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Vol. 75/No. 46      December 19, 2011

Back workers’ lockout battles, strikes

Lockouts have become a popular bludgeon against the working class, showing the bosses’ determination to deepen the exploitation of labor and crush our ability to resist their unrelenting assaults. Lockouts share common features. The bosses prepare well ahead, building up a war chest to pay scabs and cover costs of lost production. They secure support from their government, their cops and their courts. Then they strike hard and fast without warning.

This issue reports on four lockout struggles. The fight against lockouts along with strike battles that keep cropping up represent the most important response to the propertied rulers’ multi-front offensive against the working class today.

The Militant urges working people and others to support these fights. Order copies of the paper to spread the word among coworkers and friends, in your union, on campus. Send solidarity messages. Work with others to organize plant-gate collections. Get your union and other organizations to make contributions. Visit the picket lines.

Battle lines are being drawn and workers have responded with determination that neither they nor the bosses could foresee. They are reaching out for solidarity and building links with other labor and social battles. The strength of these struggles is determined above all by how wide and deep working-class solidarity spreads.

The battles today are defensive. Workers caught unprepared are fighting to push the bosses back and prevent them from crushing our spirit and our unions. By fighting, we also become stronger and gain invaluable experience. It’s along a road of class struggle that we can rebuild a strong, fighting labor movement that champions the interests of all the exploited and oppressed, interests that are irreconcilable with those of the bosses, their parties and their government.

The sharpening class struggle we see all around us is the inevitable result of the deepening crisis of capitalism worldwide. Both are just beginning to unfold.

A long and hard road of struggle lies ahead through which workers will transform ourselves and on that basis begin the fight to transform all of society.
Related articles:
Ohio Steelworkers fight lockout by Cooper Tire
Reject bosses’ concession contract
Dozens of unions organize rally to support locked-out sugar workers
New Zealand: Locked-out meat workers win support
Shut out of terminal, ILWU prepares protest of first ship
On the Picket Line
2 million public workers join 1-day strike in U.K.  
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