging a workers movement capable of resisting the capitalists’ assaults.

The boss class is determined to make working people pay for the capitalist economic crisis. At the same time that the U.S. government is stepping up attacks on immigrant workers, the bosses are recklessly speeding up production, with disastrous results for workers’ lives and limbs. In just the last month we have witnessed the deaths of 32 coal miners in West Virginia and Kentucky, 11 workers in the oil rig explosion off the coast of Louisiana, and five refinery workers in Washington State. The capitalist rulers are also going after workers’ social wage, including Social Security and Medicare.

The capitalists have always used immigrant labor. They need more workers competing against one another to drive down wages and maintain their profits. By painting immigrant workers as “criminals” and extending federal antiworker laws like they are doing in Arizona, the bosses seek to intimidate those without papers, maintain a superexploited layer of workers who receive low pay and benefits, and discourage them from getting involved in unionization efforts.

That’s why joining the fight for legalizing undocumented immigrants strengthens the battle to unionize all workers and fight for jobs, safety, and against racist discrimination, as well as for ending U.S. wars abroad. It strengthens the understanding of why the working class needs to take political power and begin reorganizing society in the interests of the great majority.

Legalization for immigrant workers now! Stop the raids and deportations! Stop the firings of immigrant workers! Overturn Arizona law SB 1070!
Related articles:
Quarter million marchers demand immigrant rights
Phoenix rally: ‘We don’t run! We will stay!’
Vandals attack immigrant rights group
More union contingents join L.A. May Day rally
Atlanta rally condemns ICE arrests
Mushroom workers rally on May Day
Partial list of May Day actions in the U.S. Gulf oil spill poses social disaster
Two young workers are killed in nonunion Kentucky mine
Australia dockworkers protest deaths on the job  
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