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Vol. 77/No. 13      April 8, 2013

Join April 1 miners’ rally in W.Va.
Class-conscious working people, not only miners, should turn out for the April 1 rally in Charleston, W.Va., to support the fight by the United Mine Workers of America against Patriot Coal’s moves to throw retirees under the bus and tear up union contracts. This struggle is one important example of standing up to the bosses’ war on working people today.

This issue of the Militant includes two other examples.

The Postal Service is pressing to end Saturday delivery and close hundreds of facilities, most in rural areas and working-class neighborhoods. These moves will slash thousands of jobs and cut public services working people rely on.

With the taste of blood in their mouths, New York school bus companies announced the abolition of two weeks’ paid vacation, a 7.5 percent wage cut, higher health insurance costs and layoffs.

The battle against Patriot unfolds as coal bosses’ union-busting and “productivity” drive has resulted in eight coal miners being killed on the job in less than three months.

The propertied rulers have no solution to or control over the worldwide crisis of capitalism, rooted in a historic slowdown in production and trade. Their only answer is to go after the working class, which they will continue to do to no end until we mount an effective fight against them.

Today we face two challenges. One is the discouraging effects of persistently high unemployment. A recovery in hiring, which no one can predict in scope or timing, will help boost the confidence, unity and combativity of workers. This is why Socialist Workers candidates across the country call on working people to fight for a government-funded public works program to put millions to work building things workers need.

The other major challenge is the weakness of the labor movement—the result of decades of misleadership that has sought common ground with the bosses and their political parties, most often the Democrats. This poses the need to organize independently of the bosses and their government in the political arena as we fight against assaults on our wages, working conditions, safety, unions and very dignity.

It’s through working-class battles today and many more to come that workers can gain experience and confidence, forge links among ourselves, begin to transform our unions into fighting weapons that champion the interests of all working people, and in the process build a class-struggle leadership and advance the fight for a workers and farmers government.

We look forward to seeing you in Charleston.
Related articles:
Postal workers protest plan to cut Sat. delivery
More than 193,000 jobs slashed since 2006
Organized labor must fight for entire working class
NY school bus companies slash wages after strike
Coal miners call April 1 rally to protest pension, health cuts
Patriot Coal uses bankruptcy to tear up union contracts  
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